Author: Olivie Blake
Narrators: Andy Ingalls, Caitlin Kelly, Siho Ellsmore, Damian Lynch, James Patrick Cronin, Munirah Grace, David Montieth, & Steve West
Audiobook Length: 16 hours 6 minutes
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.
The Atlas Six introduces six medians, magically gifted individuals, who are recruited to a secret organization, The Alexandrian Society, which has five spaces available. This introduction to the society by the mysterious Atlas Blakely places the six characters into a competition where one of them will be eliminated. The first candidate is Libby Rhodes, an elementalist and telepath along with her rival, Nicolas Ferrer de Varona. Tristan Caine is the son of a crime kingpin with the ability to see secrets of the future. Parisa Kamali is a telepath who also has the powers of seduction. Reina Mori is a naturalist with a connection to life itself. Finally, there is Callum Nova, a rich pretty boy, who has catastrophic powers.
The story goes through the POV of each character where the reader learns about each of their backstories and motivations. They are all morally grey in their own way, so there is at least one character each reader could relate to at one point. The romances are all over the place as they are not the main focus of the story plus everyone is seemingly with each other at one point or another. Some of the relationships have more of an effect on the story along with some characters are explored in greater detail than others. There is interesting set-up for the sequel in this story as the characters all move forward to decide who will not make it into the society.
The pacing is fairly slow where it almost seemed that I could have skipped this one and started with the second novel and still would have been okay in understanding the plot. The novel is more character-driven when it is a lot of focus on the development of the characters yet there needed to be more for the magic system. There’s a lot of information the reader must assume about the world as there is not a lot of easing into the universe and instead the reader is just placed in the center. There seemed to be a lot of information missing. Although I kept waiting for the gaps to be filled in, it seemed this is either never going to happen or it is meant for the reader to experience in the sequel. Overall, this was an interesting story where I would be intrigued to read the sequel, but it would not be one that I would go out of my way to read again.
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