- Author: Olivie Blake
- Series: The Atlas #1
- Genre: Urban Fantasy
- Dates read: 01.03.2022 – 04.03.2022
- Star Rating: 5 stars
Plot: The Alexandrian Society is a secret society of magical academicians, the best in the world. Their members are caretakers of lost knowledge from the greatest civilizations of antiquity. And those who earn a place among their number will secure a life of wealth, power, and prestige beyond their wildest dreams. Each decade, the world’s six most uniquely talented magicians are selected for initiation – and here are the chosen few…
- Libby Rhodes and Nicolás Ferrer de Varona: inseparable enemies, cosmologists who can control matter with their minds.
- Reina Mori: a naturalist who can speak the language of life itself.
- Parisa Kamali: a mind reader whose powers of seduction are unmatched.
- Tristan Caine: the son of a crime kingpin who can see the secrets of the universe.
- Callum Nova: an insanely rich pretty boy who could bring about the end of the world. He need only ask.
When the candidates are recruited by the mysterious Atlas Blakely, they are told they must spend one year together to qualify for initiation. During this time, they will be permitted access to the Society’s archives and judged on their contributions to arcane areas of knowledge. Five, they are told, will be initiated. One will be eliminated. If they can prove themselves to be the best, they will survive. Most of them.
So, I saw this all over social media and managed to get my hands on a proof, even though I did end up reading it the week it came out. Despite hearing loads about it online I didn’t really know too much about the book itself. I went in relatively blind.
Now, this writing style was right up my alley. I loved how poetic the writing was but it wasn’t overly flowery. I got lost in this writing style and found myself reading page after page. I am not even joking I was so obsessed with this book that I am currently dealing with neck strain due to the fact that all I did was sit in one position and read this book for hours on end. I am dealing with the repercussions of that but it was worth it. I find that I am one of two ways when it comes to writing styles, it either has to be more matter of fact like Brandon Sanderson or the more poetic kind of writing like this novel here. I really enjoyed the writing and the way the characters were described, the way the magic was described etc.
The plot itself I enjoyed. I wouldn’t say it was the most detailed plot. It’s more of a character-based novel watching the characters learn more about themselves, each other and their powers. The plot dots in and out throughout the novel and I found I really enjoyed it like this. I felt this novel was more of a set-up for the characters and the basic points of the overarching series narrative (as this will be a trilogy). I enjoyed getting to learn more about the characters, their motivations and watching their powers, and their understanding of their powers, grow. I still felt, despite the characters being the clear focus of the novel, that what we did get plot-wise was super exciting and I cannot wait for it to be explored further.
In terms of characters, I felt we had a really diverse range of personalities which I felt was more or less balanced really well. Each character felt very distinctive and different from one another. This book is told through multiple POVs and I enjoyed being in the mind of all these characters. I had my favourites like Libby and Parisa but I enjoyed all the different characters and I loved watching them interact and how the different personalities bounced off each other. I personally found myself relating to Libby a lot so she was the character I was most drawn to. I am interested to see where the author goes with these characters in the future.
In terms of the magic systems, to be honest there is not a system at all. I didn’t mind this, I am so used to hard magic systems that it was quite refreshing to read something different. Since each character has such varying powers it’s sort of like a different rule for each individual talent and I just loved exploring those different skills and learning about them and how they work. At most the magic is connected to science in some way be that psychology or physics for example. Libby and Nico especially have their powers connected a lot to the functions of physics which personally went way over my head. I don’t really understand physics that much and it does get explored with their magic ability. I just read it and then moved on as I was getting a bit confused but it was nice to see magic and science go hand in hand.
Overall, I found this to be a fully engaging character-focused story that has me excited for the rest of the series. I can’t wait to see what happens next to these characters.