My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Title: The Atlas Six
Author: Olivie Blake
Format: hardcover (own)
Publication Date: 1/30/20
Publisher: Tor Books
Categories: Dark Academia, Mystery, Fantasy, LGBT+
The Alexandrian Society is a secret society of magical academicians, the best in the world. Their members are caretakers of lost knowledge from the greatest civilizations of antiquity. And those who earn a place among their number will secure a life of wealth, power, and prestige beyond their wildest dreams. Each decade, the world’s six most uniquely talented magicians are selected for initiation – and here are the chosen few…
– Libby Rhodes and Nicolás Ferrer de Varona: inseparable enemies, cosmologists who can control matter with their minds.
– Reina Mori: a naturalist who can speak the language of life itself.
– Parisa Kamali: a mind reader whose powers of seduction are unmatched.
– Tristan Caine: the son of a crime kingpin who can see the secrets of the universe.
– Callum Nova: an insanely rich pretty boy who could bring about the end of the world. He need only ask.
When the candidates are recruited by the mysterious Atlas Blakely, they are told they must spend one year together to qualify for initiation. During this time, they will be permitted access to the Society’s archives and judged on their contributions to arcane areas of knowledge. Five, they are told, will be initiated. One will be eliminated. If they can prove themselves to be the best, they will survive. Most of them.
Content Warning: violence
I have finally read The Atlas Six even though it was sitting on my shelf for the past 3 months or so. I wasn’t sure I’d be able to get to it before the sequel came out but I did! Yay! So I can see why this book had so much hype. Here’s what did and didn’t work for me:
+ This story is told between six POV’s. We have:
- Libby – she’s a physicist who loves science and is a bit awkward, has a hard time making friends.
- Nick (Varona) – Libby’s rival and reluctant partner in crime. They hate one another are better together.
- Reina – lots of natural power involving plants. She DGAF a lot of times.
- Tristan – son of a witch crime lord, he feels he is never enough for anyone. Power to do with time.
- Parisa – dangerous, gorgeous, a telepath.
- Callum – another dangerous telepath who really DGAF.
Throughout the story I realized none of them are actually likable – all their flaws are on display and their hunger for power and knowledge (whatever The Society is offering) is pretty much their biggest flaw. The one who grew on me the most I think is Nick. Especially because he has this friend Gideon who maybe he feels something for? I’m not even sure…I was even thinking Nick and Libby would make a great enemies to lovers kind of storyline. But now I don’t know!
+ World building is fascinating. There is a secret society, with access to the Library of Alexandria, who is offering a place for 6 potential recruits. These recruits are the best of the best and have certain abilities the Society is looking for. Their task? To protect the Library and basically learn and study until they are initiated. Learning about their abilities is interesting. I don’t know that I understand a lot about the time traveling – it always takes me awhile for me to grasp things like that – but Libby and Nico’s powers are cool and very useful. Reina’s is cool because come on…plants! The telepaths of course are good but scary. But there is so much more to learn about this world.
+ During their time at the library, these people get more powerful and then they learn only 5 of them will be chosen. One person must die and they basically have to work it among themselves. This is where alliances are created and broken. There is a lot of distrust among them – even I didn’t really know who would be the best to kill off except Callum was on my list as person #1. Parisa being number 2…lol I just would hate having someone be in my head manipulating me! But the tension between all of them is good.
+ The ending was a good twist and makes me want to read book two as soon as it comes out.
~ Some parts of the book was slow and I think because there are six POV’s and I knew I was going to become more interested in certain ones over others and that’s what happened. At least each chapter is fairly short but for a time while they are at the library and just basically learning more about science and their skill…I was wondering what else was going to happen at the library because all they were doing was learning. But I was kinda there and reading it for the personal dramas 😅. Libby hates Nick, Libby wants friends, everyone hates Libby, Reina hates everyone but tolerates Nick, Callum thinks he’s better than everyone, Parisa knows she’s better than everyone, and Tristan just wants to be used.
~ There is a little bit of romance, but I can’t get a feel for what’s going to happen. Like is Libby and Nick a potential thing? I love that they are reluctant hateful besties in a way lol. What about Nick and Gideon though? I definitely want to see that develop! And then Libby and Tristan? I mean it could work…maybe? I don’t know. There were not really any romantics feelings being talked about except for Tristan and how he was feeling about Libby.
Tropes: chosen ones, rivals, alliances, dark academia, time travel, unlikable/morally gray characters, sentient library
Spice Level: 🌶 (one scene in particular but it is not graphic)
Why you should read it:
- dark academia vibes – mysterious, so much learning, and characters who are kind of full of themselves (at least some of them are)
- a group that needs to eliminate one person, flawed characters, a magical library, can’t trust anyone
- entertaining and cool world building
Why you might not want to read it:
- pacing was off, slow at times, especially getting to know 6 people and their motivations while trying to keep things mysterious
- I felt like it was a contest to see who was the most loathsome character lol
I can see the hype about this book and I can also see why people didn’t like it. It definitely seems like the type of book that you either love or hate. I enjoyed it but maybe because I went in with lowered expectations and waited for the hype to die down. I found the six characters very flawed and yet fascinating. I was trying to figure out who I would kill off if I was in the group. Now as for their pursuit of knowledge – it’s slow and you really have to get to the end to find out why these people were chosen. I found the world building fascinating but I also want to know more so I’m definitely reading the second book when it comes out in two weeks.