Rating: 4/5 stars
Category: Adult, Fantasy, Contemporary
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Hello Readers, welcome back to my blog.
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.
In this modern world, magic is a part of life but not everyone can wield it or be powerful. Six people with different specialities have been chosen by a secret society to train and prove themselves the best to gain access to the knowledge that the society stores in the Alexandrian library. The society has hidden agendas and there are other societies that want to bring about their downfall.
Libby seems dull at first but she is a power house, literally and she can start fires if she doesn’t control her emotions. Her power works best with Nico, who can seem very narcissistic but he is deeper than he lets on and he is without guile as several characters describe him. The dynamic between Nico and Libby is an antagonistic one but we soon see that they both rely on each other as their powers complete each other whether they like it or not. Parisa is a piranha, she is a working girl and she is not ashamed of that, she uses what she has to get what she wants, which is access to people’s minds but she also enjoys exploring her sexuality. Reina is a walking mother nature; she gets drained by all the plant life that seeks her attention and her energy for growth. She is very closed off to everyone; she and Callum are the least explored characters. Callum is an empath but he has disconnected himself from feeling emotions deeply himself, he knows what others feel and he exploits them to his advantage. Tristan is from a criminal family but he has done what he can to distance himself from his family, his powers are mysterious even to himself. He has the most potential of all six Alexandrian candidates. Different personalities and different talents combine to make an interesting stew which is likely to combust, but in which way?
There are some books that are adult but the writing or language doesn’t immediately distinguish them as such but this book is not one of those. The complexity of the language used shows right away that it is not a YA book. There are a lot of theories and technical discussion on how the world works or should work which can either make your eyes glaze or keep you interested as a reader. I gave 4 out of 5 stars because I was thoroughly engaged in most of the story, although there were some aspects that made me bored, especially the talk of wormholes and such. I can’t wait for the next book. I requested the ARC on Netgalley but haven’t received a response yet. I hope I get it, I cant wait to read the next instalment. The author had you thinking about so many things like morality, the construct of the universe – which as a Christian; I just kept thinking how amazing God is, to create minds that work exceptionally well and imagination that creates beautiful artwork like this story. If you love adult fantasy that stirs you to think about life, this story is your cup of tea as a fine specimen of dark academia.
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Waterstones (UK) – https://tidd.ly/3prSyR7
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