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    The Circle of Seven Trilogy Continue with Nora Roberts’ The Hollow
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  • Published: May 18th, 2008

roberts_hollowreview.jpgThe Hollow by Nora Roberts

Reviewed by Maria Lokken

The Hallow is the second book in the three book series of the Circle of Seven Trilogy. I read the first book Blood Brothers, and personally couldn’t wait for the second in the series to be released. I know, I know, authors don’t write books in a week or even in a couple of months – so along with a few million other people, I anxiously awaited this release and ran out and purchased it the minute it hit the shelves.

So what did I think? Here’s what – Nora can write characters. That is one of the reasons I love reading her books. This book unfolded for me, page by page, and I could see each character, feel their emotions and walk with them in their shoes. As an author, she makes it very easy for the reader to get totally immersed in her characters’ world.

This series is about three childhood friends, each with a completely different background, born on the same day, at the same hour. On their 10th birthday, they take a forbidden trip into to the woods to celebrate their coming of age, and perform a blood brothers ceremony over an ancient Pagan Stone. Their blood hits the stone and all hell breaks loose, literally. An evil the likes the world has never seen is unleashed for one week. And every seven years that evil comes back to their town.

This book, as did the first in the series, scared the bejeez out of me. It was like watching a scary movie – I could almost hear the subtle minor keys of string instruments and percussion in the background warning me that danger was coming as I read each page. The seven year anniversary of Mr. Bad Ass Evil is about to roll around again – so danger pretty much lurks on every page of The Hollow.

As with all her trilogies, there are three men and three women, and each book is devoted to one of the couples, creating a great romance a la Nora’s signature style. I say signature style, because she writes characters who are real, with very believable dialogue. I was so lost in the dialogue I felt as if I was watching a movie, and I was, only it was playing in my head.

The Hallow centers around Fox and Layla. You’ll love Fox as a hero, he’s not only got charm and grace, he’s kind, thoughtful, and keeps calm under the most strenuous circumstances. Layla’s got a lot to learn, but as the book progresses, she doesn’t turn into super woman who can do it all, but she grows and I appreciated the fact that she went from an outsider in the group to someone who could be part of a group and also hold her own.

Ms. Roberts’ makes the situation and characters believable – yep, high marks on the believability factor. Let’s face it, if you were confronting the mother of all evil in the entire universe, would you be apt to go out for drinks, create a relationship, make love? Not me, I’m one of those, hunker down, the world is coming to an end… can’t think about anything else. However, she manages to create a life for these characters knowing that if you don’t constantly create a future with hope, there won’t be any. Great message, great story.

If you haven’t read Blood Brothers (the first book in the series), and are just planning on picking it up in the middle of the series – you’ll get right into it. She smoothly gives you the background without any unnecessary preamble for those of us already familiar with the plot. However, it’s a wonderful series, so I suggest you start from the beginning.

4 Stars

15 Responses to “The Circle of Seven Trilogy Continue with Nora Roberts’ The Hollow”

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  1. Marisa
    on May 19th, 2008
    @ 4:17 am

    Maria, as you know, I’ve read Blood Brothers and was eagerly awaiting The Hollow – you got to it first. So, hand it over!
    I agree with you Nora’s characters leap off the page — in all her books it’s the characters that drive the story for me. It’s the characters that I think of long after I close the book. Yes, the plot for Blood Brothers and the whole Circle of Seven Trilogy is one I’m really invested in, it’s scary and intriguing and one of my favorite plot lines for fiction. When normal, ordinary, everyday people band together to fight evil and in the process they learn about themselves and dig down deep to find what they are made of. I love this story line.

  2. Buffie
    on May 19th, 2008
    @ 4:41 am

    I guess one day I will have to read a Nora book. I just haven’t gotten to it yet.

  3. AndreaW
    on May 19th, 2008
    @ 6:36 am

    You and me both, Buffie! One of these days . . .

    Great review, Maria!

  4. Gannon
    on May 19th, 2008
    @ 6:57 am

    Buffie and Andrea, what are you waiting for?! 😉

    Great review, Maria. I never miss a book by Nora and I read THE HOLLOW in one day. One of my favorite things about Nora is the way she writes her male characters. Their dialogue, mannerisms, and interaction just leap of the page. It is a bit like watching a movie; the characters seem so real. I particularly love Fox in this series, especially his relationship with his family.

