Speculating on SpecFic

Fantastic Literature: From epic fantasy to fairytales to myth-making

The Oracle (The Gateway Chronicles #2) - K.B. Hoyle The Oracle begins with Darcy's incredible impatience as her family prepares to return to Cedar Cove Family Camp, and immediately the difference in Darcy is clear. While last year she had dreaded the camp and didn't have a nice thing to say about it at all, this year she is brimming with excitement. What follows is a magical year in the world of Alitheia, where Darcy and her five friends work together to unravel the mysteries that bind them together. The book chronicles an epic adventure for the kids and I am glad I read it!One of the things that prevented me from enjoying the sequel, The Six, was Darcy's character, and while I still find her a little too self-centred and short-sighted, she has improved a lot since we last saw her. I can now see her as a good leader of her band of friends, and believe she will grow into the role as her confidence and experience grows. Although the causes a lot of the trouble in the book (again) by invoking the Oracle, I admire the way she stepped up to deal with the outcomes. The story in The Oracle focusses a lot on Darcy herself, and I feel I lost the opportunity to witness the growth of the other characters. We do, however, get to see the Prince Tellius a lot more, and he strikes me as quite a likeable character. With the series due to span six books, I hope a romance will eventuate between him and Darcy.The world created by Hoyle is amazing and I welcomed returning to it. The narks continue to be the most intriguing set of characters, especially Yahto Veli. Although the day nark, Veli, has always had a good relationship with Darcy, I liked the development of Darcy and Yahto's bond throughout the book. The other character I really liked is The Oracle, who is creepy in the extreme! Although it is only physically present for the small portion of the book, the inherent evil it embodies is cleverly foreshadowed.With a lot of the clumsiness of world-building out of the way for the second book, Hoyle provides a more enjoyable book (for me at least) in The Oracle than she did with The Six. I am glad I stuck with the series, and look forward to reading the rest of it! I want to note that while at the moment it is focussing on fourteen year olds, the series will follow this group of friends until they are eighteen or nineteen, so I expect the books to transition soon between the MG and YA genres.You can read more of my reviews at Speculating on SpecFic.