Thirsty – a book review

About This Bookthirsty.jpg

There’s no place like home, they say.

“Hello, I’m Nina Parker…and I’m an alcoholic.”

For Nina, it’s not the weighty admission but the first steps toward recovery that prove most difficult. She must face her ex-husband, Hunt, with little hope of making amends, and try to rebuild a relationship with her angry teenage daughter, Meagan. Hardest of all, she is forced to return to Abbey Hills, Missouri, the hometown she abruptly abandoned nearly two decades earlier–and her unexpected arrival in the sleepy Ozark town catches the attention of someone–or something–igniting a two-hundred-fifty-year-old desire that rages like a wildfire.

Unaware of the darkness stalking her, Nina is confronted with a series of events that threaten to unhinge her sobriety. Her daughter wants to spend time with the parents Nina left behind. A terrifying event that has haunted Nina for almost twenty years begins to surface. And an alluring neighbor initiates an unusual friendship with Nina, but is Markus truly a kindred spirit or a man guarding dangerous secrets?

As everything she loves hangs in the balance, will Nina’s feeble grasp on her demons be broken, leaving her powerless against the thirst? The battle between redemption and obsession unfold to its startling, unforgettable end.

An excerpt may be found over at WaterBrookMultnomah.

About the Author
tracey bateman.jpeg

With close to one million books in print, Tracey Bateman is the award-winning author of more than thirty titles. Fan favorites include the popular kansas Home historial series: Color of the Soul, a tale of race and prejudice; and her many intriguing Heartsong Presents romantic novels. Tracey resides in Missouri with her husband and four children.

My Review

I’ll admit, I’m new to the whole vampire genre, especially in the Christian fiction field. As for the book as a whole, I thought it okay. There is something about reading a book with characters like Nina, and her daughter Meg, that make it very difficult for me to continue reading it. I have to understand that an author seeks to pack a lot of information and life into a very short period of time, so when characters like these two make really foolish decisions, flat out stupid decisions, there are probably extenuating circumstances shaping those decisions that I’m just not getting. Right? Maybe that’s the sign of a good writer’s ability to draw the reader into the characters themselves, but I’ll admit these two drove me crazy with the uncanny ability to time and time again make decisions without engaging their brains at all. I realize people in real life do this… but this many times in this short a span of time (the time span of the book covers a period of a couple weeks, along with flashbacks)? So, while frustrating to this man/husband/father/pastor to read, it was still pretty good.

Bateman, in introducing vampirism as a biologically inherited trait treads a little dangerously since she is clearly making this a parallel with the main character’s addiction to alcohol. To be fair, however, using flashbacks of Nina’s life growing up, the reader can see that her addiction came largely from really bad choices. True, these choices were influenced in a major way by her alcoholic father, but using parallelism with Markus’ addiction as a vampire “who was born that way” and his struggle to control his urges makes it seem as if there will always be that excuse “I can’t help it; I was born this way” rather than “Lord, be merciful to me, a sinner.”

I will comment on one further topic that is, at the moment, left unanswered – by me and a host of others, I’m told by another author I know. What makes a Christian novel Christian? Is it simply because it’s written by a Christian author and published by a Christian publishing house (even if that publisher is owned by a large, secular publishing firm)? Or, does it receive that moniker due to Jesus’ name being mentioned a few times, along with vague references to the crucifixion with no ties to how that affects anyone’s life? Or does a Christian fiction book need to speak to how sinful man’s broken relationship with God can only be dealt with through trusting Jesus Christ alone because God’s grace alone works through the Scriptures to bring that sinful character to a point of redemption? (Read a few of my posts from the archives and I think you’ll get to the answer I would provide without much hesitation.) Obviously, Thirsty falls into the very first two categories raised by my questions. While setting forth an intriguing notion regarding vampirism, I could not honestly call this a Christian novel; a novel, yes; a decent one at that, but not Christian in the sense in which I’ve described it. I’ve just finished reading a book by Francine Rivers (The Shofar Blew) and the gospel of grace was woven throughout this fictional work in a very welcome manner.

Can I recommend Thirsty? Only if one brings a good bit of discernment to the table with it. I’m wondering if this genre in the Christian book publishing field would have even been on the radar were it not for the incredibly popular Twilight Saga?

If you do wish to see more or purchase this book, you may do so at WaterBrookMultnomah or RandomHouse.

This book was provided free of charge and for review purposes only by WaterBrookMulnomah Publishing

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