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Kindred by Tammar Stein


by Tammar Stein

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Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales.

Quick & Dirty: This was an interesting YA contemporary read with a heavy religious presence. The pacing was pretty slow, but it had a good message.

Opening Sentence: The first time I meet an angel, it is Raphael and I am eighteen.

The Review:

Miriam is 18 and has just recently started her freshman year of college when she sees an angel for the first time. She is sent on a mission to help save one of her fellow students, but not everything goes the way she planned. After a terrible accident Miriam decides to leave school for a while and she takes a job at a paper in the small town of Hamilton, Tennessee. While in Hamilton, she meets a lot of new people and she grapples with what role God really plays in our lives. She is given another mission and she is determined to see this one through.

Miriam has a twin brother, Mo, and he has also been visited by a higher power. Mo’s visitor is from the opposite end of the good-evil spectrum and he seems to be all too pleased to help. As children Mo and Miriam were always very close. Mo was always the more ambitious one that liked to test the boundaries. As Miriam watches her brother flirt with danger Miriam starts to wonder what her real mission is.

Miriam is our heroine in this story and to be honest, she is a fairly forgettable character. There is really nothing that sticks out about her that makes her unique or really interesting. For most of the book she is really confused about what is going on in her life and she is bitter about it. She really cares about her family and she tries to do what she thinks God would want her to do. I wouldn’t say that I disliked Miriam, but I didn’t really like her all that much either.

Emmett was my favorite part of the book. He is a serious boy that runs a tattoo parlor in Hamilton. He has tattoos all over his body and a shaved head. Miriam finds him interesting and surprisingly easy to talk to. He is steady and really sweet to Miriam, while she is going through her problems. He is willing to listen to her when she needs someone to talk to and he tries to be a comfort to her. The moments with them together are sweet and Emmett just melted my heart.

This book was just an ok read for me. I was expecting something totally different when I read the synopsis. I thought that it would be more of a paranormal read, but instead it is actually more of a religious contemporary book. The pacing was really slow for me and for most of the book it felt like nothing was really happening. My favorite part was the romance, but it was a very small part of the book. The book covers some serious religious topics and the way they were portrayed just didn’t quite work for me. Kindred did have a good ending message, but the story just had a lot of flaws. I would recommend this to anyone that likes YA contemporary books with a heavy religious presence.

Notable Scene:

“I guess crosses are pretty popular around here,” I say, walking closer to him and leaning a hip against an adjacent black vinyl chair. I feel a strange pull toward him; there’s something elemental about him that is fascinating. Hamilton is charming and welcoming, but there is no denying that people like to live on the surface here. The pleasant, happy surface. The tattoo artist radiates something deeper and darker. Something true.


“Do you have one?”

He looks up for a second. He has dark eyes almost black. “No.”

“You don’t need to look so shocked,” I say, though it seems there’s little that would shock him.

He snorts.

FTC Advisory: Knopf Books for Young Readers/Random House provided me with a copy of Kindred. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review. ( )
  DarkFaerieTales | Jun 13, 2013 |
Miriam is a college freshman left behind during spring break. While in her room one night, studying, Miriam comes in contact with a light so bright and powerful that is makes her physically ill. This light tells her, in ancient Hebrew no less, that it is her task to save Tabitha. Problem is, she has no clue who Tabitha is. After finding this mystery girl and taking on the task (and failing in her own eyes), Miriam is left tortured. She is losing weight and becoming ill and let‘s face it, after you’ve been visited by an archangel and given a mission from God … college is kind of trivial.

After a visit from her twin brother, Mo, and his stark revelation that he is been recruited by the devil himself, Miriam decides to drop out of school in order to come to terms with everything. She scores a journalist job in the small Civil War town of Hamilton, Tennessee and things only get worse from there: another task is set upon her, she struggles with her faith and her health grows poorer by the day.

Kindred really drew me in and I quickly read my way through it, which is shocking since it is a bit on the theological side of things and religious fiction is not my favorite thing. As Kindred is written from Miriam’s point of view, we spend a great deal of time in her head so we witness all her grapples, thoughts and doubts regarding what she is doing, her concerns about Mo and her (re-)developing faith. Her divorced parents help her out a bit here (her father is a Rabbi and her mother an ex-nun, and both are professors theology) as well as Emmett, a newfound friend.

As most of you know, I really have a thing for angels and demons (the more the merrier, I always say) but it was actually refreshing to read a book that dealt with those beings but didn’t put them at the forefront (can’t believe I just said that lol). Sure, this book is considered paranormal but really it’s about a troubled girl struggling with God and a disease that debilitates her. I won’t say this was one everyone should rush out a read, because it does deal a good bit with religion and I think it will only appeal to certain people, but even I, a polytheist, rather enjoyed it so that’s got to say something.

http://www.read-all-over.net/fiction/ya/book-review-kindred-by-tammar-stein/ ( )
  eireannoir | Apr 14, 2011 |
The first thing I read when I have a book I know nothing about is the back cover. Well I read the back summary for this one and saw questions. Usually by the time I finish reading a book, I know the answer to those questions. Not in this one. I still have those same questions.

Miriam is approached by Raphael and is given a mission to save two people. Well she kinda sucks at it. Suddenly she begins to have bowel movements frequently and is getting pretty sick. By the end of the book I have no idea what's the deal with her health. Is she suddenly cured? Is she going to die?

This was also very religious and filled with scriptures that didn't even help her complete her missions. Another issue I had was I figured Raphael would be a big part of his book but nope. Miriam's love interest was pretty much the only thing that made a bit of sense, except how she met him. Normally she's pretty quiet and innocent. With him she suddenly becomes a sex kitten that's flirty and oozing sexuality. Strange. Miriam's brother Mo is another mystery to me. So apparently he's working for "the other side" but what happens with that?? I have no idea. He's staying out late, he has money but no job. I still don't know how.

It just seemed like the author just decided that the book should just end so all of the issues we'd been reading about will suddenly be swept underneath a rug never to be spoken of again. I like to feel some sense of closure when I close a book. This actually confused me even more. This was definitely not the best "angel" book I've read. It was jumpy and felt unfinished. ( )
  GirlonaMission | Mar 6, 2011 |
My review for this was originally posted on my book blog http://books4hearts.blogspot.com/

It was good! I can definitely say I've never read a book with a story and plot quite like this one. Miriam's journey and life after her visit from Raphael is a complex, good one. Although, on that note, the book I think is really like Miriam's personal journey in life (after her visit from the angels), and struggle with her faith and relationships, not quite just about visits from the angels and her brother and such. That said, it's also a very religious book, which was interesting, I'd never really read a YA book with a lot of religious focus, so that was kind of new, I didn't mind though. Anyway, this is a good one. I would recommend this if you're into books with a theme of religion, angels, and also if you like a good book where the protagonist overcomes a personal struggle- which I do. Also, this book is probably more for the older end of YA, just because I don't think younger less mature readers would even really get what's going on...

Note: Thank you Random House for sending me a copy of Kindred for review. Reader's note: As always, this does not bias my review in any way.
  yayme1747 | Mar 5, 2011 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0375858717, Hardcover)

The first time I meet an angel, it is Raphael and I am eighteen.

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?

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:00 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Spiritual warfare breaks out when the Archangel Raphael and the Devil deliver assignments to eighteen-year-old fraternal twins Miriam and Moses.

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