My friend pressed Nora Robert’s The Sign of Seven trilogy on me as perfect vacation reading, knowing I tend to like supernatural and spooky books. I should have guessed, as she was the friend who also tried to get me to read the 50 Shades crap. But I love her anyways. These books, however, I do not love, although they aren’t as bad as I thought when starting them.
The story centres on the Pagan Stone, an spot in the woods that has been subject to many rumors and history in the town of Hawkin’s Hollow. Three boys go there for their tenth birthdays, each on the same day. They do a blood brother ritual at midnight, and release a demon into the world. This demon returns for seven days every seven years, starting on the anniversary of its release from its prison. The demon taunts the boys, and infects the townspeople into committing acts of violence and forgetting all about it once the week is over, and the boys grow up trying to protect the townspeople and figure out a way to destroy the demon. This is actually kind of interesting, and is largely introduced in the first of the novels, Blood Brothers. It reminds me a bit of a Stephen King novel, which is fine.
In Blood Brothers, a young woman researching a book into these events comes into town, followed quickly by her best friend and another woman who is just drawn to the town. The six of them all converge together, of course, and sparks fly. The characters all have romance names – Caleb, Fox, Gage, Quinn, Cybill and Layla. Caleb and Quinn pair up in Blood Brothers, Fox and Layla in The Hollow, and Gage and Cybill in The Pagan Stone. It is all drawn out over the three novels. They are all beautiful and intelligent and well spoken, and the men are all the best lovers the world has ever seen. It is all so cliche, and it drags down what I thought was actually a well drawn out supernatural story, if it had been compressed into a single novel. I think I might just be the wrong audience for romance novels, because Nora Roberts sells enough books that it must be speaking to someone.