Book Review | The Atlas Six by Olivie Blake

First of all, happy publication day to The Atlas Paradox (HERE) the sequel to the book I’ll be reviewing today: The Atlas Six by Olivie Blake. The Atlas Six is a self-confessed TikTok sensation. This immensely popular adult fantasy book was my first step into the world of dark academia…

“The problem with knowledge, is its inexhaustible craving. the more of it you have, the less you feel you know”

The Alexandrian Society is a secretive order that guards lost knowledge of hidden civilizations. Atlas Blakely, the mysterious caretaker of the  London headquarters, is offering six of the world’s most talented magicians the opportunity to become members and experience a lifetime of knowledge, power, wealth and prestige. However, they must first prove themselves worthy of initiation. It soon becomes clear that each contender has their own motives, secrets and ambitions and that only five will be able to walk away with a coveted position.

I have mixed feelings about this book. I enjoyed it but also found it terribly frustrating. Throughout we switch between the POVs of a diverse cast of six LGBTQIA+ characters:

Libby Rhodes is a physicist who can exert uncanny control over every element of physicality.

Nico de Varona is her equally powerful and unwitting counterpart.

Parisa Kamali is a telepath who can traverse the depths of the subconscious.

Reina Mori is a naturalist who can perceive and understand the flow of life itself.

Callum Nova is an empath who frequently manipulates and controls people’s emotions.

Tristan Caine can see through illusions to a new structure of reality.

Each character has unimaginable potential, however, even after 578 pages, I felt like I’d barely scratched the surface of these incredibly complex characters. Instead of character development, I felt like I was being endlessly lectured about the ethics and practicalities of the highly intricate world and magic system I was thrown into; albeit through beautifully written prose.

The Atlas Six was highly enjoyable but I found myself unconsciously drifting over certain sections. I desperately want to know more about these characters. They display god-like powers yet we very rarely see them put to use. There were scenes I thought flowed beautifully like Callum and Parisa’s battle of witts in the classroom which gave us both a glimpse into Calum’s true capacity for cruelty and Parisa’s incredible technique and power. However, we know very little about their background and agendas.

I really enjoyed The Atlas Six although it felt like I read a lengthy prologue instead of a well-rounded book. There are just too many characters to feel fully invested in their story, however, there is an extraordinary amount of potential to explore. Blake’s writing style is beautifully hypnotic, I just felt a little short-changed when it came to character depth and the story arc. I will be purchasing The Atlas Paradox later today and I’ve already heard rumors of a third book being in production. My expectations are really high for the sequel. I feel like I’ve read the introduction, now it’s time to delve into the story…

The Atlas Six by Olivie Blake is available to buy HERE.