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The Atlas #1

The Atlas Six

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The Alexandrian Society, caretakers of lost knowledge from the greatest civilizations of antiquity, are the foremost secret society of magical academicians in the world. Those who earn a place among the Alexandrians will secure a life of wealth, power, and prestige beyond their wildest dreams, and each decade, only the six most uniquely talented magicians are selected to be considered for initiation.

Enter the latest round of six: Libby Rhodes and Nico de Varona, unwilling halves of an unfathomable whole, who exert uncanny control over every element of physicality. Reina Mori, a naturalist, who can intuit the language of life itself. Parisa Kamali, a telepath who can traverse the depths of the subconscious, navigating worlds inside the human mind. Callum Nova, an empath easily mistaken for a manipulative illusionist, who can influence the intimate workings of a person’s inner self. Finally, there is Tristan Caine, who can see through illusions to a new structure of reality—an ability so rare that neither he nor his peers can fully grasp its implications.

When the candidates are recruited by the mysterious Atlas Blakely, they are told they will have one year to qualify for initiation, during which time they will be permitted preliminary access to the Society’s archives and judged based on their contributions to various subjects of impossibility: time and space, luck and thought, life and death. Five, they are told, will be initiated. One will be eliminated. The six potential initiates will fight to survive the next year of their lives, and if they can prove themselves to be the best among their rivals, most of them will.

Most of them.

375 pages, Hardcover

First published January 31, 2020

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About the author

Olivie Blake

26 books9,148 followers
Olivie Blake is the pseudonym of Alexene Farol Follmuth, a lover and writer of stories, many of which involve the fantastic, the paranormal, or the supernatural, but not always. More often, her works revolve around what it means to be human (or not), and the endlessly interesting complexities of life and love.

Olivie has penned several indie SFF projects, including the webtoon Clara and the Devil with illustrator Little Chmura and the viral Atlas series. As Follmuth, her young adult rom-com My Mechanical Romance releases May 2022.

Olivie lives in Los Angeles with her husband and new baby, where she is generally tolerated by her rescue pit bull.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 25,387 reviews
Profile Image for ishika.
56 reviews388 followers
September 5, 2022
i’m writing this fresh off the back of dragging myself over the finish line of the ordeal of this fucking book, finally being able to put my finger on it. don’t read if this book is your blood and soul, i guess, (which from the looks of it, it seems to be for around half of dark academia booktwt). spoilers towards the end.

here’s atlas six's problem: none of the characters are as cool as the writer clearly thinks they are, and the book is no where near as compelling as it so desperately wants to be.

none of the characters are interesting. most of them are assholes (and not even in a fun way, in a “when will this damn POV chapter end” way, except there’s no relief when it does end because you turn the page and the next chapter is the POV of a character who’s equally annoying.) and it’s not about things being pretentious - i pretty much expected that - it’s about it being pretentious without any substance. it’s just obnoxious.

“Neither. Beauty is nothing. Nothing anyone sees is real; only how they perceive it.” [this was in the middle of a conversation sparked by how her boobs aren’t symmetrical or something. the conversation continues as if she didn’t say this.]

“Funny how that worked; the innocent fragility of being human.”

“A flaw of humanity. The compulsion to be unique, which is at war with the desire to belong to a single identifiable sameness.”

“It’s not the meaning. Everyone wants a purpose, but there is no purpose. There is only alive and not alive.”

“Did they hurt you?”

“What are we celebrating?”
“Our fragile mortality,” Tristan said. “The inevitability that we will descend into chaos and dust.”

they talk like this. All. The. Fucking. Time.

there’s a line where Tristan begs Callum to act like a person and stop acting like everything’s a performance, and he put into words more beautifully than i ever could the problem—except it’s not just Callum’s problem, it’s the problem in every character.

and literally half the time when someone says something #deep or #edgy or #thoughtful it literally.. it literally doesn’t mean anything. like it doesn’t mean anything in the context of the conversation or even wider themes it’s just like. a pretty looking sentence. you know those dramatic lines that people love to put in edits? this book's writing style is just all of the dramatic lines that people love to put in edits, for 300 pages. callum’s POV is particularly atrocious when it comes to this.

imagine any of these things being said to you irl. you’d laugh at them! perhaps it’d be more bearable if there was any self awareness about this, but nine times out of ten it’s played dead straight. i cannot take this seriously. i rolled my eyes so many times that my extraocuoar muscles are legitimately strained. i want so badly to see all of these characters to go to british state school so they can get bullied. dear god.

on top of that, none of these people like each other. i suspect the point was that they were meant to distrust each other and work for their own ambitions—but i literally don’t know what half those ambitions are beyond a superficial “power” and “something that interests me”. they “use” and “mistrust” and “betray” each other in this really surface level way too, in which there’s no actual cleverness to anything. take for example someone will be being used by someone else: in their pov they’ll think “they’re using me”, in that character’s pov they’ll think “i am using this other person” and then you’ll have character C who comes up to them and says “you know they’re using you, right?”. with tristan and callum i counted this happening like three or four times OK WE GET IT CALLUM IS USING HIM! can we please move on to the plot 😭 oh yeah, what the fuck are half of them there for?? like not just a vague power or ambition, like substantially.

the only plot i can fumble together is a vague “bachelor but for murder” that isn’t even followed through on. but alongside there being no plot, there’s also simultaneously no downtime. there are six pov characters and all of them have (at most) 1 semi-developed dynamic with any other member of the six when they don’t even spend this book doing anything else. what excuse is there for them to *not* have developed dynamics (or in some cases, personalities)? the author is a pantser and has favourites and it clearly shows. she definitely does not give a shit about Reina (you cannot fucking tell me she does anything of any importance or even remotely matters) and adores Parisa and desperately wants the reader to think she’s interesting and cool, shown by how Parisa is constantly shoved down our throat in every other scene no matter whose POV it is and somehow is still no more interesting at the end than she is at the start.

