Friends Continue to Fight Evil in The Hollow by Nora Roberts

May 7, 2008 (Updated Nov 28, 2008)
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Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Entertaining second book of a trilogy. Likable characters.

Cons:The last book is not due out until December.

The Bottom Line: I really enjoyed The Hollow. It was a strong second book for the Sign of Seven Trilogy by Nora Roberts. Her fans will probably enjoy it.

I picked up Blood Brothers when it first came out back in December 2007. It was the first book in the Sign of Seven Trilogy by Nora Roberts. I have been waiting for the second book, The Hollow, since then. I just finished the book and really enjoyed it.

I want to briefly share a little bit of information about the Sign of Seven Trilogy before I talk specifically about The Hollow. Once I start discussing this book, there will be a few things I talk about that would be spoilers for people who haven’t read Blood Brothers yet.

In the small town of Hawkins Hollow in 1652, a man named Giles Dent fought the evil that was trying to take over the area and managed to somehow confine it. The site where that happened became known as the Pagan Stone. On July 7, 1987 Caleb, Fox, and Gage went camping at the Pagan Stone for their tenth birthday and accidentally released the evil and gained certain abilities. It corrupted the people of Hawkins Hollow for the next seven days, causing them to do horrible things.

Every seven years for a week, the evil returned to Hawkins Hollow and Cal, Fox, and Gage would do everything they could to deal with it. Things were different this time because the evil was turning up months earlier. Quinn, an author, was in town to write about what was happening and she became involved with Cal. Layla, a woman from New York, felt drawn to the town and was pulled into what was going on. Quinn got her friend Cybil, who frequently helped with research, to also come and it turned out that the three women also had a connection to what happened in 1652. They decided to work together to stop the evil once and for all.

Cal, Fox, Gage, Quinn, Layla, and Cybil were doing research that they hoped would help them defeat the evil, but they were also feeling a bit good about the fact that they had managed to confront it and cause it harm. Layla was still a bit uncertain about everything, especially the fact that she had a psychic ability shared by Fox. He finally convinced her that she needed to start practicing with it so she would be able to use it when the time was needed. The group started learning more about Giles and the evil they were facing. Quinn managed to find time to start planning her wedding while everything was going on. Layla and Fox did start a relationship that faced a few complications.

The Hollow picked up not to long after the events that ended Blood Brothers. The plot of this book was very connected to the first book since the trilogy is really telling one long story that has been divided into three parts. People really need to read this books in order. Certain things just won’t make much sense and there would be several spoilers for the first book if they are read out of order. Blood Brothers laid the foundation for the last two books and this one really built on what had already been established.

I didn’t think that the plot for The Hollow was overly complicated even though there was a lot going on. How the group was trying to deal with the evil was the main focus of the book and the trilogy in general. All six of them had some encounters with the evil in different forms and it did seem like the evil was getting stronger. They were documenting everything that happened. They continued to do research into what had happened back in 1652 and to try to learn how to deal with the evil once it was time for the final confrontation. Cybil seemed to discover the most with her research and she eventually came up with a somewhat extreme idea. A lot more was shared about the evil over the course and the book and I really enjoyed that. Things are being set up for the final confrontation in the third book, The Pagan Stone.

Most of the trilogies by Nora Roberts that I have read have dealt with the supernatural in some way. The books in the Sign of Seven Trilogy are no different. Some kind of evil force that seemed to be a demon had been causing people to do horrible things around Hawkins Hollow in 1652. Giles realized what was going on and used some sort of magic to stop the demon and imprison it. Cal, Fox, and Gage did their own little ritual on their tenth birthday that ended up releasing the demon. It could cause people to do horrible things, including murder. It could create things that only the group could see that acted on their fears. Layla shared my fear of snakes, so a few scenes were really unpleasant for me to read. The boys had received abilities that night at the stone, including the ability to quickly heal from injuries which did help them when they were trying to deal with the evil every seven years. The women also had some abilities that they hoped would help in the final confrontation. I really enjoyed all the supernatural elements in the book. People that don’t like to read about those types of things will probably want to skip this book.

