Review: The Hollow by Nora RobertsThursday, May 8, 2008 1:00
This is the second in the Sign of Seven Trilogy by Nora Roberts. The first book, Blood Brothers (my review is here), of course, had the set up for the story. Three young boys, best friends, freed a demon near their hometown. For seven days, every seven years the demon wrecks havoc on the town and it’s innocent inhabitants. The three boys, now grown and waiting for the demon to come again meet up with three women who are tied to the whole mess in more ways than one. If you’ve read the first book, you know all of this already. If you haven’t, go get it! It’s Nora Roberts!
The second in the series follows Fox O’Dell, the one who became a lawyer. Fox had an unconventional upbringing, as the child of two, uh, environmentalist parents. I just can’t say hippies, it seems rather mean to these characters who are rather nice. Oh well. Fox is a good, loyal, upstanding sort of guy but when Layla comes into town and teams up with Quinn and Cybil, Fox’s focus turns onto Layla.
Layla is still trying to adjust to her change in location and circumstance. Used to being in control, she’s out of her element in Hawkins Hollow, but she doesn’t collapse or let some wishy-washy thoughts take over. Since she’s out of work, she gets a job working as Fox’s assistant in his small law practice, after his assistant leaves in fear of another event caused by the demon (the townspeople really never know or understand what happens though).
Fox and Layla are great together. Good dialogue, great chemistry, and some creative ideas in the sack. On their own both seem a little whiney, but that doesn’t happen very often, and it obviously shows that these two together bring out the best in one another. Their love story didn’t seem as rushed as Quinn and Cal’s in the first book.
Roberts brings in more backstory about the ancestors of those in the stories, as well as a greater emphasis on the “gift” given to each of the members of the group. It was there in the first book, but it wasn’t as central to the main plot as in this book. Most likely because Layla is new to a lot of the ideas, it’s stated a few times that she doesn’t have much connection to the group. She didn’t grow up with anyone like the three men and met Quinn and Cybil when she first came to the Hawkins Hollow.
The horror elements are there, like the first book as well, which is not my cup of tea. It worked well with the story in general, but I tended to skim over those parts rather than let the image stick out in my mind. The reason that I will be waiting for the next book, The Pagan Stone, is Roberts trademark strong characters, good dialogue and touching love story. Plus Cybil and Gage in the next book seem to have a promise of some smoking hottness, especially since neither wants to recognize that they will end up together.
For Fox, Caleb, Gage and the other residents of Hawkins Hollow, the number seven portends doom—ever since, as boys, they freed a demon trapped for centuries when their blood spilled upon The Pagan Stone…
Their innocent bonding ritual led to seven days of madness, every seven years. And now, as the dreaded seventh month looms before them, the men can feel the storm brewing. Already they are plagued by visions of death and destruction. But this year, they are better prepared, joined in their battle by three women who have come to The Hollow. Layla, Quinn, and Cybil are somehow connected to the demon, just as the men are connected to the force that trapped it.
Since that day at The Pagan Stone, town lawyer Fox has been able to see into others’ minds, a talent he shares with Layla. He must earn her trust, because their link will help fight the darkness that threatens to engulf the town. But Layla is having trouble coming to terms with her newfound ability—and this intimate connection to Fox. She knows that once she opens her mind, she’ll have no defenses against the desire that threatens to consume them both…
Read an excerpt.