“It terrifies me how easily I can watch it corrupt.”

apparently libby’s on a corruption arc and Blake has spoken about her specifically wanting to accomplish not writing good characters, so i’m looking forward to one of the only half decent characters becoming just as insufferable as the rest of them. i’m definitely not saying that writing characters who aren’t good people can’t be interesting or compelling—honestly i’d like to see more of it—but there’s a difference between that and just writing a bunch of characters who are pretentious, boring assholes with no compelling or likeable qualities and writing character who i give a shit reading about. further, i'm really tired of these really generic corruption arcs that have no real kick behind them. the appeal of a corruption arc for me is being able to see the seemingly rational steps a character (at least from their point of view) makes down the staircase, not them being a good person -> having a half-hearted moral dilemma for a few scenes -> is now willing to kill and do anything for an undefined and frankly generic “power”. how boring. how uncompelling.

what baffles me the most is that the main thing i’d seen about this book before starting was the shipping discourse. guys, there’s nothing to ship. none of these fuckers like each other, and not even in an interesting way. nico and libby had a rivalry at the start, had no further development for most of the book until the very end. tristan and libby fucked and he was kind of into her more than he was parisa after that, i guess. parisa finds dalton and tristan vaguely interesting but her own insufferability ruins any of her dynamics and callum is clingy when it comes to tristan. nico spends a third of his chapters literally dreaming about some half-mermaid (?) gideon fucker with mommy issues, and they have a whole side plot and backstory that even at the end of the book doesn’t seem to tie into anything else. that’s it for ships, and i don’t get how people are invested in any of these dynamics in the slightest. they barely exist.

you know the audio that’s like “didn’t like the Godfather. just didn’t like it. it insists upon itself”. that is this book. it is so heavy-handed and it’s clear Blake had a lot of interesting ideas for characters, but was completely unable to show it outside of literally telling us. repeatedly. without any ounce of subtly at all

i get this review probably comes off as really harsh and as though i hated the book. i didn’t. i just got to the 80% mark and found myself thinking “why am i reading this? when will this ordeal be fucking over? when can i get the satisfaction from one of these losers getting murdered?” and didn’t want to dnf before reaching the exciting ending some people talked about. it was not exciting. sorry.

it turns out the big beating heart of the question that fuels the plot of this very intellectual book is “murder bad? 🤔” wow. much to think about. much intellectual rigour. if i’m being generous, i could say “murder for power bad? 🤔” but that’s even less of a question lmao.

“She had more power now than she had ever possessed.”

WHAT POWER, LIBBY?? WHAT? i would love to see it. i’ve seen you create one tiny black hole over the course of 200 pages, in a world where that doesn’t seem to be too extraordinary. i personally wouldn’t care to consider murder over that but YMMV i guess.

(side note: we’re told repeatedly that libby is mega powerful and could do so much if she just had confidence by basically every character. really cool, sounds interesting. once again, would have loved to have seen it.)

and no one even got murdered! 😭 you can’t beat me over the head with this moral dilemma for a good half of the book and answer it by having one of your characters be kidnapped and sent to some fucking time vault or whatever at the last minute.

jesus christ. what a waste of fucking time.
Profile Image for ❦ jazmin.
513 reviews737 followers
May 2, 2022
"The problem with knowledge, is its inexhaustible craving. The more of it you have, the less you feel you know."

✧・゚: *✧・゚:* *:・゚✧*:・゚✧

As much as I love books that are so incredible that they rid my brain of any coherent thoughts, they make it very hard to write a review that makes sense to anyone but myself. So let me just make that clear right now; this book was amazing and you should definitely read it even if my review isn’t up to par.

⇢The Plot

For some reason… everything and nothing simultaneously happened in this book. I feel like my mind was stretched and spread repeatedly, over and over, but if you asked me to explain what really happened in this book I would completely blank. Basically, magical competition, six competitors, dark academia, books, and a ton of lies to unravel. That’s all I can give you. (Note: That's all I can give you in the best way. As in you need to go experience this magnificence for yourself.)

“The moral of this story is:

Beware the man who faces you unarmed.

If in his eyes you are not the target, then you can be sure you are the weapon.”

What I can say is that the writing was magical. It was poetry-like prose, but not complicated enough to deter me from wanting to continue. You know how sometimes the writing is just too much? Olivie Blake’s was just enough.

⇢The Characters

“And so where there had once been six were now, irreversibly, one.”

The reason the plot was so hard to describe is because this book was definitely character-focused. My favourite. Obviously, as I mentioned, we follow six magical people, but the best part about this book is that they’re such well-written characters that when I think of them it’s not the magic that comes to mind first. It’s their struggles, their relationships, and just the way they see life. 

Each of the characters are so distinct, but without being one-dimensional, which I think is a really hard thing to achieve, especially in the course of one sole book. Basically, if you like complex characters who you can’t decide if you like or hate because they’re so multifaceted, read this book. Please.

“Libby was a hero. Parisa was a villain. Their goals were overarching, appositional. 
Nico and Reina were so impartial and self-interested as to be wholly negligible. 
Tristan was a soldier. He would follow wherever he was most persuasively led.
It was Callum who was an assassin. It was the same as a soldier, but when he worked, he worked alone.”


I think Libby might be the most relatable character for me. She seems the most… human? Her motivations were definitely the most relatable and I think that a lot of teenagers especially can relate to feeling inadequate. I’m writing this review spoiler-free because I really want to convince people to read this book, but if you read it already, please freak out with me over the ending.

“Men, conceptually, are canceled,” Libby said to her knees. “This Society? Founded by men, I guarantee it. A man’s idea. Totally male.” She pursed her lips. “Theoretically, men are a disaster. As a concept, I unequivocally reject them.”


