Title: The Atlas Six
Author: Olivie Blake
Cover artist: Olivie Blake
Illustrations: Little Chmura
Genre: Fantasy, Dark Academia
Publisher: Self Published
Age Range: New Adult
Publishing Date: 2020
Diverse and LGBTQIA+
Trigger warnings: Alcohol, Blood, Death, Degenerative disease, Guns/Gunshot wound, Manipulation, Murder, Sex scenes (not explicit), Suicide
It’s not often that a self-published book gets so much praise that it ends up being bid on by seven traditional publishers, and has an adaptation in the works before the traditionally published book has even been released! However, The Atlas Six by Olivie Blake has certainly come full force since its initial release in 2020, with a huge thank you to the world of Booktok.
I picked up a copy of the self-published version last year and recently picked it up, with the understanding that I would pick up the new version if I liked it (spoiler, I LOVED it). Once a decade six of the world’s most uniquely talented magicians are offered a place in the initiation, for what you may ask? The six chosen quickly discover that it is an initiation for a place in the secret organisation, The Alexandrian Society, and only five are chosen!
I went into this book knowing very little, and I am so pleased I did. Olivie Blake weaves a smart complex magic system into the story, opting for some small info dump sections that work well within the story. Magic based in science? Yes, please!
The book flicks between characters’ viewpoints, with Olivie Blake masterfully maintaining their individual voice and reactions to those around them. As the group grow closer, they are constantly reminded that one of them will not pass the initiation, leading them to finally ask, what happens to the sixth person?
It has hard to discuss The Atlas Six without its strong, well thought out characters, each with their own opinions, backstory, and understanding of the complex nature of the initiation. Besides the fabulous six main characters, we meet multiple side characters who are just as compelling throughout.
Libby and Nico are able to control matter with their minds, long term academic rivals, and are inseparable when it comes to their magic.
Parisa is a telepath who has learnt the best way to wield her power to her exactly what she wants, whilst seeing into your deepest secrets.
Reina is an extremely gifted naturalist who can see the flow of life, whilst also despising her power.
Callum can use his empathic abilities to manipulate the will of others, whether it crosses a moral boundary or not.
Tristan can see through illusions, but how gifted he is remains a mystery even to himself.
It is hard to discuss this book without risking spoilers, so let me say that this is ideal for anyone who enjoys dark academia, a smart intriguing magic system, fade to black sex scenes, and characters with questionable motives. The Atlas Six is the first in a planned trilogy, and I can only imagine it getting better, and more gripping from here.
Honestly, the stunning illustrations alone are worth picking this book up for!
The traditionally published version has been edited, with new scenes added, and characters were slightly rewritten, as such I have since picked up a newer copy and can’t wait to give the story a reread.
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Have you read The Atlas Six? What are your thoughts?
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