Unpopular Opinion Alert: The Atlas Six by Olivie Blake Was a Major Letdown

The problem with seeing through things so readily was the development of a certain degree of natural cynicism.

The Atlas Six

Have I developed a certain degree of natural cynicism? After reading this book, quite possibly.

As a massive fantasy and dark academia fan, I had been excitedly looking forward to reading The Atlas Six for ages, so when Line @ First Line Reader suggested a buddy read as an excuse to work around my 2022 book buying ban, I immediately jumped at the opportunity! After all, there was no way this couldn’t be good, right? Everyone in the book community had been gushing about it! The synopsis was full of things I absolutely love reading about! If there ever was a book predestined to become a favorite of mine, I was sure it had to be The Atlas Six.

Unfortunately, though, my predictions turned out to be very wrong indeed…

In my most humble opinion, The Atlas Six was an absolute mess of wanna-be greatness, with some of the most underdeveloped word-building, character arcs, and plot structure that I have ever seen ๐Ÿ™ˆ And in this review, I’m going to tell you why.

Title: The Atlas Six

Series: The Atlas, #1

Author: Olivie Blake

Genre: Adult Fantasy / Dark Academia

Page Count: 375

Publication Date: January 31st, 2020

Date Read: June 9th-12th, 2022

Rating: 2.5/5 Stars

(Trust me, I seriously considered rating this lower ๐Ÿ™„ But if The Atlas Six has one thing going in its favor, it’s that I was genuinely intrigued while reading it – which is more than I can say about the majority of the other books I read in June… This month might well turn out to be solely responsible for about half of the books on my “Most Disappointing Reads of the Year” list, and considering how tedious some of them were to get through, The Atlas Six positively shines in comparison! At least the characters showed promise, and I guess there’s a possibility the sequel might deliver on all the world-building and character development that was missing here. I mean, I’m not hopeful – but I’m willing to give Olivie Blake the benefit of the doubt for now…)


When the worldโ€™s best magicians are offered an extraordinary opportunity, saying yes is easy. Each could join the secretive Alexandrian Society, whose custodians guard lost knowledge from ancient civilizations. Their members enjoy a lifetime of power and prestige. Yet each decade, only six practitioners are invited โ€“ to fill five places.

Contenders Libby Rhodes and Nico de Varona are inseparable enemies, cosmologists who can control matter with their minds. Parisa Kamali is a telepath, who sees the mindโ€™s deepest secrets. Reina Mori is a naturalist who can perceive and understand the flow of life itself. And Callum Nova is an empath, who can manipulate the desires of others. Finally, thereโ€™s Tristan Caine, whose powers mystify even himself.

Following recruitment by the mysterious Atlas Blakely, they travel to the Societyโ€™s London headquarters. Here, each must study and innovate within esoteric subject areas. And if they can prove themselves, over the course of a year, theyโ€™ll survive. Most of them.

Before we get into major spoilers – Because, yes, of course there will be spoilers further down; how else am I supposed to rant about this book? ๐Ÿ˜ – let’s have a look at some of the more general stuff. What was it, exactly, that made The Atlas Six fall so flat for me?

Part of it might’ve been my expectations. If you pitch me something within my favorite genres that everybody loves, I’m going to be ridiculously excited!

And I’ll admit, at first, things did look promising. We were introduced to a group of genuinely flawed young adults with mysterious pasts trying to be initiated into a secret magical society. There were hints at a budding enemies-to-lovers romance – a trope I am infallibly trash for ๐Ÿฅฐ – and tons of references to Ancient Greek and Latin texts that I, having spent seven years of my life at a school with a heavy classical focus, instantly nerded out over. Even better, the entire magic system itself seemed to be linked to science and academia! Of course I was hooked!

Photos by Pixabay, Sheep, NEOSiAM 2021, and Amar Saleem on Pexels.com

I have to give it to Olivie Blake – she’s exceptionally good at setting the scene and building suspense. The only problem? She does this for the entirety of her book and never delivers on anything.

The world-building and explanations on what people actually do at this oh-so-secret magical society that is the central focus of this book are virtually non-existent. There is no character development whatsoever. Instead, we are simply told over and over again that these characters are “intriguing” and that there’s “more to them than meets the eye”. Similarly, despite them spending a significant amount of time together, our six protagonists’ relationships also remain very surface-level — well, surface-level apart from sex, that is. At some point through the book, Line and I seriously started wondering if maybe the real aim of this story was to have everyone sleep together at some point… Seriously, how can there be this much sex without the characters having had any in-depth conversations with one another at all?!?

