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Publisher's Summary

Winner of the 2016 Literary Classics Gold Book Award for YA Series and recipient of the Literary Classics Seal of Approval

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?

©2012, 2018 Karin Hoyle (P)2018 Karin Hoyle

What listeners say about The Six

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  • Overall
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At last in Audio!

I originally read this entire series on kindle in 2012. Even then, I longed to hear the story and the characters come to life in audio. What a talented narrator could do with these marvelous stories, I could only imagine. I was most definitely not disappointed. The narrator gave each character its own distinctive voice, to the point that even without dialog tags, I always knew who was speaking. Her voice for Yahot Veli, was exactly what I had imagined it would be, for instance. This series is pure delight. Young adult fantasy, with a group of kids, everyone of any age, can relate to. I related to darcy in big ways. at her age, I too was shy, awkward and insecure. And then to enter a land of magic, to be part of a long-awaited mission to save the land, with fascinating characters and struggles along the way. It's everything that is wonderful and perfect in a book, with all the range of emotion, joy, sorrow, fear, hope, defeat, triumph. I love these books as much as I love Harry Potter. They have been compared to Narnia by some, but for me, they are far superior, because as an older adult, these books draw me in, from the first line. I've reread them multiple times and always get something new and love them as much each time. Thanks to K B Hoyle for writing these true gems, and to Dollcie webb for her beautiful job of bringing them to life.

3 people found this helpful

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Such a good series beginner

The story is well written and has definitely got me hooked in to the series. I had a tough time being a little frustrated with the main character, but I think that is the point. The story is very good, so it does make up for disliking any of the characters. The characters are growing, so I look forward to seeing what they become in the future.

I'm SO glad this finally came out on audio. The reader did a good job and obviously cares a lot for the book. I personally don't care for the music transitions between each chapter, but they are minimal and easily overlooked. It just makes it seem a little more "Audible Kids" than I think was intended by the book.

3 people found this helpful

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Can't Wait for More of This Series!

I’m so glad I finally started this series, and more so that I was able to start it on Audio! I’ve only been listening to audiobooks a little over a year now, but I’ve been want to listen more, and this was a great one to start the year with! I loved the characters and story, and Dollcie has such an amazing voice! I loved hearing her bring author Hoyle’s characters to life! While listening to this, I found out Dollcie narrates a few other books I’m wanting to read/listen to, and I can’t wait to read more of K.B. Hoyle’s books (especially the rest of The Gateway Chronicles now that I’ve finished the first book), so they both gained a new fan/follower!

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by K.B. Hoyle. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

2 people found this helpful

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A phenominal reading of an enjoyable story

I typically don't read YA fiction, but I definitely found a lot of enjoyment out of this one! This was due, at least in part, to the narration given by Mrs. Webb. I think her way of giving each character their own voice added so much energy to the story in a way that genuinely made me care about them as individuals. (I especially enjoyed the voice given to the elderly wizard, Rubidious.)

I do have to admit that there were some moments in the story where I found myself frustrated by the main character, as she made a few choices that simply didn't make sense for her to make - even given her anxiety. Thankfully though, I don't think those few moments overshadow the story as a whole, considering that those moments helped to build a beautifully positive message — especially for the younger readers this book was written for.

The setting of the story feels truly magical, and I had a blast learning about the lore and social makeup of the world our characters are discovering. (What can I say, I'm a sucker for world-building.)
It does, unfortunately, have the issue that so many 'series firsts' have, in that there is so much time establishing the cast of characters and framing their early interactions that the real meat of the plot feels a bit rushed. That said, I am absolutely not holding that against it, as I would be extremely surprised if the later books in the series do anything close to the same. I'm looking forward to the release of the next book in the series to see how the author builds on the foundation that this title created!

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Great Start!

Just heard about this series and I'm so glad I did! Great premise, great writing, believable characters. I like the way we can see the characters grow and learn and change. I was impatient to get to the fantasy part, so the beginning few chapters seemed a bit slow to me, but in reality it was just the necessary building of the world(s) and characters the whole series is founded on. Can't wait to listen to the rest of the series!

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I was surprised!

I was surprised that I liked this, I thought it was a cool reimagined "Chronicles of narnia". But I just wished there was a little more character development... Especially between the six, they are supposed to be friends pretty early on but you never really see them interact. I felt like it could have just been so much deeper, the emotions, the characters... I'm really hoping the next book dives in more than it did here. side note, I did not like the narrator, but became a little more bearable as it went on.

