~ The Blurb ~
Darcy Pennington hates her life. She is an insufferably average teenager with no real friends, crushing social anxiety, and an indescribable sense of not fitting in anywhere. A change in her dad’s job forces her to attend Cedar Cove Family Camp the summer before her eighth-grade year, and Darcy once again finds herself on the outside of a social circle of teenagers, with her only advocate being an awkward girl named Samantha Palm. The only problem is, Darcy has no desire to be friends with her, but as the hostility from the other teenagers increases, she decides to return the friendship.
When Darcy begins to experience strange magical occurrences, she comes to believe she’s either losing her mind or on the brink of a discovery that could give her purpose in life. After unwittingly stumbling through a magical gateway to a new world called Alitheia, she convinces Sam and the other four teenagers to travel there with her, and despite their earlier hostilities toward her, they eventually concede leadership of their small group to Darcy. Once there, they learn the “arrival of the Six” was prophesied hundreds of years before, and that they must expel an ancient evil from the land. In the end their lives, and the fate of Alitheia, will hinge upon Darcy. Will she have what it takes to fulfill her mysterious purpose? Or will she fall prey to a deadly foe
~ My Thoughts ~
I didn’t know what to expect when I started reading The Six. I have seen it compared to Narnia and Harry Potter and this is where my apprehension set in. I haven’t read Narnia since I was about ten and I’ve never read Harry Potter so I was afraid that some of the magic would be lost on me. I also wasn’t sure how invested I would become in a group of thirteen year olds and their adventures but I was pleasantly surprised. The Six caught my attention right away with Darcy and her young teen angst and later by Hoyle’s excellent depiction of an alternate world called Alitheia.
The Six is full of magic and action which bridge the gap between young adult and adult readers. Once Darcy and her friends step into Alitheia it is nonstop action and adventure. I have to admit that this novel was my first encounter with many of the magical creates that Hoyle talks about. Once we stepped into Alitheia it took me a few pages to switch gears and catch up on the lingo but I got there eventually. It was a bit of an abrupt transition and I would have liked to see a little more world building and introduction to these new types of creatures so that I didn’t spend any time feeling lost. But like it said it didn’t take long to acclimate to Alitheia and once I did the magic began – literally and figuratively!
Not only is this an exciting fantasy-adventure novel but it is full of strong and characters and relationships. I really enjoyed the characters that Hoyle crafted from Darcy and her initial sullen and woe-is-me me attitude, to Sam and her over exuberance, to Perry and his tough guy persona. These kids felt really authentic, from their demeanors, to their dialogue and their attitudes towards each other. They were believable and this is a big part of what drew me into this novel. It didn’t matter that this was a younger crowd than I usually read about; a well-depicted character is a well-depicted character! I also loved to see the growth in Darcy’s character. Hoyle was able to incorporate themes like friendship, loyalty and forgiveness that appeal to any audience, especially the younger adult crowd. These relationships added another layer to the story making it more than just a fantasy novel.
The Six is an exciting, action filled and magical novel that will appeal to both young and not so young readers! There is enough meat to the story to appeal to adults who are fans of YA but it is also a clean enough story to be appropriate and relatable to younger teens so it really is the best of both worlds. I recommend this book to anyone who loves the magic and adventure of the Chronicles of Narnia and is looking to get lost in another world for a few hours!
I received an eARC of this book from the publisher (TWCS) in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.