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Posted July 20, 2012
NOT FOR ME
In Tracey Bateman's sequel to Thirsty, Amede Dastillion has arrived in the small Ozarks town of Abbey Hills for two reasons, one known and one very secret reason. Charley Baylor still mourns the murder of his sister, Amanda, and still seeks answers. Lauryn McBride is busy caring for her father who has Alzheimers, while trying to run the auction house he built many years before. Her main focus at the moment is the Marcus Chisom house. When Mr. Chisom died in a mysterious fire months earlier, he left behind a legacy of fine antiques and not a few questions. When these stories come together, centuries-old secrets are brought to light, causing Lauryn to rethink everything she's always believed.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
This novel left me with mixed emotions. Although there were perhaps too many storylines to follow coherently, and the changing point-of-view left me confused several times, it is still a well-written novel with an engaging plot. Unfortunately, the synopsis on the book cover left out an important element to the story; it's about vampires. Now, this is probably more of a personal preference than an editorial comment, but the concept of vampires in Christian fiction still has my head reeling. From a theological standpoint, the novel and its murky conclusion is totally off-base. However, I realize that there are people who would enjoy this. As I said, it does have at times a good plot and was enjoyable. Therefore, even though I might not read another novel of this type, I still give it 3 stars.
Posted March 15, 2011
Tandem: an almost christian themed vampire novel.
Tandem is the 2nd book in Tracey Bateman's christian vampire series. I have not read the first book "Thirsty", but this is not necessary to understand the plot of Tandem.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Tandem takes place in a small town called Abbey Hills where animals and people have been mysteriously killed and drained of their blood. The main character in the story is Lauryn McBride an auctioneer who has dealt with growing up without a mom and is now struggling with the loss of her father to Alzheimer's.
Tandem also follows the point of view of two other characters; Amede Dastillion a centuries old vampire who only feeds off of the blood of animals, and her sister Eden who does not follow this practice.
Cons: The many different points of view make the first half of the book confusing. For one, there is a woman being tortured and beat throughout almost the entire book, and you do not find out who it is until almost the end.
Tandem also jumps from first person narrative to third person, which adds to the confusion.
Pros: The 2nd half of the book definitely becomes a page turner. By the end I did not want to put Tandem down, because I had grown to like Lauryn and Amede and could not wait to find out what was going to happen. There are also a couple of surprising twists that I did not see coming.
I also like that you do not have to be into christian/inspirational books to like Tandem. Yes, there are a few characters in the book who will briefly speak of God and religion, such as Billy, Lauryn's high school crush that comes back to town from being a missionary. But Lauryn is more of an agnostic than anything.
Overall, I liked Tandem and would give it 3.5 stars. I think Tandem would be most enjoyed by young adults who like books such as the Twilight series.
Posted March 11, 2011
I'm torn about this book. First I want to say the book is not a bad read. It's not a GREAT read but it's not bad. The story is structured well and you can read this book without reading the prequel Thirsty (I did not read Thirsty). The story lines are good, the struggles about doing the right thing are realistic, I tried to think what I would do if I was in some of these situations. What bothered me is that this is marketed as a Christian fiction book. I have no problem reading "non-Christian" fiction but I was expecting to see more about faith and victory. While this was alluded to, there was no really proclamations of faith, or demonstrations of God's faithfulness. There was a lot of darkness (think the Twilight series which I read entirely), much more than I expected. I would say I wouldn't let anyone under the age of 16 or so read this book, the material is too mature in the darkness sense (no sex or anything like that).Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 20, 2011
Hoping for more!
Having read the first book in the series, I was thrilled to receive the advance copy of Tandem. It turned out to be a very good book in its own right, one that works better than most sequels as a stand-alone read. In Tandem, the vampire theme that is hinted at but mostly an undercurrent in Thirsty, comes out full force. Bateman still manages to use the vampire theme as something symbolic for struggles we all go through.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
I did find the alternating-narrator device a bit hard to follow at times, but if I set that aside and just went with the flow, it wasn't problematic.
If you aren't a fan of neatly tied up endings you might bristle just a little at the last few chapters, but I have to say that there is most definitely enough left hanging for a third book to take place in Abbey Hills! I'm hoping that is the case!
Posted January 17, 2011
Entertaining...about halfway through
The GOOD:Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
* The characters and their struggles are relatable to real life. Especially Lauryn. Her struggle with the shift of the parent-child relationship as a result of her father's illness compels the reader to react with compassion and mercy.
* It turns into a real page-turner about halfway through. The story is great and really draws the reader in.
* There are elements of redemption woven throughout the novel. As a non-Christian, Lauryn experiences redemption firsthand through one of her relationships. One of the vampire characters performs a redemptive act - but you must read to see who it was!
* I felt that this book could be useful in opening up a dialog about Christianity with those that do not profess to be believers.
And what I found to be NOT-SO-GOOD:
* I am still unsure how I feel about vampires residing in the Christian fiction genre. And I don't know why. I'm comfortable with the fictional idea of vampires - I'm just unsure how they relate to Christianity. I guess I can see that it is a tool to entertain the reader, but... I will chalk this up to something that is something I don't prefer as opposed to something I have a real objection to.
* I felt some of the characters were just caricatures of a person to serve a purpose instead of a fully developed character.
* Just to be aware, there are suggestions of alcohol use and cohabitation without marriage (to be fair, these are neither glorified nor vilified)
* If you are looking for a book with a strong Christian message, then don't read this book. I would say that compared to other Christian novels I've read, the Christian message of salvation was minimal. While there were elements of the Christian life included, there was none to little mention about the purpose of the salvific acts of Jesus Christ.