Overall, reading The Atlas Six felt like talking to a person who thought they were incredibly smart, but really weren’t. It never made good on the huge promises set by the premise and characters. It was brimming with pretentious lines full of big vocabulary that were clearly meant to be “quotable” but had absolutely no substance once you really started thinking about them. It had a big pLoT tWiSt at the end that I, unfortunately, was not at all wow-ed by because there had been no real build-up to it. I honestly doubt you’d miss anything if you only read the first and last few chapters…

Which means that instead of being impressed by the ending, I was furious that things had been introduced clunkily and left unexplored, only to come back for a big reveal that ended the book on a huge cliffhanger and postponed any possible answers we might have gotten to a sequel!!!

But yeah… I think that’s about all I can say without spoiling things, so, for those of you who want all the tea, let’s get into the nitty gritty details!


I. World-Building and Plot – Or Lack Thereof

Like I already said, one of my biggest gripes with The Atlas Six was that I didn’t feel like anything was properly fleshed out. The book drags on and on and on, spewing seemingly deep stuff like “knowledge is carnage” or “beauty is nothing” or “something, once planted, can never be forgotten” – BUT IT NEVER EXPLORES ANY OF THAT!

Like, this society that is apparently supposed to give everyone this much knowledge? What does it do, exactly??? How does it use its knowledge? What are its members up to and who even are they? What are the initiates learning in that house? How is being there giving them more knowledge than they could obtain on their own?

Sure, apparently, there are all these books and the Society is really useful for networking purposes, but we never get to see that! Unless it’s some sparse detail that is immediately relevant for some big twist that is about to follow, we aren’t shown details on what the initiates are learning. Or how they fit into the organization’s bigger picture. All of their magical breakthroughs (which are allegedly grounded in science) are so vaguely explained that it seems very much like this magic system simply makes anything possible that is convenient for the plot at a particular given moment. And nothing the characters are learning seems so phenomenally new compared to what they already know that I am convinced they’d unquestioningly murder one of their own for access to the Society. Like, why do they just accept that there is no alternative?? Considering the fact that no one actually dies at the end and there are no repercussions whatsoever, the whole “knowledge is carnage” idea frankly comes across as laughable.

Which is particularly frustrating in light of the fact that the Society’s flaws end up being so central to the plot. Not only do the characters never question the problems we do get to see – the initiates having to sacrifice one of their own and the Society hoarding the Library of Alexandria’s knowledge for themselves – and never look into alternatives even when the Forum all but shoves them in their faces, but we are also never shown what else is crumbling beneath the Society’s mysterious faรงade. Instead, we get an infodumpy backstory about seemingly-considerate-boyfriend-who-is-really-time-travelly-magical Ezra and oh-so-boring-caretaker-nobody-ever-thinks-to-look-into Atlas once having had grand plans to “set things right”. WHAT THINGS DID THEY WANT TO SET RIGHT?? AND WHY HASN’T THE SOCIETY ALREADY DONE THIS? WHAT ARE PEOPLE’S STANCES ON THESE PROBLEMS WITHIN THE SOCIETY? WHY DOESN’T EVERYONE JUST SUPPORT THE FORUM? YOU CAN’T BE TOTALLY VAGUE ON ISSUES LIKE THESE AND THEN HAVE THEM BE THE REASONING BEHIND YOUR BIG PLOT TWIST!!

This is a problem that also extends to the world. Despite having read the whole book, I can’t really tell you very much about it, except from the fact that it is, according to Ezra, “dying” and probably our own world in some sort of alternate reality.

(I originally thought we might be in the future, but since Ezra traveled ahead to the year 2005, I’m guessing that’s out. Unless there’s been a calendar change as well? ๐Ÿค”)

I mean, have so many questions! Like, why do some people have magic and how does this magic work? What types of magic are there? What are its limits? And if people have magic, why can’t they use that to solve problems like climate change or social inequality?

I have no freaking clue. But maybe that’s just because all of those answers are part of Ezra’s grand secret plan that hasn’t been revealed yet. You have to save some suspense for the sequels, after all…

In this book, though? Nothing was explored in any great detail, and then the ending just went ahead and infodumped every plotline available, from Eilif’s evilness to Atlas’ backstory, into a quick-but-surface-level-explanation that didn’t really give us much of anything. Where were the nuance and the complex, interwoven connections that I love seeing in fiction? ๐Ÿ˜ซ

II. The Characters – Initially Intriguing, But Ultimately Kind of Bland

I could, however, have probably gotten past a lackluster plot if the characters had delivered. Character-driven stories nearly always end up topping plot-driven ones in my book, so when I started reading The Atlas Six, I was thrilled! All six protagonists seemed genuinely intriguing, there was loads of tension between them, and hints at darker backstories that were soon to be revealed!