Can’t start with Libby and not talk about Nico next. Those two… I don’t know what they are, but they’re something. Nico’s character is still very mysterious in my opinion. Obviously, we know some of his motivations but I think we still have a lot to learn when it comes to his potential and true feelings.

“They were binary stars, trapped in each other’s gravitational field and easily diminished without the other’s opposing force.”


Reina… another mystery. See what I mean about not being able to talk about what happened in this book? I definitely think there’s more to come for the Reina/Nico/Libby power trio, and I can’t wait to learn more about Reina’s skills. I think she’s one of my favourite characters though, unproblematic queen.


Ugh, how do you casually discuss perfection? Okay, in all seriousness, Parisa both scares me and intrigues me. There are just so many layers to her that it constantly feels like she’s winning even when all evidence points to the opposite? All in all, I am simultaneously terrified and obsessed.


Tristan might be the most complicated character in this book, and that’s saying something. We know so much about him because emotionally he seems like an open book but then there’s just so much we don’t know?? HOW?? All I know is that this man needs therapy from someone who isn’t named Callum. Seek help, Tristan.


Ugh, I saved the worst for last, because no thanks. I don’t know, I do feel bad for Callum but also, not one bit. I feel like the only time he seems mildly real is when he’s with Tristan, and even then, I just don’t trust him. I’m assuming in the next book the characters are going to have to work together more so maybe we’ll see him finally open up?

“Now Callum’s mistake was obvious: he had thought to prove himself strong, but nobody wanted strength. Not like his. Strength was for machines and monsters; the others could not relate to faultlessness or perfection. Humans wanted humanity, and that meant he would have to show evidence of weakness.”

✧・゚: *✧・゚:* *:・゚✧*:・゚✧

My The Atlas Six Playlist:
my the atlas six playlist

my carrd ❦



Profile Image for Greekchoir.
236 reviews152 followers
February 27, 2022
EDIT: I know that this book is getting a traditional release, but I don’t know if any of the following has been changed. Please note that I’ve only read the original self-published version!

Where do I even start with this review...

I heard from everyone how amazing this book is. BookTok, Tumblr, YouTube, Twitter...it was very much advertised as a dark academia fantasy, which is right in the intersection of Thing I Love. If you look at the reviews on Goodreads, you have to scroll down a bit to find anything less than an outpouring of love. So you can imagine my disappoint when this book did not meet that mark.

I'm staring at my keyboard trying to figure out where this book went wrong, and how to summarize it succinctly. The themes of this book include the pursuit of knowledge (and whether that's a good thing or a bad thing), interconnectedness between the characters, and ~time~ as a vaguely whimsical science. The only theme we actually see payoff on is the flexibility of time, and the end of the book drew that together in a way I found surprisingly interesting. With everything else, The Atlas Six fell completely flat.

We know almost nothing about everything in this book. The characters are lackluster, and the author has clear favorites. That's fine to an extent, but I as the reader shouldn't know that, especially if the plot hinges on them being on relatively equal footing. Reina was vastly underserviced by the plot. These characters aren't given any room to breathe and just let the audience get a feel for them: there's no downtime where we can watch them interact naturally and play off of one another so that we can get a better feel for their personalities and relationships. This made one of the other themes feel completely irrelevant. How am I supposed to believe these characters are interconnected, "deeply inextricable," as the book puts it, if it's constantly emphasized that they go weeks without interacting? There's only one group scene in this book iirc, and it's at the very beginning, and for the most part, summarized retrospectively.

"Room to breathe" is another thing we just don't get here. For a book that's so interested in building atmosphere within dialogue, it has a difficult time with that in other areas. I don't know anything about the building these characters are staying in, from what the rooms look like to where they have their dinners. The magic system is equally spartan. There's the occasional tidbit thrown around about physics, and energy, and the different types and strengths of medeians, but we receive no other information. All characters seemingly have control over specific domains of magic - sure - but can also wave a hand and produce other kinds of spells. There is no explanation given for this, and we see so little of the "class time" that the book places a lot of symbolic emphasis on that nothing else is elucidated. Even the idea of "balance" is unclear, and the first plot twist is given away on the back of the book. We never even know why a character must die! The idea is simply talked around until the subject gets changed, without a direct answer.

The biggest problem here, by far, is the lack of an editor. On some level, I can understand this, given the book is self-published. Yet many of the errors were so glaring that they interfered with me being able to understand the book. If a fight scene is going on, and characters are being shot at, that's something that needs to be introduced and reacted to from the beginning of the scene, not near the end as a "by the way they've been avoiding bullets this whole time." At one point, we're told a character can shapeshift, but the previous scenes they were supposed to have been shifted in make no reference to this fact, and even have the character refer to their body as having hands and palms when they're supposed to be a bird. This concept, by the way, is given no relevance besides the fact that it is supposed to be a "twist." It is never used again.

An editor would also have cut way, way down on the pretentious philosophizing in this book. Look. I love a little pretentious back-and-forth. But it has to be /earned/. It has to be relevant and have meaning. Asking questions that go unanswered is not a shortcut to making your characters sound smart. Half of the time, the conversations were essentially groups of non-sequiturs, where Callum would ask something, then reply to himself with a seemingly random question or response, while Tristan quietly reacted. For every 1 line that introduced something new, there were 3 that felt edgy and lifted from other media. It made reading more than 20 pages at a time an absolute chore, because I was tired of abstract musings.

