Can a Christian write a vampire novel? This was the question that circled through my mind when I heard Tracey Bateman was doing just that. I missed her first vampire novel, called Thirsty, so when I snagged a copy of the more recently released Tandem from Waterbrook, I decided to figure out what was going on.
My original question should not have been could a Christian write a vampire novel, but why shouldn’t she try? After all, Anne Rice is a woman of faith (yes, I know about her recently declared distance from Christianity, but she never did renounce Jesus) and she created the genre. Most readers know by now that the Twilight series was written by Stephenie Meyer, a Mormon, so why shouldn’t a Christian like Tracey Bateman write a story about misunderstood mythical creatures that are damned to hell and explore whether or not they can find redemption? The very fight between good and evil presents all kinds of interesting opportunities for a redemptive story that would attract Christian readers and probably an even wider market.
Tandem, part two in Tracey Bateman’s series, explores the idea, through fiction, that vampires might possibly walk in this world and that some of them have chosen to abstain from the abomination of consuming human blood. Lauryn, who runs an auction house, is tasked with selling the estate of an enigmatic figure with a mysterious side and a link to a secret vampire visiting the small Ozark town from New Orleans. I appreciate the artistic way that Tracey used different points of view to knit the story together and as the novel progressed, I was able to see the pattern of the voices and anticipate the clues that each gave to the story.
I liked this novel for its page-turning plot and its theme dealing with the quandaries we all face about choosing the easy way or choosing what is right. I applaud Tracey for attempting to write a vampire novel for the Christian market and I think she succeeded, but I definitely think the book has broader appeal for more than Christian fiction readers. I loved the book and now I’m going back to read Thirsty.