The Atlas Paradox

- Olivie Blake


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?



Gideon Drake shaded his eyes from the red-burning sun and swept a glance across the scorched and blackened hills. Heat rippled in the air between particulate clouds of ash. Little moth wings of debris floated delicately across his limited vision. The smoke was thick, chalky enough to stick in his throat, and if any of it was real it would constitute a medical emergency on the spot.
But it wasn’t, so it didn’t.


I saw somewhere that nothing really happens in The Atlas Paradox until you’re 25% of the way through. I’d like to correct this misunderstanding and inform you that it’s entirely possible you’ll be bored out of your mind until you’ve made it 75-80% of the way through. Sorry.

While The Atlas Six was incredibly cerebral, I still landed on the ‘I think I enjoyed this’ side. With The Atlas Paradox, there are three particular moments right at the end that I really enjoyed.
Tristan finally being honest with Callum, Libby finally realising her worth and potential, and Nico and Gideon.
That third one happens literally on the second last page. Unfortunately, the rest of the book is so mind-numbingly dull that it feels like it is actively trying to put you into a coma.
“‘Did I say this was about you?’ Callum cut in, carefully neutral, but for once, Tristan managed to surprise him.
‘Of course it’s about me.’ Tristan was snarling, and from the hearth was a coincidental series of cracks and sparks. ‘I was there, Callum. I was fucking there.’
Tristan’s chest rose and fell with anguish and Callum sat still, bearing the unexpected weight of it.
‘Whether you put it there or not,’ Tristan said, his voice heavy with irony, ‘this – between us – it was real for me. You can pretend that it didn’t matter. That I was the one who wronged you. That you had no hand in how things happened. That I made a choice based on nothing, based on my own insecurities and flaws. But I am not such an idiot – I’m not so devoid of feeling,’ Tristan spat, ‘to not be perfectly aware that you and I had something rare and difficult and fucking significant, and in the end it only broke because I broke it.’
Callum’s chest suddenly felt as if it had been compressed with a cartoonishly large mallet.
‘So, yes,’ Tristan concluded with a jerk of the muscle beside his jaw. ‘I know this is about me.'”
It makes me so mad because I want to ignore the third book in this series when it comes out. I know it will take ages to read and for anything to happen, but I dare you to read those last two pages and give up on this series.
“There was a streak of blood on Nico’s cheek when Gideon looked at him. A slow trickle from Nico’s hairline, a cut along his jaw. There was a roar of something furious and fierce in Gideon, who reached up to brush the blood away and then stopped.
‘What?’ said Nico, who swallowed a laugh. The muscle in his jaw jumped, then stilled.
‘Nothing,’ said Gideon.
‘Gideon, come on, no te hagas rogar -‘
Don’t make me beg. Ha, as if he would. As if he could.
Nico laughed again and it hurt Gideon somewhere deep, jellying his legs with delayed paralysis. That, or a timed-release breakdown. Fear, firstly, that they had skirted something narrowly, so narrowly that it was almost a disaster, a disaster from which Gideon would never recover. Relief, that no one had put a stop to that arrogant laugh. That Nico de Varona had never learned how fragile Gideon really was. That because Nico believed himself to be invincible, Gideon sometimes believed it, too, right up until the terrifying moments when he didn’t. Like now.
‘I always forget how good you are at stuff,’ Nico was babbling appreciatively, still talking, still laughing, still blissfully, ridiculously alive, and some madness inside Gideon’s chest made up his mind for him. He leaned forward and caught Nico’s mouth with his in something of a punitive force, a captive blow. More of a gasp than anything else, really.
Although technically it was a kiss.
Nico’s lips were dry and his mouth was hot, taken aback, unprepared and metallic with concentration. Gideon felt Nico’s breath catch on his tongue, an audible hitch of surprise, and then Nico pulled away and Gideon thought no, no, no
‘Oh. So it’s like that?’ Nico said. His eyes were searching and bewilderingly, confusingly bright. In response Gideon felt unopened and raw, like he’d cracked his chest in two and presented the evidence for Nico’s evaluation.
‘Yeah.’ It left Gideon in a rasp, but fuck it. It had lived in his throat long enough. ‘Yeah,’ he attempted again, ‘yeah it’s like that.’
Nico’s smile broadened.
‘Good.’ Nico caught him by a fistful of his T-shirt, tugging him in again. ‘Good.'”




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