So - to SUM IT ALL UP:
If you are interested in vampire lit and are looking for an intriguing mystery, definitely pick this up! While it isn't the best supernatural or paranormal Christian fiction I have ever read, it was a good read (well, once I got about halfway through). When deciding if books are great, good, and okay I typically depend on my internal meter of how much the literature provoked my thoughts or inspired me. Some books just don't inspire but they definitely entertain. I would classify this book as one of those that entertains and is not particularly inspiring or life-changing. So, if you are looking for a quick read (think 1 week or less) that provides some entertainment, you should look no further and pick this book up.
Posted December 23, 2010
An Ok Read
This book was an average read, I think I was disappointed because it wasn't what I expected it to be. I thought it was a book about a serial killer who finds redemption through salvation, instead I received a vampire book. I found this to be incredibly surprising, given the book was provided to me by a Christian book publisher. The novel is the continuation of a series of murders that began with Thirsty. Fortunately, you don't need to read the first book to follow the story line.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Lauryn, the main character, was likable (in fact, I sorta enjoyed her sardonic wit) and I found myself wishing things would work out for her in the end. Her life just seemed to be full of loss and emptiness, which mirrored the loss and emptiness felt by Amede, the protagonist in the story. Both women were leading tandem lives ~ searching for love, acceptance and a sense of belonging. This novel is part romance, part mystery and a whole lot of vampire lore and if that's your thing, this book is for you. It's not mine so.
The one thing that I kept waiting for was the Christian aspect of the book (not anything preachy, but something that indicated that this book is geared towards those who practice the Christian faith), and when it finally came, it was rushed. I think the overall message of the book is that even though we may feel alone, God is always with us.
Posted December 5, 2010
Didn't realize this was vampire lit
This afternoon, I sat down to read "Tandem" by Tracey Bateman. I have to admit that I was a little thrown at first because I initially thought it was a murder mystery. Which I guess it is....sort of....but it's also a vampire book.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Don't get me wrong, I don't mind reading vampire stories, but when you aren't expecting them, it throws you off a bit. However, one I got used to how the story was told(from different perspectives and sometimes in first and sometimes in third person), I did get into it. Just took me a little while.
One thing that I thought was really interesting was that it was like Christian lit...with vampires. Not something you see every day.
The author has over thirty books. The true test for me as to how much I like a book is if I want to read more from her(or him). For me, I'd read another by Bateman, but I wouldn't rush out and grab everything she's ever written and put it at the top of my to-be-read pile.
I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review. All opinions are my own.
Posted December 4, 2010
Tandem by Tracey Bateman
This is my first book to review for Water Brook's Blogging for Books program. I chose it because it sounded interesting with a plot including lost love and of course, murder. What I didn't realize is that it is about vampires. Yes, a Christian fiction book about vampires. Now I know vampires are all the rage right now but I am just not "into" them. So I was a bit disappointed when I realized it had a vampire storyline but I decided to give it a try anyway.I also didn't realize that this was the second book in a series but that did not make too much of a difference to the overall story - it just took me a minute to catch up with who was who.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Lauryn is a young woman who runs her families auction house business while caring for her father who has Alzheimer's disease. The current estate she is working on is full of priceless antiques and secrets. Some of the items in the estate draw Amede Dastillion from her New Orleans home in hopes of finding her long-estranged sister, Eden. When Amede arrives she finds that her sister is being held captive and someone is killing deer and humans in ritualistic killings.
Overall, my reaction to this book is, "eh." I could take it or leave it. The plot was good and I probably would have really enjoyed it if I enjoyed reading about vampires. Lauryn, who was the main character (and not a vampire), was a very believable character and you could relate to her struggles of being her own person, taking care of her father and running a business.
Posted November 28, 2010
In her dream, on the final page of Tracey Bateman's mystery- suspense novel Tandem, the heroine, Lauryn is falling- there is excitement, fear and uncertainty all at the same time, yet she is not alone, as there is someone, the embodiment of perfection, who completely fulfills every need whose "arms are strong, His experience vast and we're falling... tandem." page 312. Perhaps the reader can fill in the blank of who or what can fulfill her own desire for happiness and fullfillment: a boyfriend, husband, wealth, fame, career, car, clothes, or expensive jewelry. Lonliness and solitude can not fulfill the human need for companionship. There is a void that can only be fulfilled by God himself, regardless how hard society tries to fill it with other things and/or relationships.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
This complicated story weaves together a diverse assortment of stereotypical characters and unique sub- plots which are certain to appeal to many modern readers: Lauryn, the self righteous and lonely marytr who forsakes her own needs to take care of her sick and aging father- stubbornly refusing to put him in a nursing home, the wealthy and proper immortal woman of society, Amede, and her servile and needy human minions- Roma and Juliette who fascilitate her survivial in the mortal world as well as Lauryn's former lover(s) from her youth. This book will appeal to the secular as well as spiritual reader. The popular elements of a mystery and the timely themes of vampires and imortality are unique and unexpected. The religious/ spiritual theme is subtle and does not overwhelm the theme of the book. Nevertheless by modern literacy standards, this is a wholesome book which will not offend the purity of any reader. In the end, the heroine comes to the conclusion that only God can completely fill the void in life and through God alone can one obtain happiness and peace even in the stresses and hardships of life. As a blogger for Water Brook Press publishers I recieved this book for the purposes of writing a review. The opinions expressed are my own. This is a review of the actual book, not ebook.