Sunday, May 11, 2008

The Hollow by Nora Roberts

I will preface this review by saying that I've been a fan of Nora Roberts for years. I think I have every book ever written by her, which is a ridiculous amount of books! :)

The blurb for The Hollow:

Their innocent bonding ritual led to seven days of madness, ever 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 fateful 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 with this intimate connection to Fox. She knows that once she opens her mind, she'll have no defense against the desire that threatens to consume them both...

Nora Roberts has been writing for years & has written a ton of books. Every year for the last four or so years, she's been writing a JD Robb book (or two) and a trilogy that's usually paranormal. She'll also write a hardcover novel of some sort as well.

I find her trilogies very hit or miss. I loved the Key Trilogy (especially Key of Knowledge...Dana is my homegirl. LOL!) and some of the others she's done as well. The Sign of Seven series is a miss for me. Nora is known for writing characters that I connect with in some way, shape or form. She's always so good at writing the growing relationship between two people. In The Sign of Seven series I think she's failed at that.

Here is what I mean. In Book 1 (Blood Brothers) she introduced all 6 characters, gave backstory; basically introduced us to this world she's created. There was a romance, but the backstory & the build-up really overshadowed the romance itself. In Book 2, she's ignored the romance to the growing war on the demon that has made these characters' lives hell. Yes there's a romance, but it's totally overshadowed by everything else that is going on in the story.

What I liked-The characters. Nora is notorious for having characters of all types in her books. This book is no exception. There's the tough, quiet hero, the sarcastic heroine, the nerdy heroine, the able-to-do-anything hero, etc. etc. The dialogue is always tight and she's excellent at showing all of the secondary characters as well.

The setting-A small town overrun by evil every seven years. Yet, the town lives on every day. Sure people leave, but the tightness of the community is very present as well.

The writing-As always, tight, crisp and very well done.

What I didn't like-That the romance was overshadowed by the rest of the story. I wish she'd go back to writing about people again, like she did with the MacGregors or the Stanislaskis. I know, she wrote them when she was with Silhouette, but I miss the connectedness she had with the people she'd created. It seems to be missing lately.

The storyline-I admit, I actually skimmed to the end. I did not read the whole book in its entirety. Do you have any idea how long it's been since I've done that? No clue! *sigh*

Was the book bad? Nope, it wasn't, but it didn't capture me at all. Will I read Book 3? Probably, but I am not at all impressed with this latest offering. Here's hoping the next In Death book will change my tune, eh?

My Rating-C (and a skimmed almost DNF)

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