TBR Day: Nora Roberts’ “Blood Brothers”

This is posted as part of Keishon’s TBR Day challenge, which is aimed at encouraging us readers with the towering TBR piles (you know who you are) to start tackling the books that have been languishing in there for eons.

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Book: Blood Brothers (paranormal romance)

Author: Nora Roberts

Copyright Date: 2007

Why did I buy this book?  Err I didn’t.  I nicked it off my sister ages ago… and never quite got around to reading it.  See next question.

Why did it sit in my TBR pile for so long?  I’ve read practically all of Ms Roberts’ backlist, and while I still enjoy her writing, I’ve felt that there has been a bit of a same-ness about her recent books.  Also, her previous “Circle” trilogy, which had paranormal elements, really didn’t work for me – so when I heard that this one also had a paranormal storyline, I just couldn’t get excited about reading it.

What is it about?  The first in Ms Roberts’ latest trilogy, “Blood Brothers” starts off with three boys, Cal, Fox, and Gage, swearing blood brothership on their tenth birthdays and accidentally unleashing a demon that brings chaos and murder to their small town every seven years.   Fast forward 21 years, and Quinn, a writer (and obviously the heroine of Book 1), turns up to investigate the phenomenon.

So what did I think about it?  Well, first off, this is very much a NR trilogy – if you’ve read a couple, you’ll be very familiar with the set-up in this book.  Three men, three women, each of a certain “type” (the clever one, the quiet one, etc), all end up in the same place and relationships develop.  And as I alluded to earlier, unfortunately this just didn’t feel fresh to me.  It reminded me a lot of previous trilogies, especially the Chesapeake Bay series – an association not helped by the fact the heroine’s name is Quinn, which is the name of the main family in that series!

Having said that, it is a Nora Roberts, and it has her characteristically smooth flowing writing style.  The background is deftly sketched in and the secondary characters nicely brought to life.  I did like the relationship between Cal and Quinn, and I loved the male viewpoints and dialogue.  For instance, this had me smiling – when Fox’s secretary suggests he refer a problematic client to someone else:

“You can’t refer off the first girl you got to second base with when she’s filing for divorce.  It’s against the laws of God and Man.”

And then the plot, well.  Okay, I’m not a huge fan of horror, and I think this book veers towards the horror side of the scale.  Not massively, but horror’s really not my thing.  And maybe I missed something, but what I just don’t grasp is why anyone is still living in this town.  I mean, if I knew my neighbours went mad and started murdering everyone every seven years, there is no way I’d still be living there.  Yes, the period’s a bit of a blur to anyone actually experiencing it, but if the phenomenon has been written up so much that a writer comes to town to find out more about it, it’s hardly a secret.  So I did think there were a few logical gaps in the plot.

And finally, my other main bugbear with the plot is the ending.  Yes, I know it’s the first in a trilogy, but the plot climax really came across as a letdown and I felt as though the book didn’t really have a proper ending.  Definitely not a standalone at all, which irked me.

My conclusion?  I think that someone fresh to Ms Roberts’ writing would probably rate it higher, but this book didn’t wow me.  And the ending?  Just plain disappointing.  However, I still enjoyed the humour and the writing flowed well, so a B- for me.

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6 thoughts on “TBR Day: Nora Roberts’ “Blood Brothers”

  1. Hi Li 😀

    I totally agree with you… I mean, she had some nice and good trilogies, but the last few ones… they were all meh. I mean, I guess it’s because we’ve read so many of them that the plot is familiar and only a few things change.

    The Hollow is better, but still now a wowzer. I think we might have to wait till the next trilogy or perhaps just read her stand-alone and J.D. Robb.

  2. Great review–I don’t think I will read this. I didn’t read the “Circle” trilogy and haven’t read any of this trilogy. I really enjoy some Nora Roberts’ books (the Chesapeake trilogy, for example), but have probably only read a dozen all together. J. D. Robb, on the other hand, is an auto buy (though I’m not caught up with that series)!

  3. Nath – I bought “The Hollow” last week (I’m a sucker for offers and it was a “Buy One, Get One 1/2 Price” 🙂 ). After reading BB, I’m not too sure when I’ll get around to reading it, tbh.

    Jan – Chesapeake Bay is probably my favourite NR trilogy! I took a bit of a break from the JD Robb books, but may start them again.

  4. I don’t know if it’s going to help, but LOL, I did review it 😀 I really liked Fox in The Hollow, but not Layla. The Chesapeake trilogy was definitively her best 😀 and I get you on those sales and offers. They’re evil!

  5. I liked the horror a bit more than you, but yes, not among her best. I had the same two problems, the anticlimactic ending and the weirdness of the logic of why everything is so “normal” in town between the Seven.

  6. Nath – I preferred Fox to Cal in BB, so that’s a plus 🙂

    Rosario – Re the ending, I remember feeling the same way about the ending of “Morrigan’s Cross” (the first in the Circle trilogy). I’m pretty sure that I didn’t feel the same about the first books in her previous trilogies, so I’m wondering what has changed…

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