I will be blunt from the beginning of my review. I don´t share the thrilling feeling other bloggers have expressed for this novel. For me, it is only average. Filled with some tension, yes, and some action, yes again. But most of the time I was asking if it was only me who was confused about an apparently not existing plot or what the heck was going on here. I am happy that the publisher used the original cover design for the German edition. And I like the black and white illustrations that show each character. They are beautiful, although I had first to figure out who´s who…

The Atlas Six-Wissen Ist Tödlich*
by Olivie Blake
The Atlas Six Trilogy #1
Translation Heide Frank, Alexandra Jordan
Original Title The Atlas Six
Illustration Little Chmura
Publisher Fischer Tor on September 28, 2022
Genre Fantasy
Pages 537
Format Hardcover
Source Fischer Tor
The Library of Alexandria has never perished, hiding humanity's darkest secrets for thousands of years. Every ten years, the most talented magicians of their generation get the opportunity to study ancient knowledge. Tremendous wealth, power, and wisdom await those who survive initiation. But of the six chosen, only five will survive. Joining us this time are Libby Rhodes and Nico de Varona, two gifted physiomagicians from the New York University of Magical Arts who can't stand each other. The telepath Parisa Kamali and the empath Callum Nova, both masters of manipulation. Tristan Caine, the cynical son of a London gangster who can see through every illusion, and Reina Mori, a mysterious nature magician from Japan.
Libby is excited and very scared at the same time. She has the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be a part of the Atlas Six and to go beyond the initiation. But what if she can´t prove that she is worth it? And without Nico and his sarcasm, she doesn´t really believe that she can achieve what she desires the most. That everybody likes her. What she doesn´t know is, that the others hide something from her. This information brings another tone to the deadly game. Or isn´t it a deadly game at all and she´s the only one who will be able to sort things out?

Although some pages are very scientific and philosophical, the author's writing style is kept simple and easy to read. Olivie Blake presents a story that is delightfully magical on the one hand, but also boring and riddled with stereotypical clichés on the other. It was humorous at first but quickly became annoying. At least for me. Why does an author have to keep pointing out a certain part of a character's hairstyle when it is already clear after the first mention that said part of the hairstyle is impossible and clearly underlines the nervousness of the character for the reader? I cannot understand.

There is no question that Olivie Blake shows a diversity that has it all. There is everything from the bored, rich pretty boy down to the feline seductress. But then why exaggerate everything and turn the characters into stylized stereotypes that eventually only become annoying instead of inspiring and delighting the reader?

Libby is such a character. She's full of complexes, wants to be liked by everyone (and by that I really mean EVERYONE), and asks a thousand questions that only show one thing, namely that she's a bundle of nerves 24/7 and her constant fiddling with her hair does the trick too not better. What I found amusing at the beginning of the story quickly became an annoying annoyance. This character only seems to really work with Nico (he has the same magic ability as her, just a few classes calmers). Initially likable, she quickly became the number one pain in the ass. Too bad.

It's a shame, but I definitely expected more from this novel. Much more. In the end, it was just an average story for me, which was partly exciting and provided a lot of action and at the same time was incredibly confusing. I found the much-cited and highly praised diversity to be boring at times. In addition, the author has also worked with far too many stereotypes that annoyed me after just a few pages. It's a pity, just a pity, but unfortunately, I can't recommend it for this reading average.

Happy reading

*This book was kindly provided to me by Fischer Tor in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. Thank you. Therefore, the cover of the German edition is shown first in this review.

Deutsche Rezension

Obwohl es auf einigen Seiten sehr wissenschaftlich und philosophisch zugeht, ist der Schreibstil der Autorin dennoch schlicht gehalten und gut lesbar. Olivie Blake präsentiert hier eine Geschichte, die einerseits herrlich magisch ist, auf der anderen Seite aber auch langweilig und durchzogen von stereotypen Klischees ist. Das war anfangs noch mit Humor versehen, wurde dann aber schnell nervig. Zumindest für mich. Warum muss ein Autor ständig auf einen bestimmten Frisurenteil einer Figur hinweisen, wenn schon nach der ersten Erwähnung klar ist, dass besagter Frisurenteil unmöglich ist und die Nervosität der Figur gut erkennbar für den Leser unterstreicht? Kann ich nicht nachvollziehen.

Keine Frage, Olivie Blake zeigt hier eine Diversität, die es in sich hat. Da ist vom gelangweilten, reichen Schönling bis runter zur katzenhaften Verführerin alles dabei. Aber warum dann noch alles Übertreiben und die Figuren zu stilisierten Stereotypen machen, die irgendwann nur noch nervig sind, anstatt den Leser zu begeistern und zu erfreuen?

Libby ist so eine Figur. Sie steckt voller Komplexe, will von jedem (und damit meine ich wirklich von JEDEM) unbedingt gemocht werden, stellt tausend Fragen, die nur eines zeigen, nämlich dass sie ein 24/7 Nervenbündel ist und ihr ständiges Herumgefummele an ihren Haaren macht die Sache auch nicht besser. Was ich zu Beginn der Geschichte noch amüsant fand, wurde schnell zum nervigen Ärgernis. Diese Figur scheint nur mit Nico (er hat die gleiche magische Fähigkeit wie sie, ist nur um Klassen ruhiger) zusammen wirklich zu funktionieren. Anfangs noch sympathisch, wurde sie schnell zur Nervensäge Nummer eins. Schade.

Es ist absolut schade, doch von diesem Roman habe ich mir eindeutig mehr erwartet. Viel mehr. Letztendlich war er für mich nur eine durchschnittliche Geschichte, die teilweise spannend und mit viel Action versehen war und sich zugleich unglaublich verwirrend gestaltet hat. Die viel zitierte und hochgelobte Diversität empfand ich stellenweise als langweilig. Hinzu kommt, dass die Autorin auch mit viel zu vielen Stereotypen gearbeitet hat, die mich bereits nach wenigen Seiten genervt haben. Schade, einfach nur schade, aber für diesen Lesedurchschnitt gibt es von mir leider keine Empfehlung.

Olivie Blake
Olivie Blake ©private

Olivie Blake loves and writes stories - most of them fantastic. She is particularly fascinated by the endless complexity of life and love. She works in Los Angeles, where she is graciously tolerated by her favorite pit bull. Her self-published book, The Atlas Six, became a TikTok sensation before being republished by Tor Books and translated into over twenty languages.


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