The Hollow (Jove) is the second book in Nora Roberts's Sign of Seven trilogy, and this time Fox O'Dell and Layla Darnell have to do their part in the fight against the demon that Fox and his two best friends unleashed the summer they turned ten. And this year is the next and potentially deadliest cycle yet. But Fox, Layla and their friends don't know yet exactly how to defeat this demon. They know, from our previous reading, that they can hurt it, but they've got to find a way to stop it for good. In their research this time, they discover new things, about themselves and about the evil in Hawkins Hollow. Some readers may not enjoy the slower pace of this one. Knowing it's the second book of a trilogy, some may expect it to move in a more leisurely way. And some, will appreciate the time spent giving us more insight into the characters' histories and emotions, which is exactly what I did. I sat up late into the night reading and only stopped because I had to be up early for work, but this is a book that will make you want to keep turning pages until you've reached the end, and, at the same time, want to read more slowly since we have to wait until fall for the final installment. (And, by the way, who in the publisher's scheduling office thought that a series that climaxes in July should end in December?) Fox and Layla are an interesting match, with Fox close to his family and determined to save their town, and Layla with no ties in the area, save the small sextet who will defeat the demon or die trying. I enjoyed this one quite a lot, though I was horribly sad to reach the end (that same end I was trying desperately to reach in the wee hours of the morning) knowing that we have to wait seven months until we find out how things turn out, and to see Cybil and Gage's romance. This one's earned four of Cupid's five arrows. July seems a long way off, and December even longer.
Until next time, happy reading!