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Unexpected Vampires

January 2, 2011

Review of: Tandem by Tracey Bateman

Category: Suspense/Thriller

Rating: 3 of 5 stars

Disclaimer: I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review

Tandem is set in the small charming town of Abbey hills, and is centered around the character of Lauryn McBride. Lauryn runs her family’s auction house and is in the process of preparing the Chisom house for an auction estate. However, the house abounds with dark secrets that put Lauryn’s life, and the lives of the town’s inhabitants in jeopardy. Concurrently, Amede Dastillion, the second main character in the story, arrives in Abbey Hills searching for someone from her past. Lauryn’s and Amede’s stories interwine and are told in tandem.

Overall, this book was an average read. It was quick and easy to read with a decent plot and interesting characters; however, the novel had a few issues which prevented me from giving it a better rating.

The author uses a lot of clichéd phrases such as the ‘releasing a breath (s)he didn’t know (s)he was holding’ type of line; and other techniques usually found in more amateur writing. Additionally, the writing was a bit disjointed and sometimes hard to follow. Multiple stories from multiple timelines are being told in “tandem”, so to speak. While this adds some interest to the story, it can sometimes be confusing particularly in the beginning of the story. Other times, I found that certain paragraphs seemed out of place and not flow as smoothly as you’d expect, particularly in the final chapter.

The ending was, for the most part, quite predictable. I won’t give any spoilers here, but you can definitely pickup on what’s going on fairly early. There are a couple of unique twists- that do seem to come right of the blue and aren’t fully explained. I was fairly dissatisfied with conclusion of the story.

The summary on the back of book and the categories that I found the book classified under (mystery) don’t really seem to describe the book. No mention of vampires can be found on the back description, yet this is actually a vampire novel. The summary makes the book seem to be a mystery, and while the plot does have some mysterious elements, the main character is not working to solve the mystery. I would classify this book as a vampire thriller.

Despite all these criticisms, I still give the book 3 stars because it was an interesting story with several page-turning suspenseful sections, and one the plot twists at the end was unexpected and enjoyable. The town of Abbey Hills is charming, full of loveable and strange characters, while still providing a believable setting.

Her characters have intricate personalities which make them seem whole and alive. They have flaws, just like the rest of us, and while you can’t always understand their actions, you empathize with them. One of the underlying themes is life doesn’t always turn out as you expect, and sometimes it is cruel and unfair, making it even easier to relate to and sympathize with the characters in the story.

I don’t recommend running out and buying this book immediately; however, if you enjoy vampire stories, it is probably worth it. Otherwise, I would only recommend it if you need something quick to read and happen to see it in a store, or if you borrow it from a friend, or maybe if you see it in your local library.

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