Unfortunately, though, most of these hints didn’t really amount to much. Any potentially interesting information was either infodumped onto us all at once and then never brought up again (**cough Libby’s dead sister and Parisa’s tragic past cough**) or was apparently the ONLY thing worth mentioning about a character so that, once this information was revealed, the character became completely bland and boring (**cough Reina and her refusal to be defined by her magic cough**). And, even worse, none of the characters showed much agency or went through any sort of development whatsoever!

Reina, initially my favorite because she did her own thing and saw through everyone else’s nonsense, soon faded into the background. Her chapters were all “MotherMother soothe us with your voice it pleases us to hear you!” and let’s-read-unnamed-library-books-or-mention-that-this-whole-sparring-thing-with-Nico-is-still-going-on. After about the halfway point, they didn’t really add much.

Nico was basically only there to provide tension with Libby – a relationship I was initially rooting for but lost quite a bit of interest in when it became clear that they weren’t real enemies and that everyone was gonna sleep with everyone at some point anyway ๐Ÿ™„ – and to introduce Gideon and Eilif, so that that plotline could be infodumped in one sentence at the big reveal. I mean, he was nice enough, and I loved all of his trilingual banter with his roommates, but apart from that, did Nico really do anything?

Same for Libby. Initially, I found her incredibly relatable, what with the way she was constantly doubting her academic abilities and anxiously walking into socially awkward situations. The fact that she had never gotten over her sister’s death and stayed in a “safe” relationship with someone she clearly didn’t love made her interesting. Yet she never really progresses beyond the person we meet in that very first chapter. Yes, she has a few small moments, like when she dumps Ezra or gets into a full-on drunk threesome with Tristan and Parisa, but ultimately, she goes right back to being her anxious, over-achieving, and self-doubting self.

(Also, speaking of that threesome scene – reading it was a truly traumatizing moment, which I feel like I probably shouldn’t deprive you of my live reaction to:

Seriously guys, I was so uncomfortable that I switched books, only for the other book I was reading to segway right into an even more graphic sex scene in a lotus pond ๐Ÿ™ˆ๐Ÿ™ˆ๐Ÿ™ˆ At this point, I am seriously debating whether I ever want to read on public transport again! ๐Ÿ˜ซ)

Speaking of sex, though – PARISA ANNOYED THE FREAKING CRAP OUT OF ME!! Her sole purpose seemed to be to sleep with everything that crossed her path and then belittle everyone else for not having the same philosophy ๐Ÿ™„ Although at least her POV actually brought reveals that kept the plot moving, so I guess I appreciate her for that.

Tristan, on the other hand, I really liked! I thought he was a bit of a douche, true, but then I was so intrigued by his mysterious magical abilities and the fucked-up relationship he had with his father that he slowly reeled me in. Of course, like so many other characters, he did absolutely nothing once those things were revealed, but still…

My favorite character by far, however, was Callum – something that totally took me by surprise! At first, I thought he was a massive jerk, but once we got to see the true potential of is powers and the loneliness that being an empath entailed, I couldn’t help but find space for him in my heart. WHICH MADE IT ALL THE MORE FRUSTRATING THAT EVERYBODY WANTED TO SACRIFICE HIM WITH NO DISCUSSION WHATSOEVER!!! Like, why??? Callum is not the only one of you who killed someone! And the fact that he is capable of manipulating people to this extent and hasn’t done it to you – in contrast to a certain someone whose name begins with “P” and ends with “arisa” ๐Ÿ˜ค – should tell you more than enough about his trustworthiness!

Still – even though I had my favorites and generally thought the characters had a lot of potential, I just wish they had actually had character arcs. Or developed relationships with one another that went beyond banging each other…

III. The Writing Style – Verbose Pretentiousness Elucidating Entirely Ordinary Occurrences in Such a Manner That They Seemed Profoundly Deep Despite Being Fairly Devoid of Meaning

My final complaint, if a bit petty, concerns the writing. This didn’t really bother me a whole lot while I was reading – because at that point, I still thought that all of this stuff that was constantly being hinted at might actually lead somewhere – but in retrospect, a lot of it felt like it was trying incredibly hard to sound “smart”.

