Book Review

The Atlas Six by Olivie Blake | Book Review

The Atlas Six by Olivie Blake
Release Date: 1st March 2022
Genre: Adult, Fantasy
Source: Publisher, NetGalley
Rating: ★★★.5

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…

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.

Obviously, I have seen all the hype for The Atlas Six. I no longer let hype suck me in nowadays as I’ve been burnt before, but nevertheless I was curious about reading this one. I don’t read much dark academia as it’s really not my genre, and I don’t understand the enthusiasm for it (unless it’s boarding school vibes, in which case YES).

I flew through the beginning of The Atlas Six, even though one could argue that the start of the book is the most boring. You follow Atlas as he goes around collecting the main characters to introduce them to this mysterious society, and it’s all very monotonous and repetitive. That said, I liked getting to know the characters in advance, even though it was done in the least subtle way possible.

I read the first two hundred pages or so in good time. Then the book started to drag in the middle because nothing of note was happening. The characters spent a lot of time talking to one another, theorising about their powers, but at the same time other characters were completely absent. Nico and Reina, for example, were often conveniently off-page sparring because the author didn’t want them in a scene.

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I didn’t like any of the ships – or potential ships – that were going on, apart from perhaps Libby and Nico. But even with their bickering, I really do see the two of them as friends more than anything else. I didn’t care for the relationships between anyone.

I have a bit of a gripe with how Parisa, the only confirmed bisexual main character, was portrayed. I have noticed that in a lot of media that bisexual woman are often shown to be cheaters or overly sexual. Parisa in this book uses this to her advantage, yes, but it still felt like a stereotype and was very disappointing.

All that said, I did enjoy my time with The Atlas Six, and I was intrigued by the ending. I’m looking forward to reading the sequel when it comes out later this month, and it’ll be particularly interesting to see how Blake’s writing has evolved since writing this first book.

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