Honestly, 2 stars is generous. This is primarily a 1.5 read, with the end being a little more interesting. It's not unsalvageable, but The Atlas Six needs a serious overhaul with a very studious editor. On a more positive note, the book itself was gorgeous, especially the illustrations. I did like the relationship between Parisa and Dalton. Reina is wonderful and deserves much more. I'm so glad to be done
Profile Image for Ayman.
202 reviews77k followers
October 20, 2021
4.5 ⭐️ shiiiit ok i get the hype now. i fucking loved this book. these characters are all literally gay for one another and i ate that shit up, left no crumbs. i’m attracted to every single one of these whores. these characters have a chokehold on me. had my gorilla grip throbbing. had my ovaries shaking. making me all nervous and giddy inside, i felt like i was on crack.

the writing? the plot? the characters develop? flawless. A bitch felt smart reading this 💅🏽 these are my new comfort characters. there isn’t one person i didn’t vibe with in this book.

libby? fucking adore this introverted queen. i saw so much of myself in her. cant wait for her corruption arc in book 2!!

nico? deserves the world and me

parisa? bad bitch and she fucking knows it

tristen? so down to earth guy and i’m in love

callum? smart ass mf, he’s so mysterious i love him

reina? gives me asexual vibes. plant mother that takes shit from NO ONE !!

here are my ships

libby and nico (or nico and gideon; i wouldn’t be mad about it)

parisa and dalton (i’m telling y’all that Atlas mf is mind controlling our home boy and parisa is gonna save him!)

tristen and callum (they connect so well and just GET each other)

my only problem with this book was that is was super slow and didn’t take until more than half way through to get my undivided attention. nonetheless it was a literary masterpiece!!!
Profile Image for Emily (Books with Emily Fox).
531 reviews58.7k followers
December 3, 2021
Generous 3 stars - This was a frustrating book to read.

Ever had an itch on your back that you can't scratch? That's how reading this book feels like. I love magical schools and libraries so this should have been a hit for me. The characters are incredibly unlikeable (not in a good way), too much telling vs showing and the story was all over the place.

The magic was interesting and there was a lot of potential so hopefully now that it has been picked up by a publishing company, the rest of the series will improve.

I might continue the series if the reviews are positive for book 2 but I'm not in a rush.
Profile Image for chai ♡.
321 reviews153k followers
September 12, 2022
The Atlas Six is a fantasy novel that understands what the people want and that is more dark academia stories with self-indulgent prose, impeccable vibes and aesthetics, and hot morally fraudulent characters who are constantly and agonizingly on the verge of either killing each other or fucking each other. That is, when they're not preoccupied with the pursuit of godhood (but more often than not they can multitask).
Profile Image for Chloe Gong.
Author 13 books19.6k followers
December 3, 2021
My professional thoughts:

Lethally smart. Filled with a cast of brilliantly realized characters, each entangled with one another in torturously delicious ways, The Atlas Six will grip you by the throat and refuse to let go. Olivie Blake is a mind-blowing talent.

My unprofessional thoughts:

Profile Image for emma.
1,823 reviews48.7k followers
December 22, 2022
I never feel more Me than when I have an unpopular opinion on a beloved bestseller.

It's how I made my millions in the first place - and by millions, I mean "tricked people into paying attention to me, only to trap them in a vicious content-creation cycle of semi-funny reviews and a lot more lit fic about annoying women than originally planned."

So sometimes, I like to return to my roots, and pick up whatever young adult fantasy behemoth starring a green-eyed and/or British and/or misunderstood assholey teen boy is stealing the hearts of the public.

I didn't intend to dislike this one, though. I promise. First of all, it's not even YA, and secondly, it's DARK ACADEMIA. I pray at the altar of Donna Tartt. I gamely agreed to pretend its annoying copycat little sibling was in the same hemisphere. I have a countdown to the Ninth House sequel tattooed on my lower back.

And yes, as it turns out, tattoos are not a good countdown strategy. You live and learn.

But this...

Guys, this wasn't good.

And I waited for the alleged "good version." I wanted to read this back when the self-pub original was the only one available, and yet I took the time to allow Tor to edit the ever-living bejesus out of it.

But here we are even still.

As this progressed I could not believe how much of it was conversations between a different duo. Just this guy and this guy. This girl and this guy (who are sleeping together). This girl and this guy (who might want to sleep together? And did once I think?) This guy and this guy (who have kind of a sexual tension as well). This girl and this guy (who are constantly "engaging in enemies to lovers banter," except the banter in question is two annoying high-school-theater-kid brats shrieking I HATE YOU at each other and if I am not even rewarded with an enemies to lovers arc, I am DNFing this series with so much personal anguish it will cause a ripple effect in global politics).

In other words, I kept waiting for the plot to happen, and yet as I noted down at increasing intervals - 28%, 42%, 54%, 66% - IT NEVER ARRIVED.

On top of that, I hated the writing so much it ruined my other current reads (of which there were approximately 11 - I was in one of those I'M GOING TO LIVE FOREVER anti-slumps wherein all you can do is read). It's the kind of goofy faux-intellectual pretentious drivel - to speak honestly, and don't yell at me for simply stating my truth like the non-sinner I am - that makes me lose my mind.

For some reason I feel like I'll end up reading the sequel. But that's probably the past version of me who made her name in unpopular opinions talking.

Bottom line: What were you guys even talking about!

currently-reading updates

need dark academia injected into my veins rn


reading books by asian authors for aapi month!

book 1: kim jiyoung, born 1982
book 2: siren queen
book 3: the heart principle
book 4: n.p.
book 5: the hole
book 6: set on you
book 7: disorientation
book 8: parade
book 9: if i had your face
book 10: joan is okay
book 11: strange weather in tokyo
book 12: sarong party girls
book 13: the wind-up bird chronicle
book 14: portrait of a thief
book 15: sophie go's lonely hearts club
book 16: chemistry
book 17: heaven
book 18: the atlas six


i can't stop thinking about this book and i haven't even read it yet
Profile Image for ale ‧ ₊˚୨୧ ₊˚.
399 reviews1,836 followers
April 23, 2022
DNF @ p.100

After giving The Atlas Six another try, I realized that I can't make it beyond the 100 pages, that I can't stand any of the characters, that I won't read it (or enjoy it, for the case) and there are tons of actually good books out there waiting for me to discover them.