Like that “Knowledge is Carnage” tagline, a phrase that I think was initially uttered by Dalton? “Carnage”, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, refers to “the killing of a large number of people”. Synonyms are “massacre” or “bloodbath”. BUT NONE OF THAT WAS EVER ON THE TABLE!! Even when the initiates still thought they would have to sacrifice one of their own to become full members of the society! “Carnage” requires brutal, bloody slaughter. Of MULTIPLE people. Which means that, in this context, it just doesn’t make sense!! That line only sounds quotable if you don’t think about it too much!

Which applies to a ton of the other “profound” quotes this book offers as well. Olivie Blake constantly uses exaggerated language to make statements about the price that comes with certain privileges, or, since this is what about 50% of the book focuses on, sex:

More than once, Callum had witnessed Dalton experiencing Parisa with every parapet of his being without touching her, with only the silhouette of the former senses to enjoy; muscle memory for lovers. At arbitrary times throughout the day, Callum could taste and feel and smell her anew, like the ghosts of someone else’s aching.

The Atlas Six, p. 229

Like, we get it, okay? Parisa and Dalton are sleeping together! I don’t need to be reminded of that every five pages in some new, verbose way!!

(And don’t even get me started on all of the extra information in brackets that went on and on forever and talked about things like Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle or Democritus’ texts on ancient atomism and totally did not interrupt my reading flow at all. If you want to wallop me over the head with ties the magic system has to real academia, then please go beyond all the name-dropping and actually explain those ties! But I guess mentioning a bunch of old texts and famous physicists is the first step ๐Ÿ™„)

So yeah – overall, I was not a fan and am at an absolute loss to understand why this book is so popular ๐Ÿ˜… Sure, there are also worse books out there. Like I already said, my reading experience itself wasn’t horrible, and I did find the premise and the characters compelling. It’s just that, in my opinion, their potential was never realized…

But what do I know? Clearly, I am in the minority here, so if you have something to say in The Atlas Six‘s defense, don’t let grumpy old me stop you! I’d love to hear your opinion on this book, no matter whether you agree with me or not!

45 thoughts on “Unpopular Opinion Alert: The Atlas Six by Olivie Blake Was a Major Letdown

  1. Janette says:

    I read this book as an ARC early in the year and was really disappointed . Every other review I read was so good, it was almost as if I had read a completely different book. However since it’s been published I’ve seen more and more negative comments which reflect what I felt about it. A great review

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Maria @ The Character Study says:

    I enjoyed The Atlas Six when I read it but, like I mentioned in my review, I liked the first part way more than the second. My favourite part were definitely the characters, especially Callum. But I do agree with everything you said, because I too was disappointed by the lack of resolution and, although the plot twist was interesting, it wasn’t a real twist since we literally hadn’t learnt anything at all about those characters. To be quite frank, I’ve been debating whether I should lower my rating, but I haven’t decided yet. My expectations were so high and I wanted to love it so much that I think I kept the faith all while reading, and might have given it a higher rating. That being said, I still hope the sequel delivers and we get some closure. But yeah, Callum was hands down my absolute favourite part of the book, and I’m glad you agree because one of my friends just read the book and she absolutely despises him ๐Ÿ˜‚.

    In terms of ships, I was thoroughly confused. That threesome was extremely devoid of chemistry in my eyes. I was hoping for Callum and Tristan to become a thing. Nico also had lots of chemistry with Libby in the beginning and Gideon once he’s introduced. But I guess we’ll have to wait and see if any of that goes anywhere.

    Liked by 1 person

    • abookowlscorner says:

      I totally get what you mean! I think my expectations were so high that I, too, kept faith right up until the ending ๐Ÿ˜ญ I just couldn’t believe everything I had been reading didn’t lead up to anything when it had all been so intriguing, and I was furious!! Although I think I also couldn’t fully accept that disillusionment right off the bat, because it actually took me ranting to Line and writing this review to realize just how little substance this book actually had… Honestly, I might have been a tad too generous with my rating, too ๐Ÿ˜‚

      But I’m still really glad you enjoyed this more than me, and hope all my ranting hasn’t impacted your love for the book too much! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Because at least we agree on Callum!!! ๐Ÿฅฐ Like, how can anyone not like him?? HOW?!? The moral implications of his talent were fascinating, and it was so sad how his magic put him apart from everyone else, even when he was looking out for them! And him having manipulated his mother into loving him! ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ

