The Atlas Six by Olivie Blake (Speculative Fiction — Audio Book)

Writing: 3/5 Characters: 3/5 Plot: 4/5

Mixed feelings about this one. A kind of combination of Hunger Games and Divergent. Six very powerful magicians (Medeans) — each with their own very particular kind of magic — are recruited to join the Alexandrian Society with power and secret knowledge offered to those who manage to be initiated. With one small hitch — one out of six will not be allowed to make it.

Pros: Some very interesting world building that blends philosophy, psychology, and a version of physics which embeds magic at its core. Really interesting description of reality and how it is perceived. Each of the six, with their own backstory and strength, adds a nice twisted spin to the way we think about things.

Cons: I found the characters and dialog pretty adolescent. Plenty of arrogance, and amused smirking, and competition as to who can adopt the most superior tone. Blah, blah, blah. Most are greedy for power for their own sake while I greatly prefer reading about people who are motivated by achievement and / or relationships.

And the biggest “con” of all: a complete cliff hanger at the end which I loathe.

So … entertaining for the most part, some cringeworthy and tedious introspection and sparring, and an irritating cliffhanger at the end. The second book just came out a couple of months ago, so if you’re interested, you won’t have to wait for the cliffhanger to be resolved. While I didn’t love it, this is a VERY popular title!

I listened to the audio book which had different (and good) readers for each of the six main characters as aligned with the chapter which centered on them.