I have two great books to talk about today, and this won’t be my typical book review style. The Atlas Six and The Atlas Paradox have made such big headlines and have been reviewed so many times, I don’t think I need to do a great extensive recap of either book.
There will be SPOILERS in this post. Stop now if you haven’t finished both books!
You’ve been warned.
But here’s the central premise: Six super-powerful magical humans are recruited by a secret society. They undergo a rigorous initiation that must end with one of them dead. But things don’t go as planned and one of their numbers is prematurely taken by an outside enemy. Then, the remaining initiates are inducted as members of the society where their research continues. They must try to find their missing friend and uncover some hidden truths about the group they just pledged allegiance to. Things get a bit complicated when the dream world and the real world collide and both sides have the ability to manipulate it. Stuck in time, the missing member must make an unimaginable choice if she wants to return.
Wow, so yea, this is a great book series. If you like cliffhangers, you’ll love Olivie Blake’s books. She left both books with unanswered questions that keep you coming back for more.
I’ve seen very mixed reviews on both of these books, but especially The Atlas Paradox. Maybe the sequel didn’t live up to the hype? As they say, the original is always the best.
But I liked both of them equally. The biggest complaint I’ve read is that people thought the plot was a bit slow and this book felt like a filler to get between book 1 and book 3. I do see how this is possible. The book was pretty long, around 400 pages when maybe it could have been closer to 300. I agree that there was a bit too much inaction in this book for my taste, but the characters still pushed things along as they built friendships and romantic relationships.
The characters hold together this book. No matter what the plot is, it’s the six MCs that make it worthwhile. They are all sorting through their own messy lives, just like the rest of us. But the stakes are much higher in this magical world.
The most exciting part of book 3 is going to be Libby’s arc. She’s on the verge of going down a path one doesn’t return from. I think she’s going to cause a lot of physical damage next book, and also shatter some hearts. She’s strong and knows what she wants.
I think the way Nico and Libby interact in the next book is going to be a great source of conflict too. They’ve always butted heads but ultimately fall on the same side. I wouldn’t be so sure of this in the future and I really sort of hope we see them go head-to-head for real!
Now, we’ve got to address my absolute favorite match-up!
Nico and Gideon!!!!
I loved watching their relationship blossom. It was heart-warming and I think Blake wanted the readers to know it was going to happen before the characters knew it was going to happen. So happy they have a chance at a happy ending, but I’m a little nervous. I think there’s a chance their newly-recognized love is going to put them at risk.
“No, Nico, I would have lit on fire anyone with even the slightest intention of harming you, and that is the kind of friend I am, when I choose to be a friend.”-Olivie Blake, The Atlas Paradox
I really liked that these books have a solid magic system. There is a lot of digging by the characters to find out how their skills work and where the limits lie. It’s hard to have magic that powerful without just getting the feeling that the characters can simply fix anything with their unimaginable power. But both good and evil have powers the other side doesn’t. I mean, time travel definitely is not something easy to contend with.
In book 1, the ‘evil’ side was a little more mysterious. The other five didn’t know for sure who took Libby. We did get a great action scene early on though when the house was attacked. But book 2 really solidified Ezra as the enemy.
I’m not going to lie, I sort of tried to ignore Ezra in book 1. Oops. I read over him quickly and was convinced he was a waste of time and just waited for Libby to forget about him. Turns out I was wrong on that one! He’s a unique villain though and his powers are immense. Love that his storyline is also tricky with his relationship with Atlas and his time travel.
Callum, Tristan, Parisa, and Reina all have their parts too, but Nico (and Gideon) is my favorite. And Libby got a lot of screen time just because she was somewhere alone. The other four mains though got a little forgotten at times. There are so many characters that it’s hard for everyone to get their own stories fleshed out when they aren’t interacting with the other mains that much. Maybe that’s why this book got so long?
Then there’s also Atlas and Dalton to worry about too and they need their own time. It’s a lot of people to follow and I found myself waiting for more from Nico and Gideon and Libby the most. Which is strange because I didn’t like Libby in book 1, but she sure got interesting in the sequel. She’s not as nice as she seems, but I like that her character is growing.
There’s a lot going on in these books based on the length and the number of characters.
Basically, the first book is meant to set the stage, put the characters together, and establish that they can work together despite being vastly different people.
Then, the sequel exists to push deeper into the characters’ powers and their minds. We get an inside look at what these magicians can do.
But we’ll have to wait until book three to know if they all make it to the end in one piece.
Overall, I liked both books and I think a lot of other fantasy fans will too.
Don’t get bogged down with a few bad reviews. There’s a whole mysterious and powerful world to explore with the Atlas six.