      And gosh, yes, the ships! ๐Ÿ˜… Initially, I was all for Nico and Libby, but the clearer it became that Nico and Libby weren’t really anything but constantly bickering friends with a stagnant relationship and the more people started sleeping with each other, the less interested I got. Which is why Nico and Gideon also intrigued me! But then we got that awkward, totally out of context comment about Nico having seen Gideon’s penis and turning into falcons, and I think at that point, Line and I were just in such a hopelessly confused WTF-state that it inhibited any previously considered shipping ๐Ÿ™ˆ๐Ÿคฃ I was totally for Tristan and Callum becoming a thing, though! Although, after that weird threesome, my enthusiasm also faded a bit…

      But I guess we’ll see… If enough people say it’s good, I MIGHT consider reading the sequel to get some answers. Though I might let you and Line test it first, so that I know what I’m getting myself into ๐Ÿคฃ

      Liked by 1 person

      • Maria @ The Character Study says:

        Yep, all your criticism was very on point, and I’ve already seen lots of people saying similar stuff about it. I think that I’m just holding on to the bits I really liked a bit too much…

        Also, that threesome was extremely random and I still don’t understand how or why Tristan started liking Libby afterwards… I felt NO chemistry at all, but oh well. Oh, I totally forgot that comment about Gideon’s penis and turning into falcons and now I’m confused hahahaha

        I’ll definitely read the sequel because I still believe in the potential this has. The first half was great to me, but I do wish the second one delivered.

        Liked by 1 person

        • abookowlscorner says:

          Don’t we all hold on to what we loved about books a bit too much, though? ๐Ÿคฃ I know I’m definitely guilty of that regarding some of my childhood favorites. Like, objectively, I now know they’re not the greatest, but I keep loving them anyway! ๐Ÿ˜Š

          Liked by 1 person

  3. Mint says:

    It’s so interesting for me to see Olivie Blake writing original fiction because she actually used to be a fanfiction author. She wrote Harry Potter (Draco/Hermione fanfiction specifically) and it’s still up on Archive Of Our Own under OlivieBlake if you’re interested. For context, her work was received fairly well but they were never *huge* works either.

    So many of the issues you mention, I think were either caused by her time in fanfiction or were already visible. Like, authors don’t have to do as much work world-building/character development if they have material to build off already. Maybe she just struggled making the transition to original fiction?

    I also remember her fanfiction being overly wordy too. She loved introducing original characters, way more than what was typically seen in fanfiction, but I never felt any of them were particularly fleshed out then either?

    Liked by 1 person

    • abookowlscorner says:

      Oh, wow, I didn’t know that! But looking back on how Olivie Blake wrote the entire Nico/Libby dynamic, I guess the Dramione stuff makes a whole lot of sense – at least judging by my very limited forays into the genre. They very much fit into the “we’re academic rivals who hate each other but also can’t stay away from each other” mold, too ๐Ÿคฃ

      And you might be onto something regarding the world-building and character-development. It would certainly explain the incongruity between Olivie Blake’s ability to set the scene and write intriguing characters but not develop an in-depth world or plot… Although I don’t necessarily think that has to be a consequence of writing fanfiction. For example, Cassandra Clare seems to have managed the transition just fine ๐Ÿค”

      Still, I’m kind of intrigued now, so maybe I’ll have to check out some of that fanfiction once I have a bit of spare time ๐Ÿ˜‚

      Liked by 1 person

      • Mint says:

        Oh for sure, there are a lot of former fanfiction writers who made the transition well! It just sounds like Olivie Blake wasn’t one of them, unfortunately.

        I honestly would recommend other pieces of Draco/Hermione fanfiction over what Olivie Blake wrote just because I think there’s better out there, but it’s not bad at all if you’re interested in exploring what her work was like.

        Liked by 1 person

        • abookowlscorner says:

          “Exploring what her work was like” is definitely the main reason I’m interested – I’m just so curious how Olivie Blake’s fanfiction past ties into her original writing! ๐Ÿ™ƒ (And I must admit, I’ve never been a huge Draco/Hermione fan… Instead, Lily/James fanfiction was always what got to me! ๐Ÿคฃ)

          Liked by 1 person

  4. Rachel says:

    ive been seeing so many unpopular opinions about TA6 in the bookish community that its not even unpopular anymore lol. but yep from all the mixed opinions i’ve read, i’m actually considering picking it up just out of morbid curiosity. (im pretty sure i’ll dislike it tho, because 1) your review obviously and 2) dark fantasy has never really worked for me)

    Liked by 1 person

    • abookowlscorner says:

      Maybe I should have been paying more attention then – I had seen pretty much exclusively good reviews, so I was even more disappointed when this didn’t end up delivering!!! ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ SERIOUSLY, IT WAS SUCH A LETDOWN!! ๐Ÿ˜ซ I can’t say I recommend you go read it, but then again, I’d be remarkably curious to hear your thoughts… Worst comes to worst, I certainly wouldn’t mind having more people to rant with! ๐Ÿ™ƒ๐Ÿ˜


