Dear Ms. Roberts:
This book is better suited to be purchased and read with its two other companion books because the plot is one that spans the three books. In fact, when I was reading this book I didn’t know if it had a plot. There was no crescendo, no climax, and no denouement. It was about 300 pages of setup which included a fairly decent love story.
The story opens with three ten year old boys who swear a blood oath of friendship and in doing so release a demon onto the town of Hawkins Hollow. Every seven years, on seventh day of the seventh month, the demon roams the town turning seemingly ordinary people into monsters. Caleb Hawkins, Fox O’Dell, and Gage Turner went on a camping trip, the middle class boy, the hippie’s son, and the son of the town drunk, and promise to be there for each other for the rest of their lives.
Quinn Black is an author of paranormal events. She started writing newspaper articles and then books and has had some success. She’s sniffed out some strange occurrences in Hawkins Hollow and comes to town in February to investigate the reports and to interview the town’s occupants. None of this would occur without the approval of the Hawkins’, particularly Caleb.
Hawkins is a town built upon a great evil and Caleb and his blood brothers must find a way to defeat that evil. While Caleb, Fox and Gabe have tried three times to stem the tide but each time, it seems that the evil grows stronger. At his wits end, Caleb allows an outsider, Quinn Black, into the town’s secret in hopes that she might see something that Caleb and the others have missed.
Quinn and Caleb are very personable, very quintessential Roberts characters. At times, I felt like I may have even read about them before in other, cough, series. Caleb is a thoughtful, careful person who loves his town and is willing to fight for it. Quinn is a freight train who runs at high speed but with great charm.
The best part of the story isn’t the paranormal aspects nor is it really the understated romance between Quinn and Caleb but the interactions and dialogue of all the characters. You have a knack for portraying ordinary relationships and colloquy (free rice word) in a fresh, funny aspect, particularly the guy to guy interaction:
"Yeah, I recognized her. I read the books, too. She's hotter than her picture, and that was pretty hot.–Ã‚
"I saw her first.–Ã‚
Fox snorted, shifted his eyes to sneer at Cal. "Dude, it's not about who saw her first, it's who she sees. I pull out the full power of my sexual charm, and you'll be the Invisible Man.–Ã‚
"…The full power of your sexual charm wouldn't light up a forty-watt bulb.–Ã‚
But in a story that introduces six characters and a paranormal plot that spans three books, this first one seems to have a hard time standing on its own feet. The romance between Quinn and Caleb isn’t as strong as it could be because there isn’t much time spent developing them as characters or their relationship with each other. I know I’ll read the next two in the trilogy but I’m thinking I might wait and read the final two together. B-