i received a copy of babel from harper collins nz in exchange for an honest review.

star rating

babel review

babel is one of those books that you really need to be in the right mindset to read. it’s filled with a lot of complex language and you’re constantly learning new things. one of the main things babel focuses on is etymology (how words are made/their origins). i really loved this, but i’ve seen a lot of reviewers say they hated it. (so take it how you will).

babel is essentially non stop beautiful prose and writing. while reading, i had two separate tabs for memorable quotes and powerful speeches. most of them focused on racism and the negative consequences of colonialism.

the characters were a diverse set of people. they all had intricate backstories, with clear wants and desires. i found there wasn’t a single person i didn’t like from the core four. the side characters weren’t skimped on either. everyone had a motive.

honestly, everyone was amazing. even the ones i didn’t like.

the only thing i can criticize this book for was the lull in part two. i found it started to drag a little bit, but it was much easier to plough through with the audiobook. (which i should add: was absolutely AMAZING! there’s lots of non english words littered throughout, and the narrator does a wonderful job at pronouncing them).

as i learned from the poppy war, kuang isn’t scared of a little backstabbing and betrayal. while it hurt to read, it felt so realistic because everyone had their reasons for what they did. (it wasn’t done “just because they were evil).

because of this, the ending had some of the highest stakes i’ve ever read about. (admittedly, i haven’t finished the poppy war trilogy yet, so i can’t compare it to the ending of that). but mY GOD. what a way to end a book!! as i can’t say more without spoiling it, please, PLEASE read this book!

anyway, if you haven’t realised by this whole review: r.f. kuang is a genius.

please add it to your tbr.

buy your copy now!

mighty ape | paper plus | the nile | whitcoulls


  1. avatar

    This book has just shot up my TBR! Great review 🙂

    1. avatar

      thank you! i really hope you love it as much as i did!!

  2. avatar

    Agreed, this feels like a book you need to be in the right mindset for, hoping to pick it up when I’m ready for more adult fantasy! so glad you loved this one though, a wonderful review! 💗

    1. avatar

      it is. it takes a lot of focus. there’s a lot to learn and it’s no good if you’re not in the right headspace for it. i hope you enjoy it when you get around to reading it.

  3. avatar

    We’re so happy that you loved this book so much. It’s amazing to find a book that sticks with you for a long time.

    1. avatar

      it really is!! and thank you!

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