Tuesday, June 21, 2016

The Sign of Seven Trilogy by Nora Roberts

As my newest pregnancy hits full swing, I find that I have to keep my reading/media on the light-hearted side of things.  Anything too heavy gets the hormones going, and nobody wants to cry over a book...at least not very often!

The Premise:  On the even of their shared 10th birthday, best friends Caleb, Fox and Gage embark on a glorious adventure: little debbie snack cakes, warm cans of coke, bike rides and camping - alone - in the forbidden Hawkins Hallow wood at the mysterious Pagan Stone.  As midnight and their birthday approaches, the boys use Caleb's boy scout knife to swear themselves as blood brothers.  They speak an oath and combine blood...and unleash a dark madness that was trapped under the Pagan Stone.

Now every seven years for seven days the demon the boys unwittingly unleashed on their birthday reigns terror upon the town and people of Hawkin's Hallow.  Buildings are burned, people murdered and only Caleb, Fox and Gage seem to remember that it even happened.

As their 31st birthday approaches, Caleb, Fox and Gage know in their guts that this Seven is their last chance to save their town from the Demon...if they can just figure out how.

Blood Brothers:  In the months before the Seven hits Hawkins Hallow, Caleb Hawkins feels the signs starting earlier and stronger than ever.  Animals are acting strangely, the woods behind his house seem to bleed, and a sense of wrong invades his dreams.  Which is why he agrees to an interview with paranormal writer Quinn Black.

Quinn comes to town with an open mind and isn't disappointed in what she finds.  Inexplicably, Quinn can see the signs as well, although she's not local to the town.  As Quinn digs into research and settles into Hawkins Hallow for the next few months, she learns that she's connected to what happens in the town.  And to the oh so handsome Caleb.

The Hollow:  Fox O'Dell is town hippie-turned-lawyer and a solid presence in Hawkins Hallow.  His ties to his family and friends keep him in town even when darkness descends for a week every seven years.  As the next Seven looms, Fox digs in to fight what he knows is the last battle between the darkness and the light.  What he doesn't expect is for the darkness to hit harder, stronger, and earlier than ever.

But hope isn't lost.  With the help of his best friends Cal and Gage, and sophisticated newcomer Layla Darnell, Fox starts to see that the future may not be all darkness and loss.  In fact, with Layla's help, he sees that the future is worth fighting for indeed.

The Pagan Stone:  Gage Turner doesn't feel tied to his home town of Hawkins Hallow, or to the father that beat him from the time he was a small boy.  But he does feel tied to his best friends Caleb and Fox.  So every seven years he returns home from wherever his wanders have taken him to help his friends fight to keep Hawkin's Hallow safe from the demon that terrorizes the town.  This Seven feels different from the last.  Not only is the demon coming on stronger than ever, his friends have help, in the form of Caleb's Quinn, Fox's Layla and their friend, researcher Cybil Kinski.

As the group of people come together to learn all they can to fight the demon, Gage feels himself pulled to Cybil.  But can he trust in love when he may only have weeks to live?

My Thoughts:  I'm torn about this series.  I absolutely love the premise: three childhood best friends are fated to unleash a demon when they are just boys.  For a week every seven years, the demon reigns terror over the town, causing its inhabitants to do unspeakable things, of which they will not remember when the Seven is over.  The three boys, Cal, Fox and Gage, aren't without weapons--they heal fast and can't be infected--but are totally outclasses by the demon.  As the final Seven approaches, three women come to town and end up saving the day.  Their fresh take and ruthless research help the men find the tools to face the demon with a chance of not only surviving but riding the town of evil for good.  This is right up my alley.  This is genius.  I shouldn't have been able to put this series down.  But I could and did frequently.  I think what this series lacks (for me...others will not agree) is the lack of balance between story, romance and characters.  I loved the story, thought the romance was OK, and didn't like some of the characters.  Usually a Nora trilogy sucks me under, and this one just didn't.

Rating:  This was good for a one time read, but I won't pick it up again.

Reviewed By:  Tami

Also Read by Author:  I've read almost all of Roberts' catalog, which you can find at her website.  You can check my other reviews on Robert's books by searching for Nora Roberts in the quick search on the right hand side of the page, or by clicking individual links here:  Shadow Spell   |   Dark Witch   |   Thankless in Death   |   Concealed in Death  |  The Collector  |  Blood Magick  |  Blue Dahilia  |  The Liar  |  Dance Upon the Air  |  The Obsession

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