The Atlas Six by Olivie Blake – Blog Tour Book Review
About the Book
Secrets. Betrayal. Seduction.
Welcome to the Alexandrian Society.
When the world’s best magicians are offered an extraordinary opportunity, saying yes is easy. Each could join the secretive Alexandrian Society, whose custodians guard lost knowledge from ancient civilizations.
Their members enjoy a lifetime of power and prestige. Yet each decade, only six practitioners are invited – to fill five places.
Contenders Libby Rhodes and Nico de Varona are inseparable enemies, cosmologists who can control matter with their minds. Parisa Kamali is a telepath, who sees the mind’s deepest secrets. Reina Mori is a naturalist who can perceive and understand the flow of life itself. And Callum Nova is an empath, who can manipulate the desires of others. Finally there’s Tristan Caine, whose powers mystify even himself.
Following recruitment by the mysterious Atlas Blakely, they travel to the Society’s London headquarters. Here, each must study and innovate within esoteric subject areas. And if they can prove themselves, over the course of a year, they’ll survive. Most of them.
About the Author
Olivie Blake, is a lover and writer of stories, and is the pen name of Alexene Farol Follmuth. Many of her stories involve the fantastic, the paranormal, or the supernatural, but not always. More often, her works revolve around the collective experience, what it means to be human (or not), and the endlessly interesting complexities of life and love.
Alexene tripped and fell into writing after abandoning her long-premeditated track for Optimum Life Achievement while attending law school, and now focuses primarily on the craft and occasional headache of creating fiction.
What I Thought
This book appears to be very much a marmite book but that’s often the case with books that have been hyped and when people go in with pre-conceptions about what it should be like.
I try and go into everything I read with an open mind and all I really knew about this one was that it was Dark Academia, which having loved Nevernight and A Deadly Education, I knew I was here for.
First up, it’s important to know that this is a multipoint of view book. All of the characters are so intriguing that I think it is necessary to get into each of their minds to unpick what is going on but I know that not everyone is a fan of switching heads so often. The cast of characters is diverse so there’s bound to be one who’s sections you want to skip forward to – but don’t.
Second, the book starts a little slowly. This is an adult title, and I’m currently doing a writing course for children and young people where the focus is very much on letting the reader know up front what is going on. Here we get introduced to each character in turn along with the mysterious Atlas but they, like us do not yet appreciate what we are getting in for.
I showed a friend the back of the book and they said the stakes weren’t high enough if five of the six get to walk away, but if you like more than one character the stakes even then are plenty high enough imho.
The magic in this is dynamic, and political and definitely has the potential to be manipulated.
In fact much manipulation and double crossing happens and who doesn’t love that in their fiction?
As you might expect with a story about knowledge it does get cerebral at times (and the tiny font in the ARC didn’t help my Long Covid brain). I love books that challenge me and make me think but the timing has to be right. That’s why I restarted this book a few times because I knew it was a story that would be more demanding for me as a reader, I was definitely intrigued from the first line’s of Libby’s section (just after the prologue). Demanding does not mean unenjoyable it just means be prepared to brain.
To help with some fun to get you in the mood here’s some artwork of our six.
Illustration by @LittleChmura
And a quiz to find out which character you are most like. Supposedly I’m Parisa!
The Atlas Six is out now and the sequel The Atlas Paradox is out in October 2022.
Use the hashtag to follow the blog tour and check out the tour events coming up in April too. Thanks to Jamie and Stephen at Black Crow and the publisher for the gifted ARC. All opinions are mine.