I am giving The Atlas Six 3.5 rounded up to 4 stars, because I struggled with my focus while reading it, but I also really wanted to know what happened. This was one of those books I thought about not finishing, so I read the end to see if I wanted to go there. I did. The ending made the beginning more interesting and made me keep picking up the book when my attention wandered. The problem is, my attention wandered a lot.
Every ten years the Alexandrian Society chooses a class of 6 possible initiates. Atlas Blakely has chosen Libby, Nico, Reina, Tristan, Callum and Parisa. Six powerful magicians. They are expected to work together, but they are also in competition. At the end of the year, only 5 will be inducted into the Society. The issue of the 6th person in the class becomes an moral question.
The strength of the book is the characters. And that’s also it’s weakness. We get seven character POVs and spend a lot of time in many of their heads. I liked the interactions and relationships that formed between the characters. Seeing them from the distance of memory, or padded by a lot of contemplation was frustrating for me. I think if I had read this 15 – 20 years ago, I would have loved the multiple character sturdies the leisurely pace of getting to know the characters. I still love character centered books, but I need more plot focus than I used to in order to keep my focus on a book. That’s not good or bad, it just is.
Initially The Atlas Six was self-published and then went viral on tiktok. Tor picked it up and is rereleasing it with new illustrations. I have not read the earlier version of the book, so I don’t know what, if anything changed. I’m very interested to see where Blake intends to take the story. It does end on a cliff hanger.
CN: attempted murder, emotional manipulation, emotional manipulation leading to self harm, off page death of a sibling due to illness, murder plots.
I received this as an advance reader copy from Tor Books via NetGalley. My opinions are my own.