58 pages 1 hour read

Olivie Blake

The Atlas Paradox

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 2022

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Summary and Study Guide


The Atlas Paradox (published in 2022) is the second book in the Atlas trilogy by Olivie Blake. The author originally self-published the first book in the trilogy, The Atlas Six, on Kindle in 2020, and it went viral online. It was republished in 2022 by Tor Books, which bought the next two books in the trilogy, The Atlas Paradox and The Atlas Complex, as well. Olivie Blake is the pseudonym of Alexene Farol Follmuth, who also writes literary romance, young adult novels, and graphic novels. As of 2023, the Atlas trilogy is in production as a television series through Amazon Studios.

This study guide refers to the 2022 eBook edition from Tor Books.

Plot Summary

The Atlas Paradox, the second book in the Atlas trilogy, begins where the first book, The Atlas Six, left off. The Alexandrian Society’s latest group of six initiates—Tristan, Callum, Parisa, Nico, Libby, and Reina—have finished their first year, but Libby has been abducted. Even with all their resources, the Society has been unable to find her. However, within the novel’s opening chapters, it becomes clear that Libby has survived her abduction and is being held by Ezra, her ex-boyfriend.

Ezra imprisoned Libby 30 years in the past, in 1989, and throughout the rest of the novel she’s attempting to return home. In the process, Libby transforms from someone whom the other initiates consider the group’s conscience to someone willing to suspend all morality to pursue her own interests. In the end, Libby does return—but in so doing she betrays Belen, the only person who helped and cared for her in 1989, and perpetrates a nuclear explosion.

As the narrative unfolds, it reveals that Ezra, whom both Libby and Nico knew as a classmate, is in fact much older and was an initiate of the Society at the same time as the current Caretaker, Atlas Blakely. Although he and Atlas planned to destroy the Society, Atlas has developed his own agenda, and in reaction, Ezra decides to collaborate with a host of outsiders to dismantle and remake the Society himself. Libby’s abduction was the first move in his plan, which involves the eventual abduction of all the initiates.

While these larger plans are afoot, the initiates who remain at the Society continue with their studies. In addition, they form alliances that shape both their characters and their plans. Although they see the value in total collaboration, they only work together in short spurts—and only to further their own private agendas. Although Nico wishes that they’d develop closer bonds, at the end of their second year, the others are content to let their alliances lapse and pursue their own plans.

By the novel’s end, the initiates have finished their second year and left the Society. Libby kills Ezra and reconnects with both Nico and Gideon in Paris. Parisa and Dalton are in Osaka and decide to use Dalton’s research to create their own world, leaving their old world behind. Atlas is still pursuing his own ideas of opening a portal to the other world that he’s sure exists. Tristan decides to stay and work with Atlas, using his powers to fuel this search, and remain in safety on the Society’s grounds, protected from his father’s attacks. Callum, the most reticent of the initiates, reveals a deep well of emotion and anger, and indicates that he has a plan and doesn’t seem to care whether it destroys everything. Reina concludes that medeians are the next generation of gods and that she has a responsibility to use her powers. In addition, she now believes that the Society’s resources should be available to others to help bring the world into a new era. The final novel in the trilogy, The Atlas Complex, follows the further development of each initiate’s character and plans.