Saturday, 19 February 2011

Interested in Vampire Fiction?

I am not a priori against Christian fantasy or even non-Christian series that delve into demons, monsters, magic, and so forth. I grew up reading C.S. Lewis, enjoyed Harry Potter, and I absolutely believe that an author can deal with biblical themes and magical characters. That said, really? Christian vampire fiction? The whole thing feels a bit to trendy for me, like someone thought, "Hey, vampires are so popular right now, we should write about some of them getting saved." Enter Tracey Batemen and the novel Tandem (which is actually the second in a series about a local that seems to have more than its fair share of paranormal activity - and yes, it hat tips "Buffy" when this is brought up.

I did not read the first book in the series, but catching up with the characters was easy enough. Batemen's plot and character development were fine, if a bit transparent - for this type of fiction that isn't unexpected. The story follows Lauryn, an auctioneer who is wrestling with growing up without a mom, the impending death of her father due to Alzheimer's, her struggle to care for him and develop a life of her own, the sudden return of her high school crush, and a mystery surrounding the estate she is currently cataloging - that of a man who was killed after a bizarre series of animal sacrifices and murders in their town (covered in the first book). The town is thrown into turmoil when animals, and then people, begin to die again. The big plot twist is, of course, that vampires have been doing the killing. I would hate to give it all away, but suffice to say there are both vampire characters that have some remorse for their proclivities and feast only on animals and those that do not. And yes, a vampire gets saved at the end. Whether or not you like this book will probably depend on how interesting you find vampire novels, and whether or not you are looking for one that is generally "clean," although not by any means spiritually deep.

I know you are wondering, Amy, why on earth did you pick such a book? The description made it sound like an interesting mystery (I love mysteries), and conveniently left out the "v" word. Never would have picked it had I known.

*I received a free copy of this book for review*

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