Title: The Pagan Stone
Author: Nora Roberts
Publisher: Piatkus Books
PublicationDate: 4 Dec 2008
Paperback: 336 pages
Genre: Paranormal Romance
SUMMARY (back cover):
The Pagan Stone had stood for hundreds of years, long before three boys gathered around it to spill their blood in a bond of brotherhood, unwittingly releasing a force bent on destruction… Gage Turner has been running from his past for a long time. The son of an abusive drunk, his childhood in the small town of Hawkins Hollow was tough – his only solace his friendship with Fox O’Dell and Caleb Hawkins. But, aged ten, the boys unleashed evil on their town: every seven years murder and mayhem reign, and each cycle is more extreme than the last. Now Gage has returned home to help his friends save Hawkins Hollow, but a lifetime as a loner has made him wary of emotional ties. And who can make plans for the future when their present is so uncertain? For unless they find a way to use the Pagan Stone against the demonic force, everything they know and love will be destroyed …
This is the last of the ‘Sign of Seven‘ trilogy, with the narrative moving to focus on the final unmatched couple Gage and Cybil.
And, of all the three, this was the book I looked forward to the most. The chemistry between Gage and Cybil had already been sparking interestingly in the previous books. They were the first of the three couples who I really found myself wanting to get together. It’s not that the love stories for the others weren’t satisfying, they just weren’t as electric.
Gage is a fascinating character, complex with a difficult past. A drifter and a gambler he’s not your typical main character and the last person you’d ever expect to settle down with the archetypal white picket fence.
I also really loved Cybil she’s feisty and intelligent, with a interesting gypsy heritage. Not intimidated by Gage’s quick temper, she faces up to each demonic episode with a cool strength I know I could never manage if I were in the same position.
As you would expect, the evil seven year curse continues layers itself over the town of Hawkins Hollow, becoming heavier and more sinister. Infecting the minds and will of the townspeople and the sextet’s friends. As the demon grows in power, so does his ability to endanger the group. Sharing the gift of foresight, Gage and Cybil try to prevent the deaths of the people they care about as well as working together with the others to end the curse for good.
As the story draws to a close we know it can only mean one thing, the end of the demon curse or the end of the three couples. But let’s face it, it’s a Nora Roberts book so an unhappy ending is about as unlikely as Simon Cowell wearing pink lycra. But, it doesn’t matter, as the darkness sweeps in, the pages begin turning and you need to know how it ends.
This book is most definitely the best of the series. The finale packs the punch the previous two books hadn’t and the love story is without a doubt the most compelling. There are a couple of clichéd moments that you need to ignore, but overall an enjoyable conclusion to a spookily satisfying trilogy.
SOURCE: This book is from Laura’s personal library.