Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Tracey Bateman's Thirsty ~ Reviewed

By: Tracey Bateman
Published by WaterBrook Press
ISBN 978-0-307-45715-8

Back Cover:


“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 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 unfolds to its startling, unforgettable end.


Markus knew the moment the air changed that Nina Parker had come home. The spring breeze had lifted her scent and brought it to him, part offering and part beckoning. –Taken from Thirsty by Tracey Bateman.

A Christian vampire story? Really? I wasn’t sure what to expect when I opened Ms. Bateman’s book, but as I read those words above, I shivered in anticipation. This was going to be a good read, and I knew it.

In fact, Thirsty was a lot more than just a good read. The underlying analogy between redemption and obsession made me think long and hard about the assumptions I make. Can I automatically toss out a story idea simply because it does not fall into the traditional guidelines of Christian publishing? Should I?

While Thirsty in no way parallels another popular vampire saga currently on the market, it did provide a little bit of the dark undertones that are so attractive to young readers. Vampire storyline aside, this book was primarily an account of the struggle people face in overcoming addiction and obsession. It was a fast, intelligent read with plenty of suspense woven through to keep me turning pages to the end. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and at the end…well…I thirsted for more. (wink)

Reviewed by: Elizabeth Ludwig

Bonus Review:

Horror makes me imagine things going bump in the night and sometimes think I've seen something shadowy in the hall. Twilight is a series I plan to read but have been told I will want to devour the entire series in one sitting so I'm waiting for that perfect block of time. But this review is about Thirsty so I'll get past my meager background with vampires and start reviewing Thirsty.

Bateman writes a story that is fascinating on several levels. And its beyond the usual parameters of Christian fiction. However, there is still a strong Christian message.

I found myself transfixed with some of Bateman's scenes and the compelling voices of Nina and Markus. As Markus shared the story of the Ozark vampire legend I was completely caught up. I also found Nina's journaling at the beginning of each chapter to be compelling as she unfolded into a three-dimensional person. The multiple points of view that Bateman chose to tell the intertwining stories was another excellent way to build on the characterization of Nina and Hunt and their tumultuous relationship. She was able to make Nina a sympathetic character in spite of her addiction and the damage she had done to her family and herself.

The weaknesses in the story were few. Some dialogue and a few scenes pulled me away from the story and more into the many connected plots that weren't quite as compelling. This isn't a bloodless book. Chickens beware.

I would love to see a follow-up story and I'm intrigued by the undead themes and how this one played out within a Christian context. The book cover is one of the most compelling ones I've seen this year.

Reviewed by: Kelly Klepfer

Bonus Review:

I’m a huge Tracey Bateman fan, so when the opportunity came to sign up for Thirsty’s blog tour and receive a review copy, I quickly signed up. I’ve read Tracey’s Leave it to Claire series, the Westward Heart Series, and the Drama Queen Series, all of them showing different aspects of this talented author. Thirsty shows yet again how versatile Tracey is in her writing.

I’m not a vampire expert by any stretch of the imagination. In fact the only other vampire book I’ve read is Twighlight, which took a lighthearted, humorous look at vampires, their families and how they got along in a High School setting.

Tracey’s book is far from humorous. Thirsty begins with a prologue where you meet Markus, a male vampire. Chapter one you meet Nina, the main character who struggles with addiction. Nina has made decisions under the influence that have cost her dearly.

After rehab, Nina moves back to her childhood home in Texas, with the support of her ex-husband Hunt and her family that lived there. Nina desired a new beginning. She needed strength to face the demons and pain that haunted her mind and emotions daily. They lived there. She was facing them without a pain killer? Would she make it?

Tracy explores the struggles Nina faces trying to change her life. God is the only one who can bring change and healing in relationships. This is what her ex-husband says about loving Nina, “Too bad winning her heart meant giving her the power to break mine into a million pieces.” Hunt knows all too well that loving someone makes you vulnerable.

Markus the vampire seeks Nina out because she is the only one that can truly understand him. She struggled with demons inside her like he did. The struggle he had to battle with his thirst to kill humans for their blood, he knew she could relate to that struggle.

This story surprised me. Tracey really gets to the heart of an addicts struggle to be free. The only way to truly do that is through Jesus Christ. No way around it; this was part of Nina’s struggle too. She was running from God. This is a heartfelt story. Tracey has you care about her characters even the vampires. I could feel the characters struggles, cheer with them in their victories and feel sad for their loss.

Nora St.Laurent
Finding Hope Through Fiction

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