I'm glad I don't have Tiktok anymore (because I spend more time there than actually reading and nope) to see the hype and try to read it, lmao.

This book goes straight to my big hype, big lie shelf.

Look, I really tried. The premise was promising so I said, "why not? I haven't read many good dark academia books" and precisely that was a mistake.

The characters were unbearable, arrogant and flat. Yes, you heard/read me. They don't have personality beyond of try to impress everybody with... what? I didn't actually see what they can do. They're just a bunch of brat and stupid kids who think they can have whatever they want and not face the consequences.

I spoiled myself the book and it was... Great. I mean, I didn't know what to expect but the so called spoilers made me dislike this book more than the beginning. On my previous updates, I kinda forced myself to like it??? Callum and Parisa were assholes to me; I hated them since the very first moment. Libby was an annoying bitch and Nico was fine but even he was annoying to me.

If you liked this book, good 4 u. I couldn't even force myself to read it anymore. I can't give it another try when I know I dislike the characters and don't give a shit about them. I don't care for them. At all. This book it is supposed to be character driven, right? Well, you might say that in the first 100 pages it's impossible to know it, but you can. 100 pages of pure suffering and hell was what I was given with TAS.

I read a review of someone saying "Read Vicious for a well character driven book" and hell yes. Vicious is way better.

In any case, I won't give this book another try. No, I'm not sorry. I'm tired, haha.
Profile Image for jessica.
2,535 reviews32.7k followers
December 6, 2021
this book is everything ‘a deadly education’ wishes it could be.

so much more interesting world-building, more compelling characters, and really more relatable writing. and while im not sure i quite understand all the undying hype for this book, it definitely is fun to read.

the magic system is really cool. it has a very tangible scientific element that i feel heightens the ‘dark academia’ genre. and the characters are so fascinatingly flawed. not particularly likeable, but very complex.

if i could change anything to make this more enjoyable for me personally, it would probably be the pacing. man, is this slow, with not a whole lot happening. its 100% character-driven and i tend to like my books more focused on plot.

but putting that aside, this is a very detailed novel with really intriguing layers and narration.

3.5 stars
Profile Image for Nilufer Ozmekik.
2,206 reviews40.9k followers
April 12, 2023
Whoop whoop! Alexandrian society welcomes you with open arms! Dark academia, magical librarians, extra talented rivalries are fighting tooth and nail to eliminate each other for securing wealth, power and prestige beyond their wildest dreams! Yes! Yes! And yes! Such a dreamy combination for satisfying my dark soul! I am all in!

The plot gave me so much hope and I felt the five starred, highly appraised review was already on its way! But… I hate the sentences starting with that word because you may sense something negative will come out sooner. And actually it’s about to come out!
Well, it’s so hard for me to say it: I’m just ripping the band aid off quickly: I didn’t enjoy it as much as I anticipated.

Firstly it was really slow! Not slow burn, slow enough to get you outrageously impatient.
Mostly there is less action has taken place.

As a biggest fan of Novik Scholomence, I was expecting to connect with at least of the characters. But most of them truly irritated. I think Callum and Tristian were the less annoying ones to root for. I slowly learn to tolerate them.

The using of magic and entire execution of the story have still so much potential. High competition between magicians/ medians, their extraordinary differentiated abilities, hidden libraries, the big secrets surrounded around the entire Alexandrian society were the alluring parts of the book giving you best vibes of dark academia thriller that kept me going.

So I ignored my hesitations about very punchable characters and solid writing style and reached to the finish line.

Well, I think I’m still intrigued to read the next book. I’m still hopeful all those will evolve and reach their better versions of themselves at the sequels. So I’m not gonna pray for the lightning strike to take their lives!

I’m giving three solid stars because of alluring magic element and its intriguing execution. I was expecting to enjoy it more! I’m still rooting for the sequels!

Special thanks to NetGalley and Macmillan-Tor / Forge for sharing the digital arc of one of the most anticipated books of 2022 in exchange my honest thoughts.

Profile Image for Ashleigh (a frolic through fiction).
453 reviews6,976 followers
November 13, 2022
Review from 2022:

Obsessed, 10/10, immaculate, stunning, incredible, amazing, one of a kind

Review from 2021:

It’s been so long since a book won me over from the very first paragraph, but this book was exactly that experience for me. The writing style of this just screams dark academia - kind of pretentious while also being presented as if completely standard, because of course to these characters, it is. I loved that you see these characters be ambitious, learn about their magic, and all the way through hold a wariness that wasn’t dropped for a second. It made for such a gritty story, and definitely an interesting one when it comes to picking sides.

I will say that the ending for me - literally the final two or three chapters - fell a little bit flat for me, largely because I saw the key aspect of it coming. And this, in itself, was due to the one thing I would fault about this book - a repetition when it came to the character descriptions. At first I only saw this as slightly tedious in the way certain traits kept being brought back up, but then I clocked on to a phrase that kept being mentioned that made me suspicious, and was ultimately right. I’m not the sort to actively try and guess the way a story would go and quite often it all goes over my head, so I’m quite surprised I caught it quite so accurately in the end.

That being said, it still made for a great story. I took far longer to read this one than I usually would, largely because I would put off reading it from not wanting it to end. I love a character driven story, and this is certainly it. It managed to feel intense even when not that much was happening, and the allure of the Alexandrian society was definitely felt.