  5. Line @First Line Reader says:

    First of all, is this what you consider a short review? ๐Ÿ˜…
    Second of all, this was the most satisfying thing ever!! I agree with everything! Also, I’m going to need the sequel to have a major plot involving the woods in Denmark and making it perfectly clear why a Dane would be named Dalton Ellery. I’m not over that. There was absolutely no mention of it in the rest of the book meaning there was no need to write such a wildly inaccurate sentence!! ๐Ÿ˜ฃ

    A thing I want to add about Parisa is that I also think her ability is extremely violating. Your thoughts are a deeply personal and intimate part of you and she’s just taking access to them. And that without any sort of remorse or sensitivity and I think that’s what makes me hate her the most. She’s mentally assaulting people and not feeling sorry for it throughout the entire book! And like what you talk about a bit, it’s different from what Callum is doing. He’s not a saint by any means but he’s not taking your deepest darkest secrets and making a joke out of them.

    Anyway, I loved this post! ๐Ÿ˜ I would also have loved it if it had been one long post just you ranting about that “Knowledge is Carnage” line because I don’t think I could get sick of that ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • abookowlscorner says:

      Well, it was a lot shorter on Sunday! I had only written the non-spoiler section at that point, as well as notes on what I wanted to say in the spoiler part, and those really weren’t that long! Who could have forseen this post would explode the way it did? ๐Ÿค”๐Ÿคฃ (Let’s just say I got some very therapeutic nighttime writing sessions in…)

      However, I’m very disappointed in you, Line… Because, obviously, the Denmark plotline that we really need here is the poltergeist society one! Or how Inuit ended up blending with Danish and Icelandic to form Mermish, when waters around places where Inuit is spoken should be far too cold for the Little Mermaid to hang out at ๐Ÿค” Those things are far more important that Dalton Ellery because, you know, anything involving Dalton will probably also involve a whole lot more Parisa. Like, do we really want that? ๐Ÿ˜ฌ

      Particularly since I agree with everything you said about her! Yes, her using other people’s most intimate thoughts against them with utter disregard for their emotions is the absolute worst!! That’s exactly why I think she’s a huge hypocrite for throwing Callum under the bus for what he COULD do with his magic, when she is the one who is actually USING hers against her fellow initiates!! Honestly, that girl really needs a taste of her own medicine! ๐Ÿ˜ค However, I don’t know if that’s ever going to happen, since not even her sparring session with Callum made the slightest dent in her self-righteousness ๐Ÿ™„

      Anyway, I’m so glad you liked this! ๐Ÿฅฐ And that you enjoyed my “Knowledge is Carnage” rants because I’m probably pettier about that than any sane person should have a right to be… ๐Ÿ˜‚ Seriously, thanks again for reading this with me because I don’t know how I would’ve survived if I hadn’t had someone to vent to immediately after finishing it!

      (P.S.: Please consider your last comment on StoryGraph liked, and know that the absence of that button is still driving me absolutely insane! ๐Ÿ˜ซ)

      Liked by 1 person

      • Line @First Line Reader says:

        Yeah, who could possible have foreseen this post would get super long? It’s not like it happens every time you write a review ๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ˜‚

        Oh and I’m obviously thinking that the Denmark plotline would have to be so big that it would dive further into all the mentions of Denmark and Danish from this book (why else reference it three times in a book? duh, that was obviously a big set-up). And it can totally be about Dalton because he’s going to become his own person in the sequel and realize he doesn’t need Parisa. It’s going to fit so well with the overall plot of isolating her because everyone finally realizes what a terrible person she is and they’re all going to be plotting to kill her, bringing about just a little of that carnage you’re missing ๐Ÿ˜

        And thanks for reading it with me too! ๐Ÿค— So many of my problems with it turned out to be very spoilery so I would probably have gone crazy if I couldn’t talk to anyone about them!

        (It’s a nightmare, right? ๐Ÿ˜‚)

        Liked by 1 person

        • abookowlscorner says:

          Actually, never mind, you’re right – that Dalton plotline sounds very alluring ๐Ÿคฃ I wouldn’t even mind if Callum decided to “help” a little, by making Dalton realize just how much of his emotions stem from Parisa’s manipulation… Bring on the carnage!

