The atlas six: makes you wish you were there

I'm a sucker for anything dark academia. Six people compete for a spot in this secret society
The atlas six book review image- Xoraslibrary

Table of Contents

Book name: The Atlas Six

Author: Olivie Blake

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Genre: Fantasy Fiction

Pages: 373

The Atlas Six follows six extraordinary magical initiatives in Alexandrian society. They are chosen by the library’s current caretaker Atlas who I felt resembles Professor X. He has the power to get into people’s minds. The library has a tradition to recruit six magicians every ten years. They all compete, from what I understand, for his spot. To become the next caretaker of the library. 

Atlas also reminds me a little of the owl from the spirit library in Avatar the Last Airbender. Because of the way he speaks and carries himself as this poised man with so much knowledge. And power. Also because of how he treats the library. 

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Backstory: 

However, The Alexandrian Library was an actual real library back then. Until It was destroyed. This library contained half a million documents from Assyria, Greece, Persia, Egypt, and so many other nations. Apparently over 100 scholars stayed in the museum to research, write or translate documents. 

So maybe this plays off that because, on the first page, there’s a line that says ” The little-known truth of the matter is that the library of Alexandria burned down to save itself. It died to rise again” and there were caretakers who protected the secrecy of the library’s rebirth. 

Also on the first page, It says that this library contained thousands of papyrus scrolls on history, math, science, and even magic. The ancient caretakers rebuilt the library in secret. It needed to stay carefully hidden to survive. The caretakers of this library would have access to all the knowledge that ever existed. In return, their job was to nurture it to make it grow.  

As we read deep into the story- I could be wrong but it gave me the impression that to make the library grow was death. Choosing six initiatives but at the end of the year, only five were inducted. But I’m not sure that was even necessary. Seeing how some initiatives never died and the library continued. So what is this sacrifice really about?

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The atlas Six Characters

Libby Rhodes and Nicolas Verona

Libby Rhodes and Nicolas Verona were initiated after graduation. They are always in competition with each other. At first, It seems like they have an enemy-to-lovers situation going on but now I get sibling vibes. We later see that their powers only work well when they’re together.

 They are constantly arguing and trying to one-up one another. They only accepted the position because they knew the other one would accept. 

 When Nico was exhausting himself putting up a barrier spell, Libby somehow felt it and came to help him- I think they are literally other halves of each other. 

Reina

Reina is a naturalist. Nature is drawn to her, constantly begging for her permission to grow. 

Libby and Nico describe her as a power source. She gives the vibe that she doesn’t enjoy being around other people and that she only came because of the knowledge the library can provide for her. 

I don’t think she cares to fight for the caretaker position. Mostly she stays to herself and doesn’t talk to anyone. 

Tristan

Tristan can see through illusions. If someone asked me who my least fav character was it would be Tristan. There were times when I felt like he was completely useless and it’s not because he doesn’t know the extent of his power and how to use it. 

But because for someone whose power is reading people, he sure can be gullible and can’t think for himself. 

It’s hinted that he is Atlas’s favorite and I didn’t understand that till the very end. It seems like it’s because Tristan can see through time. Maybe even travel through time like someone Atlas once called a friend. 

Callum

 I’m not sure what to call his power but he can manipulate/convince people to do whatever he wants them to do. He’s been manipulating Tristan the whole book and I still am not sure of his motives. 

Callum thinks highly of himself, He believes that he’s the most powerful of the six. Simply because he can make them do whatever and manipulate their reality.  

Parisa

And lastly, Parisa- Like Atlas can also go into people’s minds. She can too. The book mentions her beauty many times, she usually uses her power when she’s seducing people. She has a relationship with Dalton- Atlas’s assistant. I can’t tell if she actually likes him. She is used to getting attention and at first Dalton wasn’t giving her that.

As she goes deep into his mind though she finds a younger Dalton begging to get out. “I have questions, I have research unfinished, Let me out!”. 

Each time she went into his mind, Atlas would somehow be there to pull her out. Like he was following her. So I’m not sure what he is hiding. 

Is the society truly what they say they are or does Atlas have his own agenda? 

Was Dalton getting close to the truth and Atlas closed that man into his own mind?

Atlas

Atlas seems very shady to me. Back when he himself was an initiative, he met Ezra.  

They made a mutual decision to mess with the society because they didn’t agree with the way the society would kill one of the six to grow. 

So together they faked Ezra’s death and secretly planned to take over the society when it was time. But Atlas never followed through with the taking over part. 

My thoughts 

If you are into dark academia and magical students. I do think you will enjoy this book. 

The characters do not seem as developed I will say that. I felt confused on their motives. Especially Atlas. He doesn’t seem like a man capable of feelings but somehow we’re supposed to believe he cares about this one student who disappears?

The same with Callum. He has been waiting to get rid of someone for the sacrifice but when someone is “dead” Suddenly he’s all in to save that person?

The ending was very interesting because I did not expect that at all. When I was looking back, I could see some signs but it was super subtle.

I like how the story starts with a “before” so readers could see the reason why Atlas is recruiting six initiatives. It’s also told from multi perspectives. So we get to know each character and their background from their point of views.

To me it didn’t feel like there was much world-building going on, We just jump right into the characters and the plot. 

I would give this a 3.5 because I love the harry potter vibes it gives off. But I wish there was more insight on why. why should I care about this whole secret society. The sacrifice isn’t clear. But I guess the next book would explore that more.  

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