I can’t wait to see where this series goes, and to read more from these characters because wow, it’s messy in the best and most entertaining way.
Profile Image for Emma.
95 reviews4 followers
June 29, 2021
This book is pure trash and I blame tiktok for setting my expectations way too high. This book has no plot that is understandable besides the last like 20 pages and even that's a stretch. The characters feel so....weird and pretentious and fake. Their relationships with each other was boring. This book just feels like someone telling you about their original characters and their magic but nothing about the world or plot
Profile Image for ash.
290 reviews230 followers
February 22, 2021

it's like getting my mind fucked, but in the BEST WAY POSSIBLE. i felt the RUSH as i was reading this. the philosophical discussions, the physics theories, the dialogue and character dynamics are well-executed. dare i say it's never been done before? hmm, yes actually. IT'S NEVER BEEN DONE BEFORE. the characters are compelling and intriguing. their personalities are distinct from each other and they all have their own unique way of thinking. never did i question whose POV i was reading because they are all so different from each other. i love every character interaction because any and every combination of characters produce an interesting dynamic, which i am a sucker for. the psychology of each character, the depth of characterization.. oh boy do they have a Lot to unpack, and i am hERE for it!!

i enjoyed reading this so much (even though there's "no plot") because of the fabulous writing and the impressive execution of the story. this was just stunning, exceptional, and utterly mind-blowing. i can't even begin to imagine the amount of research that went into this. physics is one subject i do not enjoy but the concepts were laid out so concisely, i'm starting to think i don't like physics because of my professors.

anyway, the themes were on point. the vibes immaculate. the writing excellent. the characters amazing. the execution brilliant. i have 316 highlights and 72 bookmarked pages by the end of it, and i don't usually highlight and bookmark so that's saying something! this is easily one of my favorites books of the year. simply incredible. i love what olivie blake is doing here.

to oversimplify the book, it's a diverse cast in academia and they're ALL sexy, smart, powerful, and gay! they have philosophical discussions, psycho-analyzing sessions, and sex (while questioning their morality and ethics, of course). drinks on the house! we're all having a wonderful time here, me especially. oh my god i just love this book so much!! also, the illustrations are beautiful. this book is OUTSTANDING. i love it here!
Profile Image for Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin.
3,471 reviews9,647 followers
July 20, 2022
***I tried to reread it July 2022, and I still don’t like it so moving on!

I just can’t with this book. I don’t get the hype. Everyone annoyed me and I don’t care. Maybe I’ll try again later, but I don’t know. I don’t feel like listening to a bunch of people that sound like little kids arguing and acting stupid. It might change but I don’t have time and I don’t care.

Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾
Profile Image for Sofia.
258 reviews6,509 followers
May 24, 2022
The Atlas Six is pretentious and luxurious and self-indulgent. I can’t decide if I love it or if I would rather throw it across the room.

Somehow I read 380-something pages of this book and I still have no idea what it’s about. The characters wander around a library and go to classes that are described with as little detail as possible, they get into some fights for reasons that are not explained, there’s a conflict involving murder that doesn’t seem to have a cause or effect. They wave their hands around and do some hand-wavey pseudoscience slash magic that fluctuates when it’s convenient. There’s a subplot about the overpopulation of the world that I thought would be interesting but was abandoned quickly. There’s another subplot about the perception of time and how we as individuals experience the passage through time differently, but so little page space was spent on it that it faded to the background. The plot got lost in the words.

Nico and Libby—angsty platonic soulmates—make a literal wormhole. And then they just use it to get snacks. Can’t we learn about that, please? Maybe then I’ll understand what this vague *waves hand* power struggle is about. There are so many discussions about what the characters are willing to do for the power that the Library of Alexandria gives them… but what power? Show me. Yes, there are old books. But that’s all we’re given. Maybe I’m an outlier here, but I would not kill someone just to have access to some old books. Use Google Scholar like a regular person.

None of the characters have a reason to be in Alexandria, and every time this is brought up, they dodge the issue with philosophical rhetorical questions that go nowhere. I can get behind a burning quest for knowledge, but I expect it to be given more substance and thought. Personally, if some random man approached me with ominous promises of some unidentified great power, I would not abandon my life to follow him. Have none of these characters been chased by cultists in the streets before? That is shady. Libby only accepted the offer because Nico did. Callum, Tristan, and Parisa are there because they were bored. Reina wanted to read books. (Which is valid, but still.) Besides, the author clearly didn’t care about Reina, and as a consequence, I also forgot she existed most of the time. What does she do? She’s basically a phone charger. Every one of her point of view chapters felt like an afterthought. “Oh, right! There are six main characters!”

I need to give a valid reason why I ended up loving this book even though it was objectively questionable: I can be a really pretentious fan of overblown fustian language and philosophy that runs around in circles and adds nothing to the plot. I like words that sound pretty. I like sentences that give me chills, even if they mean nothing. I am a simple person. Collecting shiny things brings me joy. Yes, that is a shard of a beer bottle, but it’s pretty. This book is a broken beer bottle. #deep

You know when you read something so agonizing and torturous and angst-riddled in exactly the right way and it brings you physical pain? That is it. That is this book. Everyone is manipulating everyone else and their hazy morality wasn’t subtle at all, but I still almost screamed multiple times. The chemistry between all of the characters was a sinful indulgence.

The Atlas Six is enchanting and frustrating and addictive and pointless, but I still really, really enjoyed it somehow. I’m actually tempted to give it five stars because it played with my heart and that’s all I really want. But that decreases the value of the five-star rating, so I’ll settle on something more realistic:

3 unhealthy junk food stars

A uniquely upsetting curse, really, how little he knew how to exist when she wasn’t there.
Profile Image for cameron.
145 reviews707 followers
May 23, 2021
sorry i’m just sitting here thinking about how much i actually hated this book so i changed my rating to 2 LMAO. — i Wanted to like this book soooo bad bc it seemed to have so many things that i love and am interested in (the library of alexandria still existing helloooo??) but it just... i felt like it was never going to end. the magic system was confusing and i never really knew what was going on. it really only got going the last 20 pages which is annoying. the characters were v interesting but there were a few that when it was their chapters i knew i was gonna be bored. i probably will read the next one but god i hope it’s less long winded and maybe has a bit more world building
Profile Image for Katie Colson.
653 reviews5,829 followers
December 6, 2022
December 2022
Why have I read this 3 times in 1 year???