  5. Buffie
    on May 19th, 2008
    @ 7:19 am

    Gannon — I don’t know what I’m waiting for. I guess a little of my hesitation stems from the fact that I am really a historical girl at heart. I rarely read contemps.

  6. Maria
    on May 19th, 2008
    @ 7:20 am

    Andrea and Buffie – come on ladies – go get a Nora book, pick anyone, read it, you’ll love the story and the charachters, trust me on this.

    Gannon – I’m sooo with you. Fox is a woman’s man. He’s got the strength and the sensitivity – and the romantic streak… winning combination.

  7. MaryKate
    on May 19th, 2008
    @ 7:24 am

    I finished The Hollow last week, Maria, and completely agree with your assessment. I actually wasn’t a huge fan of Blood Brothers, mostly because she had to do a ton of world building. But The Hollow was back to trademark Nora. What I like best about Nora books is that she knows how to write “guy.” Her guys just seem so real to me. In the way they deal with each other, in the way they think, and most particularly in the way they react to their women. I loved Fox because he’s pushy. In that really likable way. He’s constantly managing everyone, including Layla. And she’s just so deliberate in everything she does. She resents him pushing her around and it makes for this terrific tension between the two of them. He pushes because he cares, and she digs in because she thinks he’s pushing because he doesn’t think she’s smart enough to do for herself.

    And yes, let’s talk about the Big Evil Bastard (as they refer to the Big Bad in this book.) Nora has completely outdone herself with this evil. It’s demonic and vicious, does horrible things, and generally manifests itself as a child. How’s that for horrifying? And terrifying? Easily in her top three scariest bad guys ever! Whooo, scary!

    Great review, Maria.

    Buffie and Andrea, please, please, please give me ONE Nora book to suggest. I promise that you’ll love her. And then, what an amazing glom you’d have ahead of you. She really is the Queen of Romance for a reason!

  8. Maria
    on May 19th, 2008
    @ 7:26 am

    Buffie: You and I posted at the same time – so I didn’t see your post. I know EXACTLY what you mean. For years, I was MISS HISTORICAL. But Marisa kept giving me contemps and I had no other choice but to read them because I respect her opinion when it comes to books. (On many other things we disagree). Anyhoot – she gave me several contemps – and I got hooked. Try it, you will not be disapointed. And I don’t have spell check for anyone who is wondering.

  9. Gannon
    on May 19th, 2008
    @ 8:28 am

    MK, I completely agree with you about the Big Bad. The fact that he often appears as a child is completely horrifying! Definitely one of the scariest baddies ever.

    Off the subject, MK, but I wanted to let you know that I just finished TO TASTE TEMPTATION, and I loved it! Emeline and Samuel have wonderful chemistry and their loves scenes are SMOKIN’!!

  10. MaryKate
    on May 19th, 2008
    @ 8:32 am

    Good to know, Gannon, thanks! I’ll add it to my to be bought list!

  11. keoweegirl
    on May 19th, 2008
    @ 8:37 am

    Great review, Maria. I adore Nora but I haven’t started this series yet. I’ll blame it on too many books, too little time but the truth is I’m a wuss when it comes to scary books. Maybe I’ll pick this one up to take to the beach next month when I’ll have people around to “protect” me.

  12. keoweegirl
    on May 19th, 2008
    @ 8:39 am

    Gannon, I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed TO TASTE TEMPTATION! 🙂

  13. Marisa
    on May 19th, 2008
    @ 4:13 pm

    …but the truth is I’m a wuss when it comes to scary books. Maybe I’ll pick this one up to take to the beach next month when I’ll have people around to “protect” me.

    PJ, no joke, I’m reading this series with the lights on! Just like I do when I read Steven King.

  14. melissa
    on Jul 28th, 2008
    @ 6:22 pm

    I just got done reading The Hollow. WOW!! I happen to love Nora Roberts and I was a the library this past week and checked out Blood Bothers and read it in a day. I loved it, when I called to see if they had the hollow in they didn’t. I wanted to read it so bad that I went out and bought it that same day. It was so worth it, the only problem is that I can’t wait until December for the last one to come out. You guys are so right about the Big Bad being a little boy that is so scary.

  15. September Mystery Book and the Winner Revealed | Romance Novel TV
    on Sep 9th, 2009
    @ 9:01 pm

    […] in Nora Roberts’ Sign of Seven Trilogy. I loved this series. All three books, Blood Brothers, The Hollow and The Pagan Stone have what you come to expect and love in a Nora Roberts paranormal trilogy; […]

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