“ Author: Nora Roberts / Format: Paperback / Date of publication: 06 December 2007 / Genre: Crime & Thriller / Subcategory: Thriller / Suspense General / Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group / Title: Blood Brothers / ISBN 13: 9780749938437 / ISBN 10: 0749938437 „
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Blood Brothers is the first in the Nora Roberts trilogy entitled The Sign of Seven. Anyone who is familiar with the writings of Nora Roberts will know that she is rather partial to writing trilogies featuring brothers, sisters, or groups of friends. This particular trilogy focuses on three friends growing up in Hawkins Hollow.
On Caleb Hawkins' tenth birthday he and his two best friends, Fox and Gage, who share the same birth date, are allowed to go camping in the woods overnight. Whilst camped at the Pagan Stone, an area deep within the woods, the boys swear a blood oath and inadvertently release a demonic force which has been lying beneath the Pagan Stone. The demon reappears every seventh year on the seventh day of the seventh month and whenever it appears, terrible events take place in Hawkins Hollow: Seemingly normal people suddenly go berserk and kill or commit suicide or just simply lose their minds. Over the intervening twenty-one years Caleb, Fox and Gage have tried to defeat the demon but without success and with each appearance the demon is becoming stronger.
The year is now 2008 and Quinn Black a writer interested in paranormal phenomena has come to Hawkins Hollow to research her latest book. Also newly arrived is a woman called Layla who for some unknown reason felt compelled to come to the town.
Although Nora Roberts has written outside her normal romance genre before and has certainly included paranormal elements in previous books, this is the first time she has attempted something approaching a horror story, although being Nora, it isn't a complete departure from her comfort zone and the book features a romantic storyline too.
This is yet another Roberts trilogy featuring a group of friends, this time three men: one the son of the town's founding family, one raised by hippy parents and the third the son of the town drunk. The book begins with a flashback to 1987 when the boys were ten years old and celebrating Caleb Hawkins' birthday. This prologue sets the scene for the rest of the trilogy, bringing us up to speed with what has gone before.
Apart from the romance between Caleb and Quinn, pretty much nothing else happens in this book. The entire book is more or less taken up with filling in the history of Hawkins Hollow and its demon and setting the scene for what is to come in the second and third episodes. The three friends discover that three women have all arrived at Hawkins Hollow and are somehow linked to the demon and they begin to figure out that all six of them are required to defeat it.
The romance between Caleb and Quinn is pleasant but not earth-shattering. I don't know whether I've just read too many of this writer's books but her trilogies seem to have become more and more formulaic. Whenever she writes about groups of friends there is always one who is upright and decent, one who's slightly boring and one who's a bit wild. In actual fact, I found the historical elements more interesting than the more contemporary ones.
With regard to the historical back story, I do feel that Nora Roberts borrowed quite a bit from the Salem Witch trials for this book. There's lots of denouncing going on.
All that being said, some of the passages involving the confrontations with the demon are quite chilling and she has certainly mastered the art of creating a sinister atmosphere. Her descriptions of Hester's Pool in the wood and the surrounding forest were very good, as was Caleb's encounter as a child with the ghost of Hester. This isn't Stephen King though and you won't need to sleep with the light on after reading the book.
As usual, Nora Roberts has created a good group of friends and the early scenes of the three as boys are well written and convincing, as are the conversations between the three adult men which also ring true.
This book is a good read without being particularly memorable. There is quite a lot of back story involved with this trilogy not to mention the setting up of situations to be covered in the next two books, so that Nora Roberts didn't have much space to do more than include a rather pedestrian love story.
I've read the other books in the series and the tension does mount with each successive book, reaching a pretty good climax in the third but I think that basically Nora Roberts is a romance writer and she would be better sticking to that genre rather than spreading her talents more thinly. This mixing of genres end up being neither fish nor fowl nor good red meat.
The books in the trilogy are:
1. Blood Brothers
2. The Hollows
3. The Pagan Stone
Blood Brother" is set in early 80s and "Blue Remembered Hills" is set in 1943, middle of the war. These two stories are set in different period. "Blood Brother" is not set during World War 2 like "Blue Remembered Hills." In "Blood Brother" the children's culture was playing games like sweet, toys and hide & seek, etc but they were very poor games. And in their country, there were few jobs and the government didn't help poor people. The style of "Blood Brother" is musical and the theme is superstition, family and friends relationships but not good relationships. And this play set a long time like period of 20 years. It is about 2 brothers who were separated when they born and fallen in love with same girl at end killed each other but they know that they are brothers. It is a book i really would recommend to read by anyone.
In the small village of Hawkins Hollow, three best friends who share the same birthday sneak off into the woods for a sleepover the evening before turning 10. But a night of celebration turns into a night of horror as their blood brother oath unleashes a three-hundred-year-old curse.Twenty-one years later, Cal Hawkins and his friends have seen their town plagued by a week of unexplainable evil events two more times - every seven years. Quinn is a well known investigative journalist, and despite Cal's protests, she insists on delving into the mystery. But when the first signs of evil appear months early, it's not only the town Cal has to protect, but also his heart.