The Atlas Six

Macmillan Audio. (The Atlas, Bk. 1). Mar. 2022. 15:59 hrs. ISBN 9781250860460. $32.99. FANTASY
Blake’s dark fantasy, first self-published in 2020, achieved viral fame through millions of TikTok views and is now available in audio. This book, the first in a planned trilogy, follows six medeians, magicians with powers ranging from telepathy to the ability to manipulate nature, who are selected to join the Alexandrian Society. The Society is a secret body that safeguards the treasures of the Great Library of Alexandria and serves as a stunningly powerful magical think tank. Eight narrators—James Patrick Cronin, Siho Ellsmore, Munirih Grace, Andy Ingalls, Caitlin Kelly, Damian Lynch, David Monteith, and Steve West—give voice to the characters as they learn that only five of their original six members will make it to initiation. The brutal choice of whom to eliminate is theirs to make. The audio version may be challenging for listeners, for while the narrators provide solid performances, their sheer number, combined with different characterizations and interpretations, increases the complexity of the already sprawling story. Additionally, inconsistencies in volume and sound quality may be distracting for some.
VERDICT While steadfast fantasy lovers will be eager for the next installation in this series, others may wish that worldbuilding and action better matched the hype.
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