Saturday, March 12, 2011

Book Review: Tandem by Tracey Bateman

As of now, I know I can officially declare myself not "with it" and out of touch with what is cool today. But that's all right with me because if being cool means I should like books like Tandem, then I say, "no problem".

I feel that I have been hoodwinked. I went to the publisher's website to choose a book to review. I clicked on the blurb for Tandem, and this is what it said:

"As obsession and loss become dark partners, how far must the people of Abbey Hills go to survive?

Tandem: A NovelSix months ago, brutal murders shook the small Ozark town—murders that stopped after a house fire reportedly claimed the killer’s life. Lauryn McBride's family auction house has taken responsibility for the estate sale of one of the victims—the enigmatic Markus Chisom. Submerging herself in Chisom’s beautiful but strange world, Lauryn welcomes the reprieve from watching Alzheimer’s steal her father from her, piece by piece. She soon realizes that centuries-old secrets tie Abbey Hills to the Chisom estate and a mysterious evil will do anything to make sure those secrets stay hidden. Even the man who grew up loving her may not be able to protect Lauryn from the danger.

When Amede Dastillon receives an unexpected package from Abbey Hills, she hopes it might be the key in tracking down her beloved sister, long estranged from her family. Visiting Abbey Hills seems the logical next step in her search, but Amede is unusually affected by the town, and when mutilated carcasses begin turning up again in the small community, the local law enforcement isn’t sure if they are confronting a familiar evil or a new terror.

Two women brought together by questions that seem to have no answers. Can they overcome the loss and darkness threatening to devour them—or will their own demons condemn them to an emotional wasteland?"

So, where does it say that this is actually a VAMPIRE book? I couldn't believe that we were not told that before we received the book. I know I wouldn't have bothered reading it if I knew. I read Twilight and, yes, I am one of those who was not impressed at all. So, needless to say, I did not enjoy reading Tandem.

The plot was pretty shallow and the characters (especially the vampires) unbelievable. As I read (which was hard for me to do, considering the vampire theme of the book), I kept thinking maybe the author would, at some point in the book, debunk the whole idea of vampires and thus redeem the book. But instead, the vampires were shown to be "real" and even at one point the author declared that perhaps "reformed vampires get to go to heaven"!

I was also surprised that there was no mention of the fact that what the vampires did (kill people to drink their blood) is morally wrong. The other characters seemed to accept the notion that this was normal and acceptable (once they learned that these were not ordinary people). I kept turning the pages, incredulous that this would even be published by a "Christian book" publisher.

I am disappointed. I give Tandem 1 out of 5 stars.

(I received this book from Waterbrook/Multnomah for review purposes. I received no monetary compensation for this review. All opinions expressed are completely my own.)

1 comment:

Kate {The Parchment Girl} said...

Excellent review! I too was unimpressed with Twilight and have avoided vampire books ever since. I have to say I was really disappointed when I learned that Christian publishers were starting to publish vampire novels.

After reading Twilight a couple of years ago, I did some research on the whole 'vampire culture craze' and found out that there are people out there who really drink human blood and look like the vampires from the movies... very creepy.

Needless to say, I am very concerned that so many Christians are okay with this cultural trend. I'm fine with vampires being included as characters in Christian novels, but ONLY if they are portrayed as what they really are–evil, plain and simple.

There's an interesting book coming out from Brazos Press next month called The Vampire Defanged, which addresses the culture's obsession with blood-drinking immortals. Now that's a book I'm looking forward to reading.