A review by theespressoedition
The Atlas Six, by Olivie Blake

mysterious tense slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0

There's a quote in this that I feel perfectly sums up the book itself:
“Nothing anyone sees is real—only how they perceive it.”

Honestly, where do I even begin? The Atlas Six left me utterly speechless upon closing the final pages, which was entirely unexpected. If I'm being perfectly honest, I went into this with a bit of a closed mind. This book is absolutely everywhere and I was certain it would be another overly hyped book that wound up with about three stars from me. Good, but nothing to really write home about.

Oh my goodness was I wrong. Truthfully, the first few chapters didn't suck me in. I have to be real about it. I was royally confused and for the life of me, couldn't begin to figure out what the plot was - aside from six crazy, intelligent (or crazy intelligent, however you want to look at it), magical persons thrust into a secret society where they're supposed to get along but don't. I mean, that's the long and short of it from what I could gather in the beginning, anyhow.

However, as the story went on, I began to notice something really interesting. While I was so desperately searching for a plot, it was already happening. The characters are the plot. That sounds bizarre to anyone who hasn't read this, I'm sure. What I can say right now is that I've never read a book that is more character-driven (or even as character-driven) as The Atlas Six.

And the characters are beyond phenomenal. There's something relatable in nearly every one of them. They're so intricate and intriguing. Even the scenes that would normally be added purely for entertainment (like sexual content) were there for the purpose of understanding what was happening in someone's head. This continued to blow me away as the story progressed and by the end, I couldn't begin to tell you who was good, bad, or mediocre. They're all fascinating and well-rounded.

What left me so speechless was the very end. The final few chapters were much quicker in pacing than the first half of the book and I was flying through them, devouring every secret and magical occurrence. Then, all of a sudden, something completely unanticipated happened and my jaw hit the floor. If you're looking for a book with a good twist, you'll certainly want to pick this up!

All in all, I can't rave about this book enough, honestly. It's unlike anything I've ever read and I'd love to read it again to really deep dive into each of the characters even more!

A couple of quotes I loved and don't want to forget:
"We aren't normal; we are gods born with pain built in. We are incendiary beings and we are flawed, except the weaknesses we pretend to have are not our true weaknesses at al. We are not soft, we do not suffer impairment or frailty--we imitate it. We tell ourselves we have it. But our only real weakness is that we know we are bigger, stronger, as close to omnipotence as we can be, and we are hungry, we are aching for it. Other people can see their limits, Tristan, but we have none. We want to find our impossible edges, to close our fingers around constraints that don't exist and that--" Callum exhaled. "That is what will drive us to madness."

"What else but death could give such life to the knowledge we protect?"

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