The Alexandrian Society is a secret society of magical academicians, the best in the world. Their members are caretakers of lost knowledge from the greatest civilizations of antiquity. And those who earn a place among their number will secure a life of wealth, power, and prestige beyond their wildest dreams. Each decade, the world’s six most uniquely talented magicians are selected for initiation – and here are the chosen few…
– Libby Rhodes and Nicolás Ferrer de Varona: inseparable enemies, cosmologists who can control matter with their minds.
– Reina Mori: a naturalist who can speak the language of life itself.
– Parisa Kamali: a mind reader whose powers of seduction are unmatched.
– Tristan Caine: the son of a crime kingpin who can see the secrets of the universe.
– Callum Nova: an insanely rich pretty boy who could bring about the end of the world. He need only ask.
When the candidates are recruited by the mysterious Atlas Blakely, they are told they must spend one year together to qualify for initiation. During this time, they will be permitted access to the Society’s archives and judged on their contributions to arcane areas of knowledge. Five, they are told, will be initiated. One will be eliminated. If they can prove themselves to be the best, they will survive. Most of them.
That will be a short review and a conflicted one!
I awaited that book with bated breath, having ordered special edition because it was sold as dark academia and was all the rave on Tiktok and Bookstagram!
Now that I have very painstakingly read/listened to it, I can’t decide if it’s brilliant or just pompous, boring or intricate.
What I do know is that in the cast of narrators, some were good but there was one, narrating Parisa, that grated on my nerves so much that I wanted to skip her chapters. Not helping I know…
Callum’s narrator was good but his voice was so deep that I had difficulties to hear him properly.
But let’s get back to the story.
The plot is pretty simple: have six of the most powerful magicians compete for a place among the elite of Alexandrian.
Everyone is competing for personal reasons.
Nico because he wants to help his friend Gideon.
Libby because she wants to know if she could have saved her sister.
Callum because he is bored.
Tristan because he wants to prove that he is worth something.
Parisa because she is always escaping something.
Reina simply because she loves books and knowledge.
Alliances will be made and unmade in that competition to the death.
On paper, that seems thrilling right?
And it was.
In a way.
But not all the time.
There were many moments where I was completely lost in the lengthy and pseudo-scientific explanations that left my mind reeling and feeling very inadequate for not understanding or … very bored!
Either the author is a genius, either it’s simply grandiloquence and pompous prose. I still don’t know.
But that made for an uneven pace. For a story that gripped me one moment and lost me the other.
Honestly if I hadn’t bought the audio and wanted something from my money, I would have stopped listening.
The ending is surprising in a good way and we have the story taking a whole other turn.
Will I read the sequel? No.
Yet that book gets tons of very enthusiastic reviews so maybe read other reviews to help you decide if this is the book for you.
Thanks for reading.
I’ve seen a couple reviews like yours as well, and I’m sorry the book didn’t live up to the hype for you!
And I feel a little bit better now Kal!
Not just you, I didn’t really see the hype. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t good. I thought the writing was pretentious and the characters weren’t to likeable.
Oh gosh I feel so much better knowing I am not alone Mogsy!
Quite sad that this didn’t work out better for you, Sophie! I hope the next one will be much, much better. 🙂
I am sorry this didn’t work for you! I hopenyour next reading would totally fascinate you!!
Luckily it does Susy!!
Its always the worst when you have a conflicting view of a popular read. I never know what to think of the TikTok hyped reads.
Well I’ll begin to distrust the hype Renee.
Also, I’m wary of anything that is billed as a “TikTok sensation.” There seem to be lots of those these days!
I agree Tammy!
I’m wondering if it would have worked better reading it rather than listening to the audio? I’ve heard very mixed reviews and I don’t have plans to read it.
I don’t know. Porbably for Parisa’s chapters Tammy but not for the whole story.
Oh wow, it’s so rare to see you rate a book this low. I’m so glad I read your review though because I was considering purchasing a copy of this book while I was in NYC last week. I decided against it because I didn’t have room in my suitcase but now I think I’ll skip it altogether since I know the issues you had with it would bother me as well.
I know Suzanne, I am usually more lenient! Maybe it’s because I expected something great because of the hype and I feel robbed?
That’s a shame this didn’t work for you, but at least you found out it was not-for-you on book one before you invested too much time in the series.
Oh absolutely Sam!
Oh no Sophie!!!! I was wary about getting this because I don’t get on with dark academia but I ordered it anyway!!!
Maybe you’ll love it Caro!