Nora Roberts' demonic trilogy continues in 'The Hollow', which began with 'Blood Brothers' and will conclude with 'The Pagan Stone'.
The story continue...moreNora Roberts' demonic trilogy continues in 'The Hollow', which began with 'Blood Brothers' and will conclude with 'The Pagan Stone'.
The story continues where it left off with Fox and his love interest Layla taking up the narrative. Fox and Layla are very different characters from the steady Caleb and vivacious Quinn who were the focus of the previous novel, but it's very easy to get back into the swing of the story.
As a male lead, Fox is easy to warm to. With his unorthodox, hippy, vegan family which has led to his gentle coke swilling, junk food rebellion. Making a living as a lawyer, he is submerged deeply into small town life, yet what should be small pettiness is written with affectionate warmth and is interesting, endearing and despite all of this he still comes across as ruggedly sexy.
In contrast, I found Layla harder to identify with. Somewhat aloof, it took me until the end of the book to really get a sense of who she is. Maybe it's how she arrived in the first book: drawn to the town by strange dreams she had a vision that told her to go to Hawkins Hollow, but as consequence she does not have a connection to the town or any of the deeper relationships or connections that the others do. Her family is never mentioned, or her hair colour, small things, but their absence bugged me.
In terms of the overall narrative, the demonic haunting continues to gain pace, with the episodes getting darker and more prolonged. Developing the creepy, chilly edge I so enjoyed in 'Blood Brothers'. The swarm of black spiders turning the windows black in particular gave my arachnophobic self the heebie geebies.
The relationship between the six friends, three women and three men continued to grow, the solidarity, strength and matter of fact way they approach the haunting is inspired. Index cards and diagrams for sightings, they would make any murder detective proud.
As with the first in the series, the book is inescapably the second of a trilogy and in that sense would fail as a stand alone novel. But if you're prepared to read it, as I have, as one of three, then it's a warm, easy reading page turner.
I'm already eagerly anticipating the final instalment as the electricity between Gage and Cybil is particularly tangible. I have a feeling it may be my favourite of the three.
This is the last of the 'Sign of Seven' trilogy, with the narrative moving to focus on the final unmatched couple Gage and Cybil.
And, of all the three...moreThis is the last of the 'Sign of Seven' trilogy, with the narrative moving to focus on the final unmatched couple Gage and Cybil.
And, of all the three, this was the book I looked forward to the most. The chemistry between Gage and Cybil had already been sparking interestingly in the previous books. They were the first of the three couples who I really found myself wanting to get together. It's not that the love stories for the others weren't satisfying, they just weren't as electric.
Gage is a fascinating character, complex with a difficult past. A drifter and a gambler he's not your typical main character and the last person you'd ever expect to settle down with the archetypal white picket fence.
I also really loved Cybil she's feisty and intelligent, with a interesting gypsy heritage. Not intimidated by Gage's quick temper, she faces up to each demonic episode with a cool strength I know I could never manage if I were in the same position.
As you would expect, the evil seven year curse continues layers itself over the town of Hawkins Hollow, becoming heavier and more sinister. Infecting the minds and will of the townspeople and the sextet's friends. As the demon grows in power, so does his ability to endanger the group. Sharing the gift of foresight, Gage and Cybil try to prevent the deaths of the people they care about as well as working together with the others to end the curse for good.
As the story draws to a close we know it can only mean one thing, the end of the demon curse or the end of the three couples. But let's face it, it's a Nora Roberts book so an unhappy ending is about as unlikely as Simon Cowell wearing pink lycra. But, it doesn't matter, as the darkness sweeps in, the pages begin turning and you need to know how it ends.
This book is most definitely the best of the series. The finale packs the punch the previous two books hadn't and the love story is without a doubt the most compelling. There are a couple of clichéd moments that you need to ignore, but overall an enjoyable conclusion to a spookily satisfying trilogy.
If Goodreads would let me give half stars this would be 3.5 stars
'Tsunami Blue' is set in an alternative future. We all remember the terrible tsunami...moreIf Goodreads would let me give half stars this would be 3.5 stars
'Tsunami Blue' is set in an alternative future. We all remember the terrible tsunami that hit Phuket in 2004. Well, in this world this was the first of many devastating waves to plunder the globe. The world as we know it is destroyed, much of it now underwater and society as we know it has crumbled into lawlessness.
Most of the seas are run by Runners. Pirates to you and me. Ruthless, barbaric men who have little regard for human life and think only of their own empires and survival.
