The Atlas Six came highly recommended by a friend, who is much cooler and trendier than I am and found it via something called “BookTok” which I hear is all the rage with the youths. The same friend was kind enough to lend me her library card credentials to be able to check it out from Libby, because there was a six month wait to check it out using my home library card!
The plot of The Atlas Six is a fairly standard “magic school” story, with a twist: six of the most talented magicians in the world are invited to an apprenticeship in the top secret Alexandrian Society – but only five of them will be initiated into the society. The sixth will be eliminated. As the six pupils live and work together, they begin to unravel the secrets of the Alexandrian Society as well as those of their mysterious recruiter/mentor, Atlas.
While the set-up is typical for the stories set in magical schools, what makes The Atlas Six stand out is the characters. Each is more ambitious and morally ambiguous than the last: Libby and Nico, archenemies who can control the physical elements. Reina, who is so tied to the forces of nature that plants grow at her fingertips and whisper secrets to her. Tristan, who can see through illusions – and perhaps more. Parisa can read minds (and expertly exploit what she finds there), and Callum manipulates emotions. The book shines as these characters become entangled romantically and intellectually, form alliances and cultivate enmities, and race toward the question on every reader’s mind: who will be eliminated, and what exactly does elimination entail?
I thoroughly agree with the rave reviews for this book – the plot has just enough of a twist, the magic system is interesting without being too bogged down with details, and THOSE CHARACTERS! Such pure fun and fantasy with a splash of gothic academia vibes. I am eagerly awaiting news of a sequel, which I’m sure I’ll gobble up just as quickly as I did this one.