Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Review: The Pagan Stone by Nora Roberts

Title: The Pagan Stone
Series: Sign of Seven
Author: Nora Roberts
Read copy: Mass Market Paperback
Published: November 25, 2008
Publisher: Jove
ISBN: 0515144665
ISBN-13: 9780515144666

Years ago, after their blood brother ritual, Gage, Fox, and Caleb emerged from the woods, each with a piece of bloodstone. Now, it will become their weapon in the final fight against the demon they awakened. Winner take all...

Shared nightmares, visions of blood and fire, and random violence begin to plague the longtime friends and Quinn, Layla, and Cybil, the women bound to them by fate. None of them can ignore the fact that, this year, the demon has grown stronger—feeding off of the terror it creates. But now, the three pieces of the bloodstone have been fused back together. If only they could figure out how to use it.

A gambling man like Gage has no trouble betting on his crew to find a way. And though he and Cybil share the gift of seeing the future, that’s all they share. Were they to take their flirtation to the next level, it would be on their own terms, not because fate decreed it. But Gage knows that a woman like Cybil—with her brains and strength and devastating beauty—can only bring him luck. Good or bad has yet to be determined—and could mean the difference between absolute destruction or an end to the nightmare for Hawkins Hollow.

My rating:

Three boys who shared their birthday, Caleb, Fox, and Gage, decided to celebrate their tenth birthday at the Pagan Stone, a strange, altar-like stone in the middle of the woods surrounding Hawkins Hollow, the village where the three grew up.

A simple vow to always be friends sealed with their blood, unleashed an entity that‘s been haunting them ever since.

Every seven years, for seven days in the seventh month, the small town of Hawkins Hollow descends into madness. Strange accidents happen; neighbors turn against neighbors, husbands against wives… When the Seven is over, no one remembers anything.

Except the three blood brothers.

Now, twenty-one years later, the three boys turned men know the time might have come to end it. It has grown stronger, but so have them. And they’re not alone anymore.

This is the third, and last installment in the Sign of Seven trilogy, following Blood Brothers and The Hollow, brining the Big Evil terrorizing the small town of Hawkins Hollow to a satisfying end.

Among the three books, this one ranks up there with the first, while the second obviously suffered from the middle-book-syndrome. I loved the evolving relationships between the characters, the interaction of previous heroes and heroines with the "mega-couple" of the now.

I absolutely adored Gage (from the first book, mind you), with his bad-boy, I-don't-give-a-flying-f*** attitude, and a heart of gold. Despite all the violence and abuse he's suffered in Hawkins Hollow, he still returns, every seven years, to aid his "brothers", to aid the people that loved him when his father couldn't or wouldn't.

Cybil was just perfect for him. These two really were two peas in a pod. Free spirits with movable roots that had no idea what they were looking for until Fate made them "run off a cliff like lemmings".
And when they finally figured out what was going on it was already too late... and they didn't care anymore how "emotional ties" might disrupt their routine.

The final battle was yet another symbolic representation of the battle between good and evil, with loads of hidden meanings and messages.
The most important, no matter how hard things go, no matter if the Devil comes from Hell to get ya, "You can do it!" if you just believe in yourself, believe and trust the people who are with you when you're hip deep in crap.
It's all in the positive thinking.

Yeah, this trilogy (I'd suggest reading all three in order) is highly recommended by this reader. ;)
Granted, Nora Robert's style of narration needs some time to get used to, but once you get the hang of it, it's an enjoyable experience.


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