Kathryn O'Malley, known as Tsunami Blue has a gift, or a curse depending on how you look at it. The sea speaks to her. She knows when the next wave is going to hit and where. She uses this gift to help others. Broadcasting the next wave's location over an old fashioned radio in the hope that people will hear her and move to safety.
While many people think of her as a saviour, there are others that think her gift is evil. Then there are the Runners. The group that own Tsunami Blue would rule the seas, and they will stop at nothing to possess her.
Because of this Tsunami Blue lives in hiding, with nothing more than her faithful dog Max for company. Raised by her uncle, a Runner himself she's under no illusion of their ruthlessness. But, in thanks to this upbringing she also knows how to look after herself.
Then, one evening a handsome stranger washes up on her island. Barely alive, Blue decides to save him worrying she may very well regret the decision later. But she soon discovers that Gabriel is a Runner, with a separate group of Runners fast on his tail. Runners intent on possessing her. If she's to survive she needs to trust Gabriel so that they can both flee for safety.
When I was reading the first chapter of this book, I thought wow, I'm going to love this. With its dark, dystopian, futuristic setting and fantastically gutsy heroine. The setting of this book is brilliantly drawn, and you can see the world as if you were living and breathing in it yourself.
Blue is one tough heroine. Having lived on her own since she was thirteen, she knows how to survive. The terror and loneliness of this survival is depicted with a sharp edge, and you're left under no illusion as to how dark and at times violent this survival has been. The first pages of this book have you gripped and they don't stop turning once you've started.
The one thing that let's this story down is the relationship between Gabriel and Blue. Inevitably Blue does not trust Gabriel. He is a man of contrasts. A fierce fighter and a Runner, but caring and compassionate at the same time. The chemistry builds between nicely and you route for them to end up together as you would in any romance. But right up until the end even when Gabriel has proved himself time and time again to Blue she doesn't trust him. Just as she's beginning to something will happen and she doesn't trust him again. This became a repeated theme in the book and it frustrated me a little.
This is a superbly drawn book with a compelling dystopian setting. While I did have a few issues with the relationship between Blue and Gabriel, I would still not hesitate to recommend it.
I downloaded this book because I wanted a quick, entertaining light read one Sunday afternoon. I've read a few of Gena Showalter's novels and they're...moreI downloaded this book because I wanted a quick, entertaining light read one Sunday afternoon. I've read a few of Gena Showalter's novels and they're usually witty and entertaining. I'm also a fan of her 'Lords of the Underworld' series but for different reasons.
'The Stone Prince' is the story of unlucky in love Katie, who falls in lust with a statue of a very handsome man in her garden. Katie is a tough, independent woman who renovates houses for a living. The sister of many brothers, she struggles with men and never seems to be able pass the first date stage.
On a whim one evening, Katie decides to kiss the sexy statue and breaks a century old curse bringing the very handsome and virile Jorlan to life. However, Jorlan, is not only a cursed centuries old warrior, he's also an alien from another planet.
It's strange, I could cope with the fact that Jorlan had been turned to stone and was centuries old. But the fact that he was an alien was a little jarring and didn't sit that well for me. I know this is a paranormal romance, but it seemed just that bit too far fetched.
Jorlan is inarguably sexy and rugged, your typical romance hero. But being cursed for centuries comes with its problems. Desperate to get revenge for his incarceration and to return to his home planet, he also needs to convince Katie to fall in love with him in two weeks or he'll return to stone once more. Jorlan also has very different views on women and feminism. While his beliefs are meant to be funny and endearing as we watch him careen along the path to enlightenment, they irritated me. Maybe I'm too much of a feminist at heart, but there were times when I really wished Katie would dump him at the nearest bus station and find someone else. He comes across as a little too chauvinistic.
As we near the end of the book we become introduced to some new characters and more importantly the villain of the piece. This begins a sub plot that becomes layered into the main story and is when the book begins to gain pace. Interestingly, I found myself more engaged in this secondary part of the narrative than Katie and Jorlan's story.
There are some very witty parts of the book, watch out for Jorlan's first experience of alcohol, I won't spoil it for you. And this is the writing style that I have always enjoyed by Gena Showalter. But, disappointingly overall I failed to really get really sucked into the book.
At times 'The Stone Prince' is a witty and entertaining light read, but unfortunately I failed to engage fully with the main characters and the narrative was overall a little lack-lustre.