**Thank you to TorUK and Black Crow PR for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review and for allowing me to be a part of this tour**
WHAT IS IT ABOUT?
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.
WHAT ARE MY THOUGHTS?
You know when you just know from the opening chapter of a book that you’re going to love a book? This was one of those books for me!
Every 10 years, 6 individuals are exclusively selected to compete for a spot in the Alexandrian Society, a secret organisation that safeguards the supposed lost works and knowledge from the Library of Alexandria among other ancient civilisations. The Atlas Six follows Libby, Nico, Parisa, Tristan, Callum and Reina – who are believed to be the most powerful and talented magicians (medians) of their time on their pursuit for the 5 open spots and all the power and knowledge the positions hold.
“…the problem with knowledge, is its inexhaustible craving. The more of it you have, the less you feel you know…”
I’ll begin by saying that if you enjoy character driven storylines then you will eat this book up just as much as I did. It is for the most part one intense and intimate character study that is woven into a pretty straightforward storyline following the characters on their perusal of knowledge, training of their powers and staking out the competition. However, there is also an element of mystery to the plot that is all about uncovering the protected secrets of the society and what being a part of it actually entails.
There is no doubt that this book is an adult one particularly with the themes and with all the primary characters being 21 and older however, the student and competition aspects do give it a slight upper YA/New Adult edge at times. Not that this was a drawback in any way but it may not be some people’s thing. Furthermore the pacing is slower than I had anticipated going in, but it is still a very suspenseful read. Plus Blake’s writing is so eloquent and everything is so meticulously pieced together that I couldn’t take my eyes away.
“That was the peril of thought. Thoughts were so rarely dismissed once they’d been picked up and toyed with, and a mind successfully altered could rarely, if ever, revert. Worse were feelings. Feelings were never forgotten, even if their sources were.”
The world building, in terms of the settings was quite subtle and simple. What instantly captured my interest though was the magic system, which did get a little complex at times but I was absolutely obsessed with the major X-Men vibes of it all!! A medians powers either fall into being physical (where the individual can manipulate the elements) or mental (telepathy, empathy, illusionary) but the sheer variation and versatility of any one individual’s abilities made the magic feel so original and exciting.
There were fascinating discussions brought into the narrative involving space and time and philosophy when the characters were experimenting with their powers so not only does this big brain of a book keep you highly entertained it equally tests your intelligence and I loved it!
“You’re a fire hazard, Rhodes… So stop apologizing for the damage and just let the fucker burn.”
Each and every single one of the characters (minor characters included) had me completely entranced, not just by their powers but their emotions, their assessments of situations and their sharpness. They are all so messy and the relationships that form between them even more so. There’s deliciously witty banter, reluctant alliances, manipulation and SO MUCH sexual tension between everyone!! Even though some of the characters were more likeable than others and there were pairings that I was particularly rooting for, by the end I was fixated by them all!
Balancing 6 points of view equally has got to be tricky and Blake did it so well in this book but I have to admit I found myself wishing Reina had gotten a bit more page time so here’s to that happening in book 2.
Speaking of which that ending has me craving the next book so badly!!! Thus I am kind of glad that I read this now rather than almost a whole year ago when the initial hype train was making its way around the internet.
Now to impatiently count down the days until The Atlas Paradox arrives…
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