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THE ATLAS SIX by Olivie Blake – double review!

The Alexandrian Society, caretakers of lost knowledge from the greatest civilizations of antiquity, are the foremost secret society of magical academicians in the world. Those who earn a place among the Alexandrians will secure a life of wealth, power, and prestige beyond their wildest dreams, and each decade, only the six most uniquely talented magicians are selected to be considered for initiation. 

Enter the latest round of six: Libby Rhodes and Nico de Varona, unwilling halves of an unfathomable whole, who exert uncanny control over every element of physicality. Reina Mori, a naturalist, who can intuit the language of life itself. Parisa Kamali, a telepath who can traverse the depths of the subconscious, navigating worlds inside the human mind. Callum Nova, an empath easily mistaken for a manipulative illusionist, who can influence the intimate workings of a person’s inner self. Finally, there is Tristan Caine, who can see through illusions to a new structure of reality—an ability so rare that neither he nor his peers can fully grasp its implications. 

When the candidates are recruited by the mysterious Atlas Blakely, they are told they will have one year to qualify for initiation, during which time they will be permitted preliminary access to the Society’s archives and judged based on their contributions to various subjects of impossibility: time and space, luck and thought, life and death. Five, they are told, will be initiated. One will be eliminated. The six potential initiates will fight to survive the next year of their lives, and if they can prove themselves to be the best among their rivals, most of them will. 

Most of them.

Title : The Atlas Six
Author : Olivie Blake
Series : The Atlas #1
Format : Physical ARC / eARC
Page Count : 336
Genre : Adult Fantasy
Publisher : Tor Books
Release Date : March 3, 2022 (UK) / March 1, 2022

Reviewer : Micky / Hollis
Rating : ★ ★ / ★ ★ .5

Micky’s 4 star review

Full concentration needed ahead
Clever and complex plot
Multiple MCs in a good way
A marathon but worth it

The Atlas Six felt like a read of epic proportions. This was a story with a grandious and complex plot, weaving and winding but by the end, you’re impressed by its stature. It constantly left me with the feeling that I wasn’t quite grasping things as I went along, but honestly, I think that’s part of the appeal as you reach the culmination of book one.

The book centred around six main characters and three or four substantial side characters. The main characters were truly fascinating, one was completely awful and one I grew to understand but didn’t like. They were all very different and that was what made them part of the chosen Atlas Six; their differences and their talents.

The world building was again…complex and as long as you concentrate, you’ll keep up as a reader. Learning the characters, the talents, the magical world, the organisations and the plot as it twisted and turned was challenging sometimes but ultimately rewarding. I enjoyed some of the unexpected rise to prominence from side characters and the things that weren’t what they seemed.

I would say this read was pacey. It felt long, sometimes trudging but always engaging. I appreciated this as a buddy read and being able to chat the plot and characters through. I’m definitely pumped to read more from this crew, I want to see my favs come through.

Thank you to Black Crow PR and Tor for the advanced copy.

Hollis’ 3.5 star review

No, it isn’t deja vu you’re feeling, I did already read and review this one. However, I also thought I had read that the re-release via trad publisher was going to have some edits or minor changes and.. I don’t think it did. So it could be that I misremembered a thing or two, the changes were subtle, or I was wrong in thinking that changes were to come. Pick your poison.

Either way, alas, my thoughts have not really changed from the first go round. I do think I enjoyed my time with the book a little more (which is why I bumped it a bit, even though it’s just semantics) but fundamentally my thoughts are the same.

This book somehow manages to be big and small in scope and the ensemble is a merry go round of shifting dynamics, in a mostly good way, but I think this’ll be a series that shines more in hindsight than it does in the infancy of it all. But, I mean, it could also all go to pot along the way depending on what awaits us. But. I choose to hope.

If you love an ensemble, if you are into academia-settings, fantasy and magic, and a whole lot of wtaf and mystery, you should definitely give this one a go.

** I received an ARC from NetGalley and the publisher (thank you!) in exchange for an honest review. **