Hear me out, this book takes 100 pages to get into. It lacks world building, atmosphere and a magic foundation. But I care NOT. I think the characters and their interactions are fantastic. The physical reading experience is far more enjoyable than the audio in my opinion. Mainly because the narrators come across far younger and more immature than the dialogue actually depicts the characters. Now that's not to say that this reads as adult. It doesn't. I know that's how it's marketed and most of the cast are meant to be late 20's and early 30's. In what universe? They read early to mid 20's at most. But, again, I loved it.

I see every flaw of this book. I had a live show discussing this and there were plenty of very rational flaws bought up about this book. I agree with all of them. But, somehow, I still loved it.

I'm a character girly. And the more I read and reread this book, the most invested I got in the characters and forgiving of their flaws. So, maybe I liked it so much because of how far I went down the rabbit hole. But I will be continuing with the series and pre-ordering the 3rd book.

November 2022
I'm not even shitting you when I say I'm about to reread this book AGAIN to further annotate and dissect.
I really enjoy these characters and I'm not ready to leave their world.

March 2022

The hype is real. I loved it.

I had a similar reading experience with Six of Crows. With the first read, I'm testing the waters to see how interested I'm going to be and if there's a possibility for characters to connect with me on a deeper level. I felt that with this book. Now, I need to reread it to really dive into it and enjoy myself.

The two things I need in a 4 or 5 star book is intriguing plot and interesting characters. This was serving both. There definitely are several things I didn't understand at all. Like the mermaid and the guy in Nico's head. Like. huh? But that's what my second read through will help with.
Profile Image for Ilenia Zodiaco.
260 reviews13.3k followers
February 1, 2023
Good game, well played.

Una sofisticata ruffianata per gli amanti del genere accademie magiche, società segrete e delitti (che nel caso specifico sono più tentati omicidi).

La trama è incasellata perfettamente nella cornice e nell'estetica del fantasy academy (tutto ciò che vi aspettereste leggendo la sinossi), tant'è che l'autrice fa pochissimi sforzi nella descrizione del sistema magico e, in generale, del contesto e del mondo narrativo.

Sebbene possa dare fastidio ai lettori più pignoli, è un modo intelligente di usare gli stereotipi. Fa risparmiare tempo al lettore che può dedicare le sue energie a divorare la portata principale: i personaggi. Sono i loro punti di vista a guidare la storia, poco spazio per il resto (anche se certe svolte narrative stridono talmente tanto che puoi sentirle implorare per qualche riga in più di spiegazione).

Sei ritratti singoli che nel corso del romanzo si uniscono, l'inquadratura si allarga e ci restituisce l'immagine sfocata di un gruppo di medeians (non semplici magicians) con talenti magici non semplicissimi da gestire, una moralità porosa, grande inclinazione per le battute di spirito e il sarcasmo, poca propensione per l'affetto e la fiducia. In qualche modo dovranno collaborare per andare oltre i limiti della conoscenza, fare nuove scoperte, cambiare per sempre l'immagine del mondo. Quello che viene promesso loro dalla società segreta che li ha reclutati è: potere, informazioni, influenza e un addestramento adeguato per diventare dei pionieri, non soltanto entrare nei ranghi dell'elite magica mondiale. Vi sembra tutto molto vago? Sì, e lo rimarrà. L'ambizione di questi personaggi rimane fumosa, non ben direzionata. Così come il modo in cui usano la magia è sfuggente.

L'autrice preferisce concentrarsi sulle dinamiche del gruppo: i dissapori, la complementarietà dei loro poteri, i meccanismi di attacco e difesa che la psiche mette in campo quando si trova davanti l'ignoto.

Quello che a livello narrativo risulta traballante e spesso prevedibile, è controbilanciato da una scrittura conturbante che se non persuade del tutto dal punto di vista logico, comunque ti convince a rimanere per scoprire i trucchi che stanno dietro le illusioni della magia o semplicemente per averne un assaggio.

Una ruffianata, quindi. Ma che si assapora con grande diletto.
Profile Image for Jesse (JesseTheReader).
468 reviews169k followers
December 30, 2022
I understand the appeal, but I just didn't mesh well with this one. The positives: I loved the vibes and chill plot. Outside of that, I wasn't a huge fan of the characterization, the lack of world building, and the overall story structure. I fully feel like this was a, it's me! i'm the problem! situation. lol
Profile Image for Babster98.
5 reviews3 followers
August 17, 2021
If this could be zero stars it would be. This book reeks of pretentiousness and a superiority complex. This is a book that has zero understanding about how to make characters or a plot compelling. I mean, plot is a very generous word, what happened in this book? Almost nothing. The book is about the characters right? Alright lets get to them:

The characters are 6 insufferable or boring people who do nothing but argue and judge each other for 300+ pages and experience no character growth. None of these characters were even slightly compelling, nor were they believable (No one actually talks like that Olivie). They were also incredibly stupid for being shocked at the fact that the illuminati was asking them to kill someone. I can’t say that their decisions made no sense because they all had so little personality besides being insufferable and boring that I believed they might as well do anything the author dictated. I felt nothing over their supposed anguish over having to kill someone or having to pick someone to kill because all of them were, at best, lukewarm about each other and, at worst, hated each other. I found myself wishing they all just died instead of just one.