Layla and Fox started to spend more time together for a few reasons in The Hollow. She was working as his office manager at his law office and they were also working together so that she could improve her ability. There was an obvious attraction between them. Layla was hesitant about acting on it because of everything else that was going on, but they did start a sexual relationship. They were featured in a few scenes that were descriptive without being overly graphic. The scenes might be too descriptive from some readers. The romance element was important to what was going on without distracting from the main plot. Quinn and Cal had already fallen in love and they were planning their wedding. There weren’t any sex scenes featuring those two, but it was made clear that they were sexually active. Even though nothing really has happened between Cybil and Gage yet, it did seem like there was a connection between them and I fully expect them to end up together in the next book. The romance aspects of the book were a bit predictable, but that didn’t bother me.

The Hollow featured the same six main characters that were introduced in Blood Brothers. For that book, Quinn and Cal received the most attention and the others were more in the background even though they were still important to everything that was going on. For this book, they moved back so that Layla and Fox could receive more attention. Fox was happy practicing law in Hawkins Hollow. He was determined to do what was needed to fight the evil. He was worried for the town and his family. He was a kind, likable guy. Layla was still a bit unsure about everything that was going on. She started accepting her ability and even practiced so she would be able to use it when it was needed. She got a little irritated with Fox at times and misunderstood a few things he did. She was also a likable character.

Cybil and Gage remained in the background for most of the book, though they did get more focus in a few parts. I’m sure that was done to help set up for them becoming the main characters of the final book. Cybil was very good at research and knew all sorts of things about obscure things that none of the others had even heard of before. She was sort of like a walking encyclopedia. Gage only came back to town for the week every seven years and spent the rest of the time traveling around the world playing poker. He seemed less connected at times, but he was very loyal to his friends. I am looking forward to learning more about him and Cybil in the next book.

I have been reading Nora Robert’s books for several years and I still haven’t read them all. She first started writing shorter romances for Silhouette Books before she started writing longer books that included more mystery and suspense. She also started to write the In Death series as J.D. Robb. That is a futuristic romantic suspense series set in New York City about 50 years in the future. Those books follow homicide detective Eve Dallas on her investigations while also giving some time to Eve’s personal life. The In Death books tend to have more emphasis on the mystery and suspense. People who have enjoyed one group of her books may also enjoy the other since they were written by the same person. She has written one book, Remember When, that has both names credited for being the author. The first half of the book was set in modern times and the second part jumped to Eve’s time for the conclusion of a mystery investigation. Eve’s part of Remember When took place between Imitation in Death and Divided in Death.

I really enjoyed The Hollow and am already impatient to read the last book, The Pagan Stone. People who enjoyed Blood Brothers should also like this one. Fans of Nora Roberts should give this series a chance.

Sign of Seven Trilogy
Blood Brothers ~ The Hollow ~ The Pagan Stone ~

Three Sisters Island Trilogy
Dance Upon the Air ~ Heaven and Earth ~ Face the Fire ~

Key Trilogy
Key of Light ~ Key of Knowledge ~ Key of Valor ~

In the Garden Trilogy

Blue Dahlia ~ Black Rose ~ Red Lily ~

The Circle Trilogy
Morrigan's Cross ~ Dance of the Gods ~ Valley of Silence ~

Silhouette Series
Reflections ~ Dance of Dreams ~ Hidden Star ~ Captive Star ~ Secret Star ~ Night Shift ~ Night Shadow ~ Night Smoke ~ Night Shield ~ Cordina's Crown Jewel ~ Cordina's Royal Family ~

Single Titles
Angels Fall ~ Birthright ~ Blue Smoke ~ Chesapeake Blue ~ Engaging the Enemy ~ Genuine Lies ~ High Noon ~ Homeport ~ Midnight Bayou ~ Montana Sky ~ Once More With Feeling ~ Northern Lights ~ Three Fates ~ Sweet Revenge ~ The Villa ~

Nora Roberts and J.D. Robb
Remember When ~

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