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