A review by queenie_ofthe_void
The Atlas Paradox, by Olivie Blake

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


Ultimately not impressed. I just finished 10 minutes ago and feel extremely disappointed. The first book left off with big implications for the second, but it feels like nothing really happened. There was too much internal monologue, too much 'miscommunication' trope, and too much emphasis on POVs that ultimately weren't necessary or interesting. The character alliances in the first book were thrown out on a flimsy plot point just to further the miscommunication between the group, which is the only fuel for plot progression. All of this I could have let pass (solely because I love the characters) if I felt it led to a pay-off, which it didn't.
Spoiler The narrative of Tristan-Nico-Libby focuses on trying to get Libby back. It is Tristan's singular motivator of the book. And Nico's torment over her absence is obvious but his focus on Gideon helps his character progress. We get a glimpse of Libby and Tristan reuniting in Scotland. But in the end there's no climactic reunion between Libby and Tristan OR Libby and Nico. This was their entire plotline of the book and it was left open-ended. And not like a cliff-hanger, but in a way that I feel there was no climax at all. Part of this, again, is time spent on relationships which prove fruitless, like Belen-Libby, Ezra-Atlas. These POVs are not our main characters, and its just time spent away. There's too many characters and plotlines to juggle, and they are disproportionately balanced.
For me, what started out as a story with intriguing morally-grey characters, suspense and intrigue, eventually turned out to just be tedious and disappointing. Might read the next book for the reunion scenes mentioned in the spoilers. Might just Google it. And maybe I just forget. 

Edit 5 minutes after finishing the review: I just read my review of the first book and forgot to mention the increased amount of pseudointellectual bullshit in the internal monlogues. Way too much freshman 101 class theories and not enough character interaction to make up for the increased use of the miscommunication trope to keep the plot going. Honestly I had high hopes for this book...

Expand filter menu Content Warnings