Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Review: The Hollow by Nora Roberts

I haven't seen a review for this book yet... although it just came out yesterday. Anyway, I thought I'd share my opinion of it...

The Hollow by Nora Roberts
published by Jove in May 2008

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…
Genre: paranormal romance
Series: Sign of 7, book #2

The Story: The story basically picks up from where it left in Blood Brothers. Cal and Quinn are now a couple, Fox and Layla fall in love while Gage and Cybil are still at each other’s throat, although you can see attraction. They continue their normal life, some working and others researching the past, studying the new diaries they have found… and then, from time to time, they have to escape some attacks from the enemy.

My Opinion: I’m sorry if I don’t sound more enthusiastic about this trilogy, but I just can’t muster it. Perhaps I’ve read too many of Nora Roberts’ trilogies? Seriously, going back to the Garden trilogy, I kind of lost interest in them. It’s so obvious who is going to end up with whom and I think that the storylines are quite repetitive. All that is changed is the theme and the background.

Anyway, about The Hollow. It actually started out quite good. I really like Fox and he’s definitively my favorite one out of the three men. He’s charming and very kind. He knows where he stands and where he’s going, he’s addicted to Coke, LOL, and he’s just the really nice guy that I’d love to have as a boyfriend… and who does he get paired up with? Layla. Among the three women, I find Layla the weakest and the most annoying. Her uncertainty and doubts annoyed me, the lack of commitment as well. I understand why though… not everyone can just up and leave their whole life behind, especially to fight an evil being that you’re not even sure you believe. Still, it grated on my nerves. She’s the type of heroine that is weak and whenever the hero steps in front of her for protection, she gets on her high horse… simply annoying.

Personally, I didn’t get why Fox was attracted to her, besides the fact that she’s pretty. I didn’t see the connection or the chemistry… perhaps I didn’t want to see it. In Blood Brothers, Cal and Quinn clicked… but it’s not the case between Fox and Layla. Most of the time, she’s fighting the attraction, doesn’t want to admit it. The worst was that Fox was so nice to her, he really put her needs first and everything. Sigh.

As for the book itself, it was well-written, as always; however, it wasn’t enough. The whole storyline fell flat for me. I couldn’t muster interest. There was a definite sense of déjà-vu. Actually, when I think about it, this trilogy reminds me a lot of the Key trilogy: 1) the men are all childhood friends, 2) the women have just met (well not exactly, but close enough), 3) they have to fight something evil, 4) it involves a lot of research and they have a deadline and 5) paranormal elements. Also, I felt the balance between the romance and the storyline a bit awkward, as in, it didn’t flow. You’d have the 2 trios living a normal life and boo, an attack from evil. Then, the evil would stay low to recover its energy, so the trios are back to their routine, and boo again, attack. Smart thing was that the attacks were restricted to Layla and Fox, but everyone got a taste of it.

So what did I like besides Fox? Well the connection between Cal, Fox and Gage. That one, I could really feel. I like how well they know each other and that they need each other. I also enjoyed the O’Dell family dynamics as well as the O’Dells and Cal and Gage interactions. Those were enjoyable moments and luckily for me, there were many.

My Grade: B-. If you enjoyed Blood Brothers, then go ahead, you’ll probably enjoy this one too. I really enjoy Nora Roberts writing, but I think that I should take a break from the trilogy and stick to her stand-alone books for a while.


  1. I am no. 22 on the library list for this one, so it is going to be a while before I get it! Thanks for the review (which I just!)

  2. I haven't read Blood Brothers yet because these books are spaced so far apart in release dates. I hate that. I think you'll get a reprieve from trilogies as the next one isn't due out until November, or is it December? Sigh. Can't remember. All I know is I decided to read the books in November. Otherwise I'd have to re-read which isn't a hardship because, hey, it's Nora Freaking Roberts! BUT, what if I don't like one so much. Then I'm screwed. So, I went with my "just wait" logic and will get all the JD Robb books and then this trilogy to read at the same time... Happy Thanksgiving indeed! LOL

  3. I did not realize it was part of a trilogy. I have to go find Blood Brothers now. I am number 54 on the waiting list at my library. So if I can find the other i have time to read it before The Hollow gets here.
    I am not a regular reader of NR's books so I am interested.

  4. Marg - You're welcome :) Hope you enjoy it more than I did.

    Anne - See, I don't think that even waiting for the next book will be long enough. I think I might need to skip the next trilogy to get a reprieve. Sigh.

    I have to admit though, I hate it when her releases for the trilogy are so spread out... anyway, at least, I'll have her stand-alone and J.D. Robb to read :)

    Kris - I'm not sure this is the best trilogy to discover la Nora :P Of course, since you've never read any of her books, you might enjoy it a lot. Me says you should check out the Chesapeake trilogy. that's her best in my opinion :P

    Hope you get to read Blood Brothers before :D

  5. I'm collecting this trilogy, but not reading until they're all out. But then that's also what I said about her last trilogy (the paranormal one) and it's still in the TBR. But I can' stop myself. I am excited about her hardcover July release though.

  6. Do you have a favorite Nora Roberts trilogy? I was a big fan of the "Three Sisters" books. Really liked Nell and Ripley.

  7. Nath, I'm saving mine. I'm waiting to read them until I have all three books. Of course I said that about the last trilogy and it's still in my tbr.

  8. Jennie - See, I don't think that collecting them would help me. I'm just burned out when it comes to her trilogies. Even her previous one, I read the first and didn't bother with the two others :(

    LOL, as for her July releases, I can't wait either! Although the cover isn't that pretty ^_^;

    Kate - My favorite trilogy is the Chesapeake one. I just love the relationship between Cam, Ethan, Philip and Seth. So touching!

    Rosie - All I can say is that I hope you enjoy them when you read them :D