I found out about all the hype surrounding The Altas Six by Olivie Blake after the synopsis and cover snagged my attention. Narrated by James Cronin, Siho Ellsmore, Munirih Grace, Andy Ingalls, Caitlin Kelly, Damian Lynch, David Monteith, and Steve West, the idea of a dark academy with a library of knowledge pulled me right in.
The Atlas Six
by Olivie Blake
Series: The Atlas #1
Narrator: James Cronin, Siho Ellsmore, Munirih Grace, Andy Ingalls, Caitlin Kelly, Damian Lynch, David Monteith, Steve West
Length: 15 hours and 59 minutes
Purchase*: Amazon | Audible *affiliate
Narration: 4.5 cups Speed: 1.3x
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.
The Altas Six is the first in a trilogy filled with magic, science, knowledge and dark academia pulled me in from the beginning. Multiple POVs shared the story as six individuals worked as a team and on their own to be among the chosen five … only it’s not that simple. Alliances, knowledge and outside factions kept me listening to this engaging tale.
With multiple perspectives, I was pleased with my decision to listen and even more pleased that the publisher chose a full cast of narrators to give voice to the different perspectives. While the author gave them all unique personalities and traits, the different voices made transitioning and group conversations a boost.
The Atlas Six centers on a secret society that initiates five new members every ten years. Six candidates with the rarest powers are invited to compete for a fellowship.
Atlas Blakely approached and presents them with an offer. They will have one year, during which they will have access to the Alexandrian Society’s archives. They will be judged on their contributions to various subjects of impossibility: time and space, luck and thought, life and death. At the end of the year, five will become members and one will be eliminated.
The Atlas Six
- Libby Rhodes -manipulating physical elements. Suffers from anxiety but don’t underestimate her.
- Nico de Varona– manipulating physical elements. Handsome, smart, witty and oozes sarcasm.
- Reina Mori – a naturalist. She’s here for the library.
- Parisa Kamali -a telepath who can traverse the human mind. Powerful, brilliant, confident, and sexy. You’ll either love her or hate her.
- Callum Nova -an Empath who can manipulate your mind. You’ll love to hate him.
- Tristan Caine – an illusionist. Untapped potential, a power to be watched, needs to step outside of the shadow caused by daddy issues.
The author does a wonderful job of giving these characters depth with unique abilities, a thirst for knowledge and brilliant minds. Each has their own personalities, insecurities, and moral compass. They felt real and expressed raw emotions. While I didn’t love them all, I was fascinated and curious about them, from skill sets to motives and their reactions. It was interesting to see them interact and form bonds. Their conversations dabbled from scientific theories to philosophical discussions. A tagline from the publisher states perfect for fans of the Umbrella Academy and I felt that statement to be true.
Romances, squabbles and more occur since they dorm together. The world building was well done with teasers, particularly regarding abilities. Seeing them in action was mind-boggling. One of their jobs while in residence is to protect the archives. We learn of other factions and engaging in mental combat. The pacing dragged a little in the middle before building to a crescendo.
I am glad I chose the audio format and applaud the decision to use a full cast. James Cronin, Siho Ellsmore, Munirih Grace, Andy Ingalls, Caitlin Kelly, Damian Lynch, David Monteith, and Steve West captured our characters and secondary characters brilliantly. They voiced their emotions from Libby’s anxiety to Nico’s sharp wit. They worked well together, and the production was well done, making it a seamless listen.
Diverse characters and representation, secret societies, a library to make you drool and a competition you won’t want to miss. I am looking forward to listening to THE ATLAS PARADOX coming October 2022.
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