Book review, The Six, by K. B. Hoyle

I first fell in love with the Gateway chronicles when the series was originally issued by another publisher. I loved the world of Cedar Cove and fell head over heels for Alitheia and all the people we met there. I’ve read and reread the series since then, and I was thrilled to hear about the rereleases this summer, enjoying the added tidbits that don’t change the story, but make it even more rich!

Darcy Pennington, age thirteen in this first book, does not want to go to the Cedar cove family camp. She wants to go bac to the horse-riding camp she’d attended before. She’s in a foul mood when she and her parents and younger brother arrive, and that mood isn’t made any better by the exuberant attentions of Samantha Palm, a girl who is trying hard to be Darcy’s new best friend. Through Samantha, Darcy meets the other four campers who have all been coming to cedar cove for years, and who have been friends with Samantha all those years. Darcy desperately wants to have friends, but she’s also shy and doesn’t like herself much. She has trouble accepting the genuine kindness and loyalty of Samantha. She makes mistakes, feels awkward, is scared, full of anxiety, and yet, truly is sorry for the mistakes and tries to be her best.

Through what Darcy thinks to be accident, she stumbles into, and eventually leads the others to a magical alternate land called Alitheia, where the colors are brighter, magic is real, and there are funny and fascinating creatures to meet, in particular, Narks, creatures I love completely and still wish I could meet! The six teenagers soon learn they have embarked on a new adventure, where they are part of a prophesy foretelling the hope for freedom from an evil oppressor. And so, the adventure begins, for the Six, and for anyone who reads thisincredble book.

I related to Darcy the first time I read this and relate more every time since. I wel remember being her age and being that girl in the corner, ignored on the playground, wishing I had friends, but so terribly shy, I really didn’t know how to put myself out there to meet them. I found myself alternating between wanting to give Darcy a good shake or a good hug and always wanting to tell her it would get better.

Some people have compared these books to Narnia, but to me, they are far better. I found Narnia, boring with characters I didn’t care about, not only is it allegorical, but it beats you over the head with the allegory, to the point for me, of making me not enjoy the stories at all. But K B Hoyle’s Gateway Chronicles gives me much more. Believable characters with strengths and flaws with which I can relate, a magical land of endless fascination, a cause I cared deeply about, an adventure I never wanted to end. Much like my reaction when I first read the Harry Potter books, I wanted this adventure to go on and on. I often joke that here I am, sixty years old, still waiting for my Hogwarts letter. Well, here I am, sixty years old, looking and looking for a magical gateway into Alitheia, where I too can join the adventure.