When I found out I won a giveaway for The Atlas Paradox, I have to admit that I did an insanely deranged happy dance. And now I get to talk about it and I’m trying not to scream in all-caps because AH.
📖 Dark Academia
🌑 Morally grey characters
A huge thank you to the publisher for an arc in exchange for an honest review!
TL;DR: The sequel to The Atlas Six follows our remaining characters as they continue to learn more about each other and their own magic. . Age Rating: 16 and up.
two words: holy crap.
The Atlas Paradox broke me. I no longer know what’s right and wrong in that world, and how I feel about the characters. Actually, that’s a lie, Nico and Libby are still my favorites and Parisa is incredibly mediocre. But other than that, I feel like the world’s been turned upside down because what the heck just happened.
This sequel follows everyone after the events of the last book. Possibly the funniest part about reading this book was how passionately I tabbed every mention of Nico and Libby feeling lost without each other💀 Like, I’ll read a book that has an actual romance and be like “oh that was nice” and then there’s The Atlas Six that has zero romance between two characters (but perfect chemistry) and I’ll write entire paragraphs about it. Like, the majority of my notes are literally just the two of them mentioning each other. It’s quite helpful for me to freak out but quite useless for writing a review. But then again, is it my fault that they’re soulmates? IS IT*???
*team edward or team jacob, you ask? nah, team nicolibby
anyways, onto the characters!
Nico de Varona absolutely stole my heart in this book. As in, I think I might have a very minor crush on him. I certainly haven’t stared at the art of him in this book (which by the way, he’s only second in terms of looks to Ezra imo). Uh anyways…Nico’s perspectives were actually the most fun to read, beyond the fact that the missing half of his soul was gone. It doesn’t matter which character he’s talking to, I’m always fully engaged in their conversation. Tristan and Nico especially had a comically perfect relationship in this book and when y’all read this, YOU’LL KNOW WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT. Also I love Gideon’s snippets sooo…
Speaking of Tristan Caine, he was another fun character to read about. He’s not really my favorite, but I enjoyed getting to watch him discover more of his magical abilities. Again, his dynamic with Nico in this book was hilarious. Before reading this book, I wasn’t really sure what advantages Tristan really brought to the table beyond seeing through illusions but oh my gosh??? Tristan’s the real MVP here guys.
Reina Mori was another really fun character to read from. I feel like she got more pagetime in this book? Which is amazing because I’m just now realizing she’s more morally grey than I thought? She and Callum made for an interesting duo in this book! Like, Reina is absolutely brilliant but alas, does not particularly care for the idiotic whims of the people around her. She doesn’t take any of Parisa’s crap* and I am HERE for it. I still wish we had gotten a little more insight into her abilities though!
*if half my notes are me freaking about niclibby, the other half is comprised of me ranting about parisa and cheering on reina whenever she roasted her
okay but callum nova, ladies and gentlemen???
I’m going to be honest with you guys: Callum gives off slight Klaus from Umbrella Academy vibes in this book. I mean, everyone gives off Umbrella Academy vibes to an extent but Callum just really leans into it. I feel like we got to dive deeper into how his powers actually work, and the state of his emotional and mental well-being. He was just kind of drowning himself in vices and I felt so bad for him. BUT THE TEAMUP BETWEEN HIM AND REINA??? They work so well together it’s genuinely terrifying. Anyways, Callum has shot right up in my rankings and I’m shocked. I always knew he was a better Parisa.
Anyways, to hold off talking about Parisa for a while, let’s talk about Elizabeth Rhodes! This woman is a legend and I won’t hear a word against her. I missed her interactions with the others desperately and that’s all I’m going to say about that.
Uh…Dalton was a lot more interesting in this book for reasons I shall not be disclosing. Also, we got a couple of Ezra (holy crap he’s hot) and Gideon (omg he’s a cinnamon roll) chapters as well! Also, Gideon totally reminds me of Ronan from The Raven Cycle for a couple of reasons. But yeah, they’re fun!
so…i guess we should be talking about parisa now…
She…uh. Okay. Look, part of me wants her to perish because of a scene that contains Spanish and FISHFIULHIUDFJ*. I refuse to spoil anything but just remember the Spanish and you’ll know exactly what scene I’m talking about. Other than that, she was mostly tolerable(?) for the majority of the book. Was she insanely hypocritical as always? Yes. Did she get chapters more often than everyone else except for possibly Libby? Duh.
*this is my extremely eloquent attempt at avoiding spoilers
I think that disconnecting from Parisa’s perspective helped a lot. Like, I literally shut down and read like a robot when it was her perspective until she did something so annoying I slammed the book shut and hyperventilated angrily. Anyways, while I dislike her very much, I have come to at least tolerate her chapters most of the time. Although honestly, Callum is just the better, more interesting Parisa so I don’t know what her purpose is.
anyways, plot time?
Just like in The Atlas Six, the plot is very vague. To be honest, the plot is the characters. When you pick up this series, you’re picking it up to luxuriate in magical academic vibes and eat popcorn while watching these unlikable (yet likable) characters talk to each others and theorize about random things. Some interesting things happen, sure, but don’t go into it expecting tons of revelations and exciting events. That’s just not the kind of book this is, and that’s okay for those who enjoy it!
My biggest complaint is spoilery so I CAN’T TALK ABOUT IT AGHHHH. Let’s just say that the number 1 thing I wanted to happen in this book…didn’t. I didn’t even get crumbs. I’m starving over here. Like, everything that could have possibly happened that I didn’t care about happened but the ONE thing I wanted to happen didn’t. I’m broken. When this book releases, I’ll post the notes I took because I marked page numbers talking about my reactions but until then, I’ll freak out in silence.
i also took note of chapter/pagetime!
Because if you’ve seen my review of the first book, you’ll know how
angry passionate I was about the pagetime. And out of our main cast of characters, everyone has five chapters each except for Libby and Parisa. Libby has 6 (technically 7 but that was ONE sentence) and Parisa also has 6. Libby I understand for reasons relating to the end of the last book, but PARISA??? I know you’re yelling “BUT IT’S ONLY ONE CHAPTER MORE” but while reading it she’d get TWO chapters with a bunch of pagetime before some people ever got one! So Callum would be stuck at 4 for a while and then Parisa was already at 6! Anyways, I feel like we got more time with a couple of the others in this book so luckily her pagetime was lessened. That didn’t stop me from breathing fire in her fictional direction every time her chapter came up though.
In the end, The Atlas Paradox really made me realize that as much as I complain about this series (and Parisa) I absolutely adore it (minus Parisa). I have a similar love-hate relationship with The Raven Cycle, so there’s gotta be something there? It comes out on October 30th, so be sure to order a copy, add it to Goodreads, and add it to Storygraph! Tell me: how do you feel about this series!
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