carolyn's Reviews > Kindred

Kindred by Tammar Stein
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's review
Jan 25, 2011

it was ok
bookshelves: 2011, arc, borrowed, starbooktours

** spoiler alert ** Synopsis: Miriam is in college, alone during Spring Break in her dorm, when the archangel Raphael comes to her in a vision and gives her a task. In Ancient Hebrew. Which she understands. She feels that she fails at this task (reader note: Miriam needs to cut herself some slack) and ends up dropping out of school and suffering from some first class GI problems. She conveniently is offered a job at a small-town newspaper (she's 18) along with an apartment, and ends up meeting Emmett, who runs the local tattoo parlor. Miriam is also a twin, and her brother Mo had a vision as well -- from the devil. Miriam spends the rest of the book deciphering her visions, visiting doctors, and trying to figure out how to save her brother. Kind of.

Point the first: the cover is misleading. I know, I know... but angels aren't the central feature of this book.

Point the second: This author needs an editor. And not in the way I usually recommend editing. It wasn't too long. In fact, it needed to be longer. In this case, an editor would help with fleshing out portions of the story that worked and remove the parts that didn't.

Point the third: There is potential here. I almost gave up about 20 pages in, but that's where the book shifted and really started to take off. There are about four different stories going on, and at least two of them need to be taken out. Stein struggles with focus, and as a result, the reader does too. My favorite part of this book was Emmett -- the love interest -- and his shop. My least favorite was the brother/devil part, only because -- and this is just me -- it seems like kind of a big deal that the devil is talking to this guy. But Miriam (and Stein) have trouble giving it the weight it deserves.

Point the fourth: I loved the parents' backstory -- a former Catholic nun and a rabbi, both theology professors. I wanted more of them, and more of how this shaped Miriam's take on faith, which grew through the book. There were points where this could have taking on a more Angelology feel, but that took a backseat to forwarding the plot. Unfortunately, that left holes and created some very large jumps that made little sense.

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