ARC Review: The Atlas Six by Olivie Blake

Publication Date: March 1st 2022

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.

My thoughts & feelings …

Lads. I think it’s time to just admit to myself that maybe Dark Academia isn’t for me. As heartbreaking as that may be. I like the vibes and the aesthetic but the stories just don’t hit.

I’ve seen this book all around the book-esphere since it’s first release back in 2020. Never got around to finding out what it was about though outside of the fact that it was Dark Academia. I was pleasantly surprised by the actual premise of the plot though: six of the worlds most powerful magic-wielders being recruited by a society that possess lost knowledge. I liked the blending of magic with dark-academia.

I also liked that this wasn’t a YA. Of all the characters, we’re first introduced to Nico and Libby at their graduation ceremony. Because I thought this was YA I assumed it meant their high-school graduation and it took the longest time for me to get it into my head that they were early-20’s college graduates.

In my opinion the strengths of this book lie in the character and their relationships/interactions with each other, and the mystery of it. I can’t go into too much detail of this mystery because spoilers but just know that when that kicked in I became infinitley more entertained and do plan on reading the sequel to find out what happens.

In terms of the characters: their as much sexual tension as murderous tension. I swear to God there’s an infinte amount of possible ships and I don’t know what direction the genre’s are going to go. I’m personaly rooting for Libby & Nico (how could I not when this line exists: “I know exactly what shape she takes up in the universe,” he pleaded in explanation. “If anyone can recognize her, it’s me.”) and also Parisa & Dalton. I kind of love this uncertaintity surrounding where the relationships are going to go. It’s another thing that’s going to push me to read the sequel.

What I didn’t love was that this book was quite slow. It did have a lot more action scenes then any other Dark Academia I’ve read but it took a while to get going. There’s a lot of explanation: introducing the characters, going into detail on the society’s history, etc. It’s also very academic (duh Elli, what do you expect?!). They’re melding together like super sciency-sounding theories with magic and all of that went right over my head. It was cool at first because I really did like this conversion of magic and higher-education, but pretty soon I was skimming over these parts, only taking in the general idea of it.

If I were to give this a star rating I think it’d probably be somewhere in the 3 to 3.5 range of things. Good but I personally didn’t find it great. I definitely am planning to read the sequel though for all the reasons I just mentioned.

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