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REVIEW: Blood Brothers by Nora Robert

Dear Ms. Roberts:

This is a tough review to write and not because I was unhappy with it but because while good, it reads like one giant prologue.

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:

"That's Quinn.– 

"Yeah, I recognized her. I read the books, too. She's hotter than her picture, and that was pretty hot.– 

"I saw her first.– 

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.– 

"…The full power of your sexual charm wouldn't light up a forty-watt bulb.– 

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-

Best regards,

Jane

This book can be purchased in mass market or ebook format.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

11 Comments

  1. Jan
    Dec 04, 2007 @ 17:59:01

    This actually sounds like a really interesting premise to me. I’ll have to buy it for Mom for Christmas. Although she may very well have bought it for me LOL.

    But I like the idea of taking a few books to develop a romance instead of having one per book like clockwork.

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  2. Bev Stephans
    Dec 04, 2007 @ 18:31:35

    Since it is going to take a year for all 3 books to come out, I think that I will wait and buy them all at once. I like the continuity of being able to read them in sequence. That way I don’t have to keep referring back to a previous book.

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  3. MaryKate
    Dec 04, 2007 @ 18:43:22

    I have to say that this is the first Nora in ages that didn’t work that well for me. I’ve been pondering on why, and as usual, Jane, you said it better than I could have. I felt like there was a *whole* lotta background building and that the characters suffered for it. I got almost to the end of the book and still couldn’t exactly figure out how the other two couples were going to pair up. I realize that they weren’t the main focus, but usually Nora does such a great job for me on building anticipation for the next book’s couple.

    Quite simply, I’m a total Nora fangirl. I love almost everything she writes, but this book graded out a C for me because I felt like the characterization suffered for the world building. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll be buying the next one, but this definitely wasn’t a favorite for me.

    Although big kudos to Nora for writing a SUPER creepy villain. I was definitely a bit freaked by the Big Bad.

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  4. Jane
    Dec 04, 2007 @ 18:43:43

    jan- not to deter you from buying it but each book features a different romance. Kind of like the three witches trilogy.

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  5. Jan
    Dec 04, 2007 @ 19:24:56

    jan- not to deter you from buying it but each book features a different romance. Kind of like the three witches trilogy.

    Oh. That’s not quite as exciting then. Well, Mom will buy it and I’ll read hers then once all three are out.

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  6. Gina
    Dec 05, 2007 @ 08:38:20

    It is that ‘cliff hanger’ feel to sequel books that actually makes me want to read and Nora builds that anticipation so well. Perhaps its goes back to my childhood when I wanted to know what happened after ‘Happily Ever After’, but I so often find myself wishing for a “where are they now” companion to my favorite books.

    This certainly isn’t the first Nora triology that followed the path of three couples, a romance in each, a continuous underlying plot throughout. That anticipation between the books only adds to the drama of it.

    However I think this is the first time the romance was defintely pushed into the background. Yes we see where the sparks fly, but it all comes together so neatly as if it had to because it got buried beneath the background and world-building. Usually Nora gives these two sides of her story equal play but I felt a little shorted on the romance.

    And I totally agree with MaryKate – the BigBad had me creeped out especially as it was so often portrayed as a child – what should be the picture of innocence – and the way she describes him often has me picturing him as my youngest teenager who definitely has a bit of the devil in him.

    As for the timetable for release of the three, at least Nora gives us a timetable for the sequels as opposed to Karen Moning who’s last book in her Fever Triology still shows (with no cover) as coming soon on her website, and Christina Dodd’s Darkness series seems to have stalled at Book 2 with no hint on her website as to when the other two books will be coming out.

    I’ll take sequels any day as long as there is timetable to go along with the much anticipated next book(s).

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  7. azteclady
    Dec 06, 2007 @ 17:40:39

    I already have it, but I’m not reading it until I have the other two. Which sucks because I am not known for my patience.

    But see, waiting for a year between book one and three? Ack!!! Sure recipe for disaster. No can do, man.

    So I’ll buy them as they come out, and will read them in order next December.

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  8. rose
    Dec 11, 2007 @ 17:06:23

    I felt exactly like jane about this book. I am reading the first one in december 2007, and have to wait till dec. 2008 for the end, I say that is too long. Once you read the first one there is no turning back, so why the cliff hanger effect?

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  9. Gemiwing
    Jan 17, 2008 @ 01:36:00

    I would give this a solid B+. I felt that the book was mainly a precursor to the next; however, I enjoyed the gentle development of the romance. It was kind of nice to have a romance not be relegated to the “oh my god he/she is so hawt that my pants are going to catch fire” area.

    I’m very interested to see Quinn and Caleb’s relationship grow in the future installments.

    I definately don’t like waiting a year to finish the series tho’. Then again I hate waiting 30 seconds for a download, so maybe I’m a bad barometer on that one.

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  10. sharon Hood
    Jan 31, 2008 @ 17:28:50

    Great book! I was thrilled with it and cannot wait for the next!

    ReplyReply

  11. judah
    Dec 14, 2008 @ 12:29:53

    5stars for this one

    ReplyReply

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