Saturday, January 8, 2011

Book Review: Tandem



Media Type: Print Book
Title: Tandem
Author: Tracey Bateman
Publisher: Waterbrook Multnomah
Pages: Paperback; 320
Release Date: October 5, 2010
Source: Received from Blogging For Books
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Genre: Mystery / Christian Fiction

HDB Rating: 2 Keys to My Heart

Recommended to: Readers who enjoy Christian Fiction meshed with vampires.

Add it on: Goodreads / Shelfari / Amazon / B&N
As obsession and loss become dark partners, how far must the people of Abbey Hills go to survive?

Six 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 I first saw Tracey Bateman's Tandem on the review list, I jumped at the chance to read it. After all, I'm a huge fan of vampire novels, and I was looking forward to a more adult take on these paranormal creatures. I've been swimming in YA titles for the last few months. It was time for a change.

What first caught me off guard was that I was thrown into a point of view that wasn't determined yet. I liked that it added mystery to the beginning of the story, but as I read on and realized that the point of view kept switching, I was confused. Who was telling the story? Were there multiple characters or were these the inner versus outer thoughts of one character? Once I figured out the order the characters spoke in each chapter, it was a little easier to follow along but still awkward.

I also had no idea going into this novel that it is indeed a sequel. That is my own fault really, but Goodreads had it listed as a stand alone book and I assumed that is what it was. That being said, I was rather impressed with how Tracey Bateman builds her characters so vividly, even in a second book. She doesn't assume that the reader knows them intimately, but instead allows you to discover them all over again. Despite not having read the first book, I was still able to pick up on what had happened previously and delve further into the story.

I did enjoy the setting. Missouri was a character in itself, vivid and gorgeous as a backdrop. However it was far out shadowed by the characters and their problems. The book is a little heavy handed in the religious background too, which made it difficult for me to really get into. I have no problem with fiction that is based on religious tones. Still, when it starts becoming preachy that is when you loose my interest.

The ending was a little disappointing for me, but I also had a very good idea of what was going to happen at the end. The hints that were dropped throughout the story were subtle, but still easily discernible if you were looking. I think I was hoping for a bit more of an epic climax. After all that the characters had been through, I felt as though they deserved a more dramatic ending. I know this is all personal preference, but it did create a burning need in me at the end of my reading.



FTC Disclosure: I received a review copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated.

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