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Great book!

This book was so engaging! I love that it is a clean Fantasy book for teens. Can’t wait to share it with my students.

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AMAZING 😍💚💚

I LOVEEEE this series! I’ve already read the entire series without the audio to go along with it, so this is my second time reading it. The audio is amazing! The voice actor did an amazing job acting out the characters and bringing in emotion! Plus the background music was fantastic!!! I highly recommend this series!! Plus the allegory is incredible and it literally makes me want to praise God even more! 💚💚 I can’t wait till the whole series is made audible!

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Tried audio for a re-read

I first read the Gateway Chronicles series about four years ago. That is long enough ago that I have forgotten a lot of the specific plot details and twists, but I still remember the broad strokes. As I re-read the series, it felt like a sweet spot of enjoying some of the story's nuances that I might have missed on a first read, but also still regularly be surprised at plot twists that I had forgotten.

Young adult fantasy is comfort reading for me. Earlier this year, I read the first three books of the Harry Potter series aloud to my kids. But that was as far as I felt comfortable reading based on their ages and response to scary parts. But that did not fully satiate my need for story. Part of what I love about young adult fantasy is its focus on the hero. Heroes have a clear purpose and goal. They are willing to sacrifice themselves for the good of a person or a group of people. There is beauty in the understanding of right and wrong. Adult fantasy often feels the need to nuance the idea of right and wrong so that everyone is so tainted that it can be hard to see any sense of goodness (similar to many modern spy stories.) I am not looking for wooden stories that have no development or struggle, just action, but I am looking for inspiration to press into the more challenging aspects of life because there is a sense of purpose.

Darcy Pennington feels detached from life. She is 13, and her family makes her go to a family camp. She wants to be popular and liked, but not by the two kids who will be there that she knows from her middle school, Samantha and Lewis. Sam and Lewis, along with three others, have been at the camp for years. They have a strong relationship, and Darcy feels both on the outside and a bit claustrophobic from the warm acceptance that Sam has for her. Those relational dynamics change when Darcy stumbles on a gateway into another world and has to bring the rest of the group back to the world to complete a prophecy. And that starts the series of six books. Each book details the group as they start the week of camp by magically entering the fantasy world. And once inside that world, they live for a year, grow and change and then return to the world of the camp at the same point in time. For six years, they essentially live two years, and by the end, their bodies are physically 18/19, but they have the life experience of 22/23.

Much of the books' plot concerns their relationship to the significant prophecy and other "oracles." Darcy especially is resistant to her role at the start, and her resistance to that role (a natural resistance that makes a lot of sense) is the driving force for the conflicts of the first three books. As she shifts to a growing acceptance of her role and what that role means in the later books, the conflict of the books shifts subtlety from an internal conflict of resistance to the prophecy to an external resistance of how her role impacts others. While Darcy is the main character, the development of all of the series' characters is done well. In addition to the six characters from Earth, there are also a variety of human and non-human characters that are integral to the story. And plenty of notable characters that die along the way. A great evil has to be opposed, and the opposition to evil has an actual cost.

I gave my three early teen nieces a copy of the first book of the series for Christmas. I do not think this is a series only for girls, but the main character is female, and I like to see strong female leads (and my only nephew is a bit too young, I think.) The first three books of the series are on audio. I listened to the first book of the series on audiobook but then shifted back to print. I can read young adult novels so much faster than listening to them. I re-read all six books in less than two weeks.

More than anything else, the series reminds me that I need to keep seeking out good fiction. Fiction is a reminder of our humanity. Characters make decisions we do not like, but we can understand. They lie, hide, love, and give in natural ways (if well written.) Fiction helps us see the world around us, especially fantasy and young adult fiction that is a bit abstracted from our everyday world.

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Magical, Beginning to End

I’ve written an extensive view of The Six on amazon and my website, thedailymagpie, but Dollcie Webb truly added a new dose of magic and life into a story that I already loved and knew so dearly! I’ve been waiting years for an audiobook of The Gateway Chronicles to appear, so the fact that she was able to deliver just what I wanted—and more—is incredible! Her voice of narration is clear and calm, her character voices distinct and lovely, and her emotional beats are perfectly on point. I can’t recommend this highly enough!