From Publishers Weekly
After three boys accidentally awaken an ancient evil near their small Maryland town, the tight-knit community finds itself lost to a Stephen King–style plague of madness and destruction for a week every seven years. Twenty-one years later, those three boys, now grown, are hoping to find a way to stop the evil before its third return, which may mean the end of the town; they don't know much about the anomalies, but they do know that [e]very time it gets stronger. This time, the town is graced by author Quinn Black, eager to document the paranormal mystery. When two more women arrive—one an associate of Quinn's, the other led to town by strange visions—the circle of six decide to face the oncoming apocalypse together. Hyperprolific bestseller Roberts frontloads her story with drama and endearing characters (especially in Quinn and bowling alley owner Caleb Hawkins), but an abundance of exposition and domestic concerns (protagonists decorate a house, trade banter and pair off predictably) slow the plot significantly. Though future volumes are sure to pick up, this trilogy kickoff suffers from a dearth of twists and little payoff; fans of the brisk, colorful Roberts style will enjoy the ride, though probably not as much as they'd expect. (Dec.)
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