Tandem- Tracey Bateman
This was a recent book review for Waterbrook/Multanomah Press. It is the second of two books by the author- Tracey Bateman- which are considered "Christian vampire novels." I have made no secret of my feelings for the Twilight books. I thoroughly enjoyed them and read them multiple times. (I won't confess how many.) But I know the mixed feelings about those books within the Christian community. And I have read several critics talk about how dark the Twilight books are without actually having ever read any of them. I will admit that I have absolutely no interest in vampires and, until Twilight, had never watched or read any of the popular current vampire shows or books. I loved Twilight because of the love story. I was very curious to see how the subject of vampires was handled in a "Christian" novel. So, here goes.
Lauryn McBride is an estate auction manager. As she is working on the estate of a recently deceased, very reclusive, man from her small town of Abbey Hills, she finds some letters addressed to a lady named Amede in New Orleans. She contacts the Amede with the letters and information about the estate and is surprised when she comes to visit bringing her "assistant." Lauryn quickly becomes caught up in dark things happening in Abbey Hills, things she is only beginning to understand. In the midst of her dark discoveries, she is slowly losing her father to Alzheimer's and rediscovering a relationship with a high school sweetheart. Lauryn has rejected Christ and religion up until this point, but slowly begins to thing God might care and be involved in her life as all of these things play out.
First of all, I thought these books were very dark. Besides the obvious vampire story line, there is a link to Voodoo and dark magical arts. These things are not necessarily "good" in the story but neither is much time spent discussing the evil in these things.
The story did hold my interest. There was suspense and a little mystery. The story shifted around the main characters which made it a little hard to keep up with at first. Perhaps, not having read the first book, I was a little behind; although this story was a stand alone and could be read alone.
I'm not sure I really see the "Christian" in the novel. The ex-boyfriend is a pastor/missionary who tries to point out to Lauryn that God sees her and cares even when she can't see it. And the "good" vampire struggles with killing animals instead of humans because of the morality of her decisions. But, the book is morally ambiguous at best and spiritually dark at worst with the voodoo and black arts references.
I have the first book, Thirsty, on my Kindle- one of those lovely Kindle freebies, and I will probably read it now that I have a vested interest in the characters. And, I suppose if you really have a thing for vampire novels, the books would be interesting. But, since I'm not a big vampire fan, I'll stick to Twilight for the sweet love story and much better developed characters and plot!
I received a free copy of this book from Waterbrook Press for review purposes.