My girls and I finally wrapped up our 6 book read-along of K.B. Hoyle's The Gateway Chronicles with The Bone Whistle. (You can read our first review of The Six here.) I bought the Kindle edition the day it was released, and while my girls dove into it immediately, I saved it for a couple weeks because I'd be traveling and thought it would be fun airport reading. This meant, yet again, threatening my daughters with abandonment if they hinted at a spoiler.
It was tricky to write a review of this series without giving anything away, but we'll try. If you, like me, avoid spoilers like the plague, this link will take you straight to the first book, The Six , which now has an audiobook!
The Bone Whistle by K.B. Hoyle is the type of book where it is like, happy, happy, happy, and then someone dies. But then it is happy again. During this book Darcy Pennington's parents say she can't go to Cedar Cove, which also means she can’t sneak off to the magical world of Alitheia. Everyone experiences happiness, sadness, and a lot of mourning. In the last book of The Gateway Chronicles, Tselloch crowns Collin his king, and the Six face him more than a few times. The Six manage to stay strong as they mourn, fight, laugh, and cry. Out of all the books, this is my favorite book out of the series. I definitely suggest reading this.
Well, as Kate said, The Bone Whistle has some dramatic ups and downs. The tension starts immediately as Darcy chooses Alitheia, over her parents and her life in the world she was born into, and then crossing the Gateway into a war-torn and broken Alitheia, trying to reach her friends and reunite the Six to, finally, fulfill the prophecy.
As the conclusion to the series, it's made clear that the Gateways will be closing and this is the last chance anyone has to enter, or exit, Alitheia. I feel comfortable mentioning this without giving spoilers away because the fulfillment of the prophecy isn't what any of the characters expected, and the reader gets to be just as surprised as Darcy, Tellius, and the rest of The Six when the true meanings of the Oracles and the prophecy are finally revealed.
When sticking with a story for this long - six years of "book time" with Darcy and her friends - it's impossible not to enter the story without high hopes for the characters. While the story has tragic elements, it's countered by sacrifice, redemption, and resurrection.
I went into this series knowing that Hoyle's writing was influenced by her Christian worldview, but certainly not allegorical or in a preachy sense that tries to tie moral lessons and theology directly to story. She writes in the genre C.S. Lewis mastered with Narnia, where themes prevalent to Christianity, such as absolute truth, active faith in a sovereign power, gracious sacrifice, glorious resurrection, and the potential for the redemption of all things carry into the storytelling, without overt modern religious symbolism or allegory.
The Gateway Chronicles are about a group of kids who find that they are called to a higher purpose, to be a part of something much larger than themselves. While all the kids bring their unique gifts, roles, and personalities to the picture, they are united in a common resolve - to save their adopted homeland of Alitheia no matter what the cost. Hoyle artfully crafted a saga that came to a very satisfying ending in The Bone Whistle, and the inspiring characters are worth getting to know from the moment you pick up the first book, The Six.