Fantasy Fiction, Contemporary fantasy, Urban fantasy, Dark fantasy, Paranormal fiction
By | Mileva Rodriguez Ruiz
Knowing all about the criticisms of BookTok, I am often hesitant to pick up a viral book in fear of being disappointed by it; and while it is common for people to question why some reads are loved on this platform, I will say that all the praise for The Atlas Six, by Olivie Blake, is absolutely justified.
This adult fantasy follows six characters with unique superpowers in their quest to gain access to the legendary library of Alexandria. Baited with knowledge and power, these ambitious characters undergo trials to prove they are worthy candidates for “The Society.”
The catch is, however, that only five will ultimately stay. Knowing this rule from the start, and kept in the dark about the extent of their competitors’ powers, the characters are set up for a journey that is full of secrets, deception, and betrayal.
The brilliancy of the book doesn’t lie in its plot (since it mostly works to set up the series); but in Blake’s memorable construction of morally-grey characters. Since each chapter is told from six different perspectives, you single-handedly discover the characters’ true powers, insecurities, and intentions.
The readers are transported inside each of their brains, and understand each action and thought, even if they are at one’s favourite character’s expense.
If character-driven books don’t intrigue you much, this story also caters to dark-academia lovers! Cunning, morally-grey magicians studying in a prestigious library full of other-worldly secrets…
Magical world-building based on physics, philosophy, and psychology. How much more dark-academia can you get?
And if you’re more of a tropes kind of reader, I’m happy to say this book is packed with them: academic rivalry and banter, love triangle, potential enemies to lovers, forced proximity, not-so-much-of-an-underdog.
Blake undoubtedly knows how to reel in an audience.
I don’t know about other BookTok recommendations, but I guarantee The Atlas Six is worth your time.