Six are chosen to be initiates to the Alexandrian Society, caretakers of the world’s knowledge reserves. For all the riches and power in the world, who wouldn’t agree? But the six don’t know what they’ve signed up for and when the time comes, what will be at stake to become a member of the Society.
I had been seeing The Atlas Six everywhere! And only rave reviews of it. Considering that it’s a fantasy novel with a secret society and people who possess diverse magical powers, I thought I would enjoy reading it immensely too.
But that wasn’t the case at all. I haven’t come across many fantasy novels that disappointed me as much as The Atlas Six did.
For starters, each chapter alternates between the perspective of six characters.
Now, stories that are narrated through multiple perspectives aren’t all doomed from the start. And I actually liked the beginning 10-15% of this novel since I got to understand the characters a bit.
Where it all started to lose appeal for me was when I realized that most of this book is just characters discussing each other, discussing their powers, discussing science, thoughts, mechanisms, and discussing the way of the world. There’s very little plot-oriented action and comparatively, little magic actually being used.
Plus, some of the complex ideas and theories were just flung into the narrative without sufficient explanation. So, all of it just flew over my head.
I also wasn’t a fan of the writing style. I can certainly see that Olivie Blake has a talent for writing and the imagination to go with it. It’s just that a bunch of different factors didn’t work for me in The Atlas Six.
Passages in the book felt curated, somewhat like an aesthetic social media feed (not that there’s anything wrong with that). But at least it should lend something to the plot progression or character development. Spoiler alert – it doesn’t.
They are all just fleeting thoughts that would go well on a mood board and didn’t make the conversation the characters were having even the slightest bit realistic.
Is it just me, or did Lizzy Rhodes remind you too of Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter series? She is inquisitive, highly intellectual, nosy, and competitive. Regardless of the resemblance, I like the character journey that was charted for Lizzy.
There’s a twist towards the end that you’ll probably not see coming. By then, I was ready to have finished the book so it didn’t leave as much of an impression on me.
I don’t know if it’s because I wasn’t heavily invested in the novel after a point that a lot of the scene changes, location changes, and time jumps seemed extremely abrupt. I’d find myself re-reading the previous page just to be sure I hadn’t missed out on something.
All in all, I didn’t like The Atlas Six; wouldn’t recommend it to anyone. If you’re looking for a sci-fi fantasy novel released in 2022, consider reading Iron Widow by Xiran Jay Zhao.
Note – I received an ALC of this book from Libro.fm in exchange for an honest review.