The society itself is the most weakly constructed setting I’ve ever read both plot wise and description wise. I got no sense of the exclusivity of intellectual nature of this group. All their groundbreaking research was brushed over as if nothing happened yet the reader was expected to act as if these were earth shattering developments. Scenes written within the society were written and treated no differently than scenes in the mundane world, which made the society itself feel boring and unimportant. The larger world was also terribly developed. So there’s magicians living alongside humans and this doesn’t influence history? All the same countries and politics that exist in our non magic world exist in their magic one?? How can that be? Have magicians never influenced the outcome of any war? Any social development? Anything to make their world different from ours?

The magic system itself was pathetically underdeveloped. Magic might as well do anything and everything in this world and that made every slightly deadly situation feel boring because they were just going to magic ex machina their situation. Almost none of the rules of magic were properly explained to the audience.

This book also tried to make numerous social justice points that almost all fell flat. Saying “men are trash” once every 50 pages isn’t feminism Olivie. This book seems to flip flop between acting like the society’s exclusivity is a good thing or a bad thing and all possible messages are muddled and lost in pretentious writing. If the point is that this sort of elitism is wrong then why are the characters mostly (positively) defined by how remarkable they are compared to others? Why are famous historical figures retconned to be medeians as if they could only be remarkable if they were born with magic?

Smaller point: Nico is supposed to be from a rich Cuban family, not that he has Cuban ancestry, but that his family is currently situated in Cuba. Unless they’re friends of the Castro’s or the revolution never happened in this timeline, I highly doubt there’s a rich, capitalist investing family located in Cuba. Maybe Olivie Blake sees all latin american countries as interchangeable.

This book was an insufferable, pretentious, boring, mind numbing, unfocused, disaster. I found myself wishing i could just throw it on to the street to stop reading it if I hadn’t paid full price for it. Read Six of Crows instead.

Edit: Comment informed me that the author’s name is Olivie, I misspelled it as “Olivia” so I had to edit that.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Karla Martínez.
399 reviews13.1k followers
April 3, 2023
lo releí y sigo sin entender nada JAJAJA.

que acaba de pasar?
que acabo de leer?
me sentí ~desafiada~ leyendo este libro porque es muy científico y no estoy dada pa esas cosas jajajajaja honestamente aún no proceso el libro. no sé nada.
Profile Image for victoria ☾.
90 reviews172 followers
November 2, 2021
❀ 5 stars ❀

“A flaw of humanity,” said Parisa, shrugging. “The compulsion to be unique, which is at war with the desire to belong to a single identifiable sameness.”

A secret society chooses the six most powerful magicians to join them, but only five of them will be initiated. This masterpiece made my question my entire existence. Full of secrets, philosophical dialogue, and intense interactions; this book is dark academia at its finest. It is definitely one of those books that you have to read more than once to fully grasp its meaning. Reading this was a very intense and fulfilling experience, and I fear that this review will not be well written enough to make this book justice!


The author captivated me with each word; the writing was absolutely beautiful and genius. I know that this style might not be everyone’s favorite; in fact, some might get bored or tired to reading through the characters’ streams of consciousness. But personally, to look inside each of their minds and understand their thoughts and actions as individuals was very intriguing, even though they couldn’t be more different from each other. The writing was very philosophical, full of remarkable quotes that made me feel so seen and understood.

The one thing I would like to see in the next book is more descriptions. Even though I do not care about them most of the time (because authors tend to go overboard), I wasn’t really able to figure out the setting from the writing, I just imagined everything according to common dark academia vibes. I feel like the character’s physical descriptions were slightly described but didn’t get into much detail. For example, lacking details about their mannerisms while speaking, or about their hair or eye color. However, their personalities and cultural backgrounds were detailed, and I would love to read more about that in the next book.


I felt the plot was minimal and simple, but not in a bad way. In this book, the phrase “less is more” definitely applies to the plot. If you were to ask me what the plot is I would just say “the interactions and conversations of six characters living in a house together for a year, and then a twist at the end where not everything is like it seems”. To be honest, I was expecting more action scenes, a training trope for example, but there were only like two or three (not that I’m complaining). This was more dark academia than fantasy, despite their magical powers. The twist at the end was amazing, I saw it coming but it still surprised me.


This is an extremely character-driven read, which is my favorite type of book. Nothing makes my heart happier than well developed characters forming connections which each other. They all felt so real and raw, and I absolutely loved them all (yes including Callum unfortunately). They all are immensely intelligent, and the academic in me was very satisfied.

Libby, one of three whose power consists of manipulating physical elements, was the one I related to the most. She was sensitive, curious, extremely smart and outspoken. Nico, with powers like Libby’s, was mysterious, witty and cocky. I would love to know more about the extent of his skills, especially the shape-shifting. Reina, the last of the trio of physical powers, was very intriguing. I felt like we didn’t get to see her whole personality, she was very quiet in a menacing way, like she has more fire inside of her just waiting to come out.

The characters with mental abilities are the most intense ones. Parisa was a badass, mind reading is one of my favorites and I loved that we got to see some depth to her powers. The whole illusion scene with Callum was so powerful that it destroyed me. Callum, the empath that can control emotions, incites anger in me; but reading his scenes with Tristan made me understand him a bit. Tristan can see through illusions, and even though he’s not my favorite, there’s something about him as having the most underrated power that makes me have a soft spot for him.


I gave this book 5 stars because it had everything I want to read. As always, the most important part is the emotional connection I felt reading this. All the characters had depth and very well written complex personalities that made them very real. And the beautiful writing full of memorable quotes makes me just want to read it all over again to appreciate it more. Reading this was overwhelming in the best way.
Profile Image for Zoe (taylor's version) .
305 reviews1,237 followers
June 4, 2022
dnf @ 41%

Do not ask me what happened in that 41% I do not have a clue.

For anyone that wants to read it: this is basically six of crows if the crows had magical powers, hated each other and if their aesthetic was dark academia.

{previous review}
sounds like dollar store six of crows?
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