Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Review: Kindred


Author: Tammar Stein
Pages: 272
Publisher: Knopf
Source: Library
Synopsis: Miriam is an unassuming college freshman stuck on campus after her spring break plans fall through. She's not a religious girl--when pressed she admits reluctantly to believing in a higher power. Truth be told, she's about as comfortable speaking about her faith as she is about her love life, which is to say, not at all. And then the archangel Raphael pays Miriam a visit, and she finds herself on a desperate mission to save two of her contemporaries. To top it all off, her twin brother, Mo, has also had a visitation, but from the opposite end of the good-evil spectrum, which leaves Miriam to wonder--has she been blessed and her brother cursed or vice versa? And what is the real purpose behind her mission?

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Kindred was an okay read. I expected much more and there was so much potential. I just didn't feel like I read anything special.

After an encounter of the angelic kind, Miriam is appointed a mission. When she doesn't exactly succeed 100% in her mission, Miriam begins to weaken and gets sick. She moves from college to a small town in Tennessee and gets a job at the local newspaper.

I thought Miriam was okay. She was a really nice girl but a bit too timid. I mean that she never got angry about the stuff that happened to her even though some awful things did happen. I was surprised at that. She's a much better person than I am. I didn't really connect with her and I found her a bit plain.

Her twin brother, Moses was a much more interesting character, in my view. While Miriam's encounter was angelic, Mo's was demonic. Most people think "No, I'd never side with the devil. Only bad, awful psychopaths would do that." I liked that Mo wasn't shown to be bad. He had issues but he was more charming and ambitious. He had big dreams which I can understand, but loose morals. While what he was doing was wrong, it wasn't unthinkable. I liked that there was that gray area. I would have loved to read the story from his perspective.

What turned me off the story was the religious aspect. Miriam's father was Jewish and her mother Catholic so there was a lot of focus on religion in her life. Specifically about God. There were many questions about God and while that would be perfect for a youth group to discuss, it wasn't really the entertaining, light read I had in mind. I'm only mentioning this because it may put some people off the book.

The plot was interesting enough though kind of slow for the most part. There was some romance that I liked (and it was unusual. I liked the character and wanted more romance for once!), there was some mystery, etc. There was a certain storyline that I found very interesting. Something that happened to Miriam and that I would have been curious to read about more than the angel/demon thing. That part was well done and I was surprised when I read of it. (Sorry for being vague but I don't want to spoil it... it is an important plot point for the book.)

In short, Kindred is a nice enough read. It's just not my kind of read. It's a unique, different kind of book that will probably be a hit or miss. For me it was more of a miss. 2 stars,



  1. The religious aspect of this would bother me too, especially since, if I understood you correctly, she gets punished for not completing a mission from God. (You did say angels, but one assumes that's who they're working for.)

    In any case, it doesn't sound like something I'd enjoy. Thank you so much for your review.

    1. Yeah, you got it. I'm glad my review was useful, I know this book won't be everyone's piece of cake. There are some interesting bits but also some parts I couldn't agree with.


Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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