Sunday, December 7, 2008

The Pagan Stone by Nora Roberts

I actually want to take a minute to go back over the other two books in this trilogy. I wish I had taken the time to re-read them before reading this one as I had forgotten a few things. Fortunately I was able to figure it all out.

On Dec. 23, 2007, I finished Blood Brothers, the first of the trilogy. As that was before this blog, I was only making a brief journal entry at the time. I said "Great. Another good start to a new trilogy. Scary, sweet and a little weird but I enjoyed it."

May 13, 2008 I finished The Hollow, the second book. I said "Wow! Intense book - I had dreams about it. Another good addition to the trilogy. Can't wait for the third."

So that brings me to Dec. 6, 2008 (yesterday) when I finished The Pagan Stone. In my journal (which I still keep) I wrote "Scary! Good end to the trilogy. I didn't relate to Gage or Cybil but I liked the series. Glad it's done though!"

That pretty much sums it up. I'm glad this series is done. Not because I didn't like it, I loved it, but because it was scary. It made me uncomfortable and I didn't like the subject matter. Here's a quick synopsis -don't worry, no spoilers.

Three boys who are not biological brothers are born on the same day. They are best friends, beyond friendship, more like true brothers. On their tenth birthday they camp out at a place in the woods called the Pagan Stone. They slice their wrists and become blood brothers. What they didn't realize was that by doing a blood ritual in that spot they would unleash a demon that had been imprisoned there for a few hundred years. The demon possessed the town for a week before going dormant for seven years. Every seven years it comes back for seven days and the boys -now men - fight it as best they can.

In the months leading up to their 31st birthday, three women come to town. One comes for work, another because she's led there, and the third is pulled in by the first woman. The three men, now joined by three women (convenient) know that this is the year the demon must be stopped.

The first book was Cal and Quinn's story. I related to them the best. Cal was the hometown boy. He was on the town councils, ran the bowling alley, and had ties to the town from the very beginning. Quinn was the paranormal writer who came to town to investigate and research what went on every seven years.

The second book was Fox and Layla's story. Fox was the boy raised by free love hippies who rebelled and became a lawyer. He stayed in the town as well and made a home and law practice in the Hollow. Layla was brought there almost in a dream. She quickly teamed up with Quinn and the men, knowing that somehow she was a part of it all.

The third book was Gage and Cybil's story. Gage was abused by his alcoholic father growing up and had very little use for the town. He passed through now and then but he never set up a home anywhere, choosing to travel where his poker games took him. It was only the coming "seven" and his brothers that brought him back. Cybil was Quinn's best friend and a master at research. She was brought into help and quickly found herself a vital member of the six person team.

My only problem with these books was the subject matter of the demon. I don't like it. I try not to read books or watch movies where there is an ultimate evil force like a demon. They scare me. It's that simple. I couldn't read these books at bedtime, but I couldn't put them down at the same time. The characters saved this trilogy for me. It's one of Nora's best gifts, creating wonderful, likeable characters.

Do I recommend them? Yes, for those who don't mind a little bit of horror mixed in with their romance. I'm sure there are scarier books out there, I just don't choose to pick those up. I'll hang on to them, maybe read them again, and maybe share them with a few friends.

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