The Atlas Paradox by Olivia Blake
REVIEW~THE ATLAS PARADOX
Dark academia is having a resurgence and it’s the perfect autumnal read for those dark nights. There is a huge range in this genre, from the classic The Secret History, the almost phd thesis level of clever that is Babel(check out my earlier review) to the more commercial The Maidens. The Atlas trilogy is an exceptionally popular addition, with the first book The Atlas Six an international bestseller.
#2 in the series, The Atlas Paradox is newly published, picking up the story immediately of the six medians (a more intellectual form of magician being) who are tasked with learning and protecting the lost Alexandrian archive of knowledge.
Now here’s the thing. We talk a lot on here about vivid, complex characters that feel real. @olivieblake takes that to another level, because a lot of her writing is the characters ruminating on life, themselves, the others, morality, religion, psychology and what they are going to do. It’s almost as if you are transported into their minds and listening to every neuron firing.
This has made these books somewhat polarising – many fans think it’s the best thing they have ever read, others want more plot at a quicker pace. I actually found it a harder but more rewarding read and was constantly astonished at the granular level of detail @olivieblake knows about her characters.
The first book, as per my review some months ago, took me time to get into and this felt a lot more philosophical. This has the same blend of science, religion, psychology and magic which was a huge part of the appeal. Again by the end I was racing through, one of our characters is stuck in time and there is now an enemy secret society working to kill our six and release all knowledge which allowed for brilliant dialogue about the morality of capitalism, colonisation and climate change.
I get the hype but I also understand why this wouldn’t be for everyone. Ultimately by the last pages I found myself counting the weeks to the release of the next book. C
Ad:PR Copy gifted: thank you so much to @torbooks for sending over this pre-publication proof