ALC Mini Review – The Atlas Paradox

Hello, everyone! Today I’m reviewing The Atlas Paradox by Olivie Blake. I loved the first book in this series so much and had very high expectations for this sequel. Did it live up to them? Read on to find out!

“DESTINY IS A CHOICE”

The Atlas Paradox is the long-awaited sequel to dark academic sensation The Atlas Six—guaranteed to have even more yearning, backstabbing, betrayal, and chaos.

Six magicians. Two rivalries. One researcher. And a man who can walk through dreams. All must pick a side: do they wish to preserve the world—or destroy it? In this electric sequel to the viral sensation, The Atlas Six, the society of Alexandrians is revealed for what it is: a secret society with raw, world-changing power, headed by a man whose plans to change life as we know it are already under way. But the cost of knowledge is steep, and as the price of power demands each character choose a side, which alliances will hold and which will see their enmity deepen?

***Thank you to Macmillan Audio for providing a copy of the audiobook via NetGalley. My review contains my honest thoughts about my reading experience.***

I’m still not quite sure yet what I think about this book, but I know I liked, and maybe even loved, it. Honestly, it will probably take a re-read for me to completely understand my feelings about it, but I have enough thoughts to at least write a semi-coherent mini review (hopefully). This book had quite a different vibe from the first one. The tension of impending murder was gone, and the group dynamic I loved in The Atlas Six was fractured by the loss of Libby. However, these changes led to some unexpected alliances and allowed for a deeper dive into the inner world of the characters and the mysteries of the library. I loved the additions to the world-building and the increased focus on the science, mythology, and ethics associated with the power of the characters. The mind games intensified despite being more isolated, and each of the characters changed quite a bit in ways I didn’t expect as a result. My favorite characters in this one were Tristan, Reina, and Libby. They experienced a lot of growth, and I was happy Reina got more focus because I find her and her power fascinating. I’m not going to say any more than that because of spoilers. The book also had a lot to say about power (and those who wield it) and provided interesting commentary on activism. Despite living for every second I got to spend with these morally dubious disasters, some things about the book were a bit disappointing. It definitely suffered from second book syndrome. Outside of Libby’s story arc, there wasn’t much of a plot. The rest of the characters were sort of adrift, and most of the book was just them having conversations about their powers and theories, which I loved but I’m sure some others won’t. The Atlas and Ezra conflict felt a bit underdeveloped, and I really would have liked to see more time spent with Ezra and the Forum to get to know their operation better. On the bright side, this book did position all the characters for an exciting finale in the next one. Most importantly, I am still convinced that Callum and Tristan are endgame. They are perfect for each other in a messed up way, and I will die on this hill. lol. Was this book perfect? No. Will everyone who loved the first one love this one too? Probably not. If you love dark academia vibes and delving into the minds and relationships of morally ambiguous characters on a power trip, you will probably enjoy this book. The audio with the full cast did a wonderful job of bringing them and their personalities to life in a really engaging way. I enjoyed it despite its flaws and rate it 5 out of 5 stars.

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