Blood Brothers by Nora Roberts

January 14, 2011

Plot summary (from the publisher): In the town of Hawkins Hollow, it’s called The Seven. Every seven years, on the seventh day of the seventh month, strange things happen. It began when three young boys-Caleb, Fox, and Gage-went on a camping trip to The Pagan Stone. And twenty-one years later, it will end in a showdown between evil and the boys who have become men-and the women who love them.

Warning: Spoilers below!

Liked:

  • I liked the boys’ camping trip at the beginning of the book. As others have already noted, it is very reminiscent of Stephen King and called to mind the camping trip at the beginning of “The Body”/Stand By Me. I enjoyed learning about the boys’ childhoods and their friendships, and wish more pages had been devoted to that period.

Disliked:

  • There was practically zero tension in the book. I never felt as though the main trio or the three women were in any real danger. Neither did they, apparently, as they devoted most of their time to going on dates, setting up Quinn’s house, hanging on the tree, celebrating various holidays, and having powwows to discuss “strategy” rather than actually doing anything to combat the evil demon.
  • Speaking of the evil demon, shouldn’t he have been more … evil??? He was depicted as more of a mischievous kid than anything else. I guess Roberts thought it was scary enough just to have him pop up in unexpected places where only the chosen could see him. Besides those distant appearances, the only other time the demon even got close was when he went after Caleb’s dog.
  • I think the biggest reason the demon wasn’t scary was that Roberts didn’t bother telling much about what happened during those “crazy periods”. The seven days of mayhem every seven years were only vaguely alluded to until near the end when the part of someone stabbing someone else in the face with a fork was casually mentioned. Why not describe more acts of random violence and ratchet up the stakes a bit?
  • Ugh, Caleb and Quinn made me want to vomit. They’re supposed to be crusading against this crazed demon, yet they’re more interested in screwing each other than anything else. This was my first Nora Roberts book. Does she always have soooo many detailed sex scenes??? Usually in these types of books, just the first sexual encounter is told in any detail, with subsequent couplings told in more abbreviated forms. But not here. Caleb and Quinn probably had at least 4 or 5 detailed scenes, which just furthered my conviction that the demon wasn’t anything to worry about.
  • The ending was so…anticlimactic. They beat the thing by throwing rocks at it? Really? I know that this was just the first book in a trilogy, so the demon is sure to be back, but still… that was a pretty pathetic “showdown”.

Rating:

I checked this book out of the library based on the relatively positive reader reviews I read and because the description sounded fairly interesting. But I simply couldn’t get into this one at all. The characters are annoying, there’s more romance than action, and the supernatural elements didn’t add much to the plot. I will not be reading the other two books in this trilogy, and give Blood Brothers 2 stars out of 5.

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