          Liked by 1 person

  6. Meena Green says:

    I haven’t read this book but I went into this review thinking I had also never heard of it…It wasn’t until you started talking about and listing the characters that I finally remembered I had heard people online talking about it. So based on that alone, to me, this is not a very interesting book at all…๐Ÿ˜…

    Liked by 1 person

    • abookowlscorner says:

      Haha, yes, there’s a ton of hype for this online! Not that I think that’s justified (๐Ÿ™„), but it doesn’t surprise me that you’ve seen it around! I definitely don’t blame you for not being interested, though ๐Ÿคฃ

      Liked by 1 person

  7. FangirlFlax says:

    Oof, this is interesting! I’ve had that did-I-read-the-same-book-as-everyone-else?! feeling a lot lately about popular books, so I 100% relate to you wondering that. I haven’t read this yet, but I’ve been looking forward to it for a while and wanting to wait until the hype dies down. It seems like that would be a wise thing for me to continue to do, so I can curb my expectations! (Also, your section titles cracked me up–especially the third one!)

    Liked by 1 person

    • abookowlscorner says:

      I really should take a page out of your book – a bit of healthy skepticism in the wake of hype would have saved me so much disappointment here! ๐Ÿ˜ซ I do hope you’ll like The Atlas Six more than me, though, should you ever end up reading it… (And thank you! ๐Ÿฅฐ I’m glad they’re being appreciated ๐Ÿ˜)

      Liked by 1 person

      • FangirlFlax says:

        Honestly, it’s not my favourite thing to be skeptical about (I’d much rather be excited!) but I’ve learned that hard lesson a few times this year! I’m glad you managed to turn your negative reading experience into an entertaining review, at least ๐Ÿ˜

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Suhani says:

    Ahhh Iโ€™ve been seeing SO MANY mixed reviews about this lately lol!!
    Iโ€™ve heard this is a โ€“โ€œjust vibes no plotโ€ book and your review confirmed my suspicions!!!๐Ÿ™ˆ
    I highly doubt I’m getting to this now unless it’s simply to judge it every few pages or for those pretty artworks Iโ€™ve seen in between chapters eeek!! Loved reading your review!!!!๐Ÿ’–

    Liked by 1 person

    • abookowlscorner says:

      Yes, “just vibes no plot” sums this up perfectly, unfortunately! ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ I still don’t understand how a premise with so much potential be executed so poorly!! ๐Ÿ˜ค
      But yeah, the artwork WAS pretty! Not pretty enough to redeem the book for me, though ๐Ÿ˜œ


  9. Anoushka says:

    NOOOOO NAEMI ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ I’m so sad you ended up disliking this ๐Ÿ˜ญ it’s sad how I trust your opinions and am therefore scared to read this (EVILNESS) I’ve been seeing so many negative reviews recently though, so I’m PRETTY sure your opinion isn’t unpopular (DOESNโ€™T MAKE UP FOR THE FACT THAT Iโ€™M STILL HEARTBROKEN) BUT I HAD HIGH EXPECTATIONS OKAY?? you crushed them

    BUT ALSO! HAVE I EVER MENTIONED HOW YOUR REVIEWS ARE PERFECTION AND I AM RIDICULOUSLY IN LOVE WITH THEM?? maybe I shall forgive you for writing such an entertaining review ๐Ÿ‘€

    Liked by 1 person

    • abookowlscorner says:

      Trust me, Anoushka, you can’t be more sad than I am – I was so disappointed when I didn’t end up loving this! ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ Especially because everything about it showed so much potential!! ๐Ÿ˜ซ HOW WAS THIS SO MEDIOCRE?!?

      But of course, I’ll keep my fingers crossed that you’ll end up loving it a whole lot more than me if you do end up reading it! We don’t need more disappointment in this world!!

      (Although I’m also happy to hear you enjoyed my ranting heehee ๐Ÿ˜)

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Jeans says:

    Thank goodness I’m not alone in being heartily disappointed. I was so convinced I would love it that I kept going. For 15 hours (I listen to audio) I waited…for nothing. So much promise but no plot structure, no character development, and the viewpoints don’t interweave in meaningful ways. Callum and one of the others knew Libby was taken by someone she was familiar with by her scream… was this not talked about when they went looking? Nico would think of Ezra, surely? Infuriating book.

