In the hills of western Maryland, the town of Hawkins Hollow goes through a week of terror and madness every seven years. Almost 21 years ago three boys celebrated their mutual 10th birthday by performing a ritual to bond themselves as blood brothers. When they cut their wrists and bound them together, their blood dropped on the Pagan Stone in the woods. They released an enormous evil. For the next week their neighbors attacked themselves, the property in the town, and each other. Three frightened 10 year old boys, Caleb, Fox, and Gage, were able to save some people but not all. At the end of the week, no one remembered exactly what happened to them or how the town was destroyed.
The seventh year is approaching again. Now Caleb Hawkins runs the family business, the Bowl-a-Rama. It's one of the favorite hang outs in the town with bowling, a video arcade, a grill, and entertainment center. Quinn Black is an author who specializes in the paranormal. She comes to Hawkins Hollow because she has learned a little about what has happened and is intrigued. Most people don't remember what happened, but there's enough documentation to persuade her there something is going on. Caleb and his friends have been reluctant to discuss their situation with outsiders.
But Caleb has done his research as well. He has checked up on Quinn. She will treat Hawkins Hollow's happenings properly. Every seven years he, Fox, and Gage start dreaming before July comes. They each have different perceptions of what happens but all see death and destruction. It gets worse for each cycle. It is only February and the dreams are already starting.
When Quinn arrives, she starts seeing the visions of the evil as well. She starts sharing Caleb's dreams and perceptions. She quickly calls in her researcher friend, Cybil. Another woman shows up in Hawkins Hollow who also sees the evil visions. Layla has never heard of Hawkins Hollow or met Quinn, Cybil, Caleb, Fox, or Gage but she too is drawn into the mystery and horror. Now these six are brought together to finally conquer the evil or lose Hawkins Hollow forever.
Blood Brothers is Caleb and Quinn's story. They both get visions of the past, seeing what happened about 350 years earlier in the Pagan Stone clearing. They get the first clues needed to defeat the evil they named Twisse. As soon as I started reading I was caught back into classic Nora Roberts' style of writing. I hadn't realized it was missing until I picked up this one. The snappy description of Quinn made me smile. "Oh, yeah, this is one of Nora's books."
The characters are good - especially Quinn. I think it's great that Caleb's family owns a community bowling alley. They also own a lot of other property around town that they rent, but the Bowl-a-Rama is the Hawkins family legacy. Quinn is very strong minded and opinionated and knows her own mind quickly. She has the completely feminine and identifiable struggle with eating healthy foods rather than everything she wants. Yet she deals with the paranormal and is a writer so has an open mind and listens to others. Actually the characters are too good to be true - even when they are arguing or have problems.
The story is - predictable. The Twisse evil character gets hokey at times, beyond scary (although I wouldn't want to meet him, even in hokey mode). The trilogy is going to be somewhat predictable because that's often how Roberts' write her trilogies. But this trilogy is very self evident from the beginning. The three couples are obvious, the overall events are obvious. I was surprised by the family connections of the women, but otherwise it all runs the path the reader expects.
Yes, I liked Blood Brothers and went straight on into the sequel, The Hollow. But already I know there are other trilogies of hers I like better.
Notice: Explicit sexual content, Graphic violence
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Key of Light by Nora Roberts
These reviews are personal opinions only and in no way reflect other readers' opinions of the books discussed.
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