    Liked by 1 person

    • abookowlscorner says:

      Same! I was so sure the payoff had to come at some point, and then it just didn’t! Although it must be even more frustrating when you’re listening to it – I can’t even imagine how annoyed I would’ve been after investing 15 hours of my life… ๐Ÿ˜…

      And you’re so right about your last point, too! I didn’t even think of that because I was too busy venting my frustration at the lack of payoff we got, but it makes so much sense that the others would try to contact Ezra. Them not thinking of him is awfully convenient! ๐Ÿ™„


  11. Kat magellen says:

    When I don’t like a popular book in my favourite genres,I worry over it like a dog at a bone -and I trawl through sites like yours to see if someone better versed in analysis can tease it out for me.I think you are right – there is no real character development. The backstories are laid out like a deck of cards.Nothing really moves along.I think she lost me with the central premise , though.With the possible exceptions of the sociopathic empath and the naturalist ( who ironically has no feelings for living creatures and just wants to bury herself in a library forever)-I can’t see any of these twenty-somethings being willing to carry out a coldblooded, premeditated murder .I read the book after binging the Scholomance series (it was a suggested segue from Kindle) and in one of those the central character says something like“just because you put a thousand teenagers together doesn’t mean it turns into Lord of the Flies“ ( and when the murders were revealed in THAT series they WERE understandable if repugnant.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • abookowlscorner says:

      Oh, I’m so glad I’m not the only one who does that! ๐Ÿ˜‚ I always start questioning whether I simply didn’t get something whenever I hate a book that seems universally beloved…

      But in The Atlas Six’s case, I really don’t see why so many people adore it! You’re totally right – I can’t really see any of the characters cold-bloodedly murdering someone, not even Parisa. Which is basically the problem through the whole book! We’re always told that something is the case but get no evidence for it whatsoever! Like, I don’t see why anyone would want to choose the Society over the Forum, either, but somehow none of the main characters question that choice ๐Ÿค” Add the missing charactee development and weird plot twists, and I really wasnโ€™t a fan!

      I might have to try The Scholomance series, though… Especially since I really liked some of Naomi Novik’s other books!


  12. Malcolm Harris says:

    I’m on p293 and Googled „Atlas Six ? YA Fiction“, as I’m finding the whole book so juvenile.
    I enjoyed your dissection of it, which is making me feel even less like bothering to finish it. You pinned down the lack of character development and info-dumping very well.
    Regarding Olivie Blake’s poor use of vocabulary: aside from your point of her littering the text with careless $100 words, seemingly just for the sake of it, she also commits the heinous sin of splattering her prose with the word, ‚disinterested‘, when she means ‚very uninterested‘, not its actual meaning, ‚impartial‘. It’s a pet hate of mine.
    When I picked the book up in Waterstone’s a few days ago, I misinterpreted the setting. I had the impression that the magical folk in this version of the world were hidden in the way that they more or less are in our own version of the Earth. I was a little deflated when I learned early on that the Atlas world is more or less a Hogwarts knock-off, just with less scope and depth. The bookseller quite heartily recommended the book to me, as well, which gives me pause at this point.
    All in all, I’m led to another word I don’t much like, but which has its place here – Meh!


    • abookowlscorner says:

      Your comment on the misuse “disinterested” just made my day ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜‡ That perfectly sums up all of the pretentious wasted effort this book put into trying to appear smart, in my opinion! So I definitely wouldn’t blame you of you decided to abandon The Atlas Six before finishing!

      I also feel like your version of the setting would’ve been way more interesting! That way, the whole society might’ve felt a whole lot more secretive, and maybe we would’ve at least been given the chance at more detailled worldbuilding if the society had been a more small scale thing? But yeah – I wasn’t particularly impressed, either… “Meh!” is really the perfect summary of this book! ๐Ÿ™„


  13. Malcolm Harris says:

    Your comments are very kind – flattery will, indeed, get you everywhere ๐Ÿ˜€

    It’s taken me most of my life to get here, but I am fortunate enough to earn my living mainly for writing – I have the unusual job title of Head of Stories for a national UK Facilities Management company, funnily enough called Atlas! I spend my time travelling the country meeting our employees, managers and clients and, well, making them aware of how wonderful they are and then telling the rest of the company and, sometimes, the outside world the same thing!

    You have an evident bent for the art yourself and I commend you to stick at it. One thing I have found, since being in this job over the last 18 months or so, is that being effectively forced to write a couple of thousand-word plus original pieces a week in ways that engage and appeal to a broad readership has a definite, noticeable and positive impact on my work.

    Do keep going in whatever way serves you best. There is no right or wrong in form or function – just write!

    Liked by 1 person

    • abookowlscorner says:

      Thank you! I’ve definitely noticed that writing regularly for an audience has helped me improve as well, and I really appreciate the positive feedback! ๐Ÿ˜Š I’m also happy to hear that you’ve found a job you enjoy so much – all the travel and writing sound really rewarding!


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