Tuesday, July 19, 2011


Kindred is a YA fantasy novel by Tammar Stein.

Miriam is the quieter twin. She's a college freshman, and just working hard - keeping her head down. Mo, her twin brother, is the more vivacious, outgoing one. It's strange being apart from him - but they are both dealing with it like adults.

But then one evening as Miriam is studying the archangel Raphael visits her - it's terrifying, confusing, and utterly overwhelming. She deciphers what he said in ancient Hebrew and finds herself given a mission, of sorts. At first she doesn't believe it, not sure if she was just hallucinating, but then she meets the girl mentioned in the unsolicited message and finds herself believing more and more that she is meant to save her.

What happens sends Miriam into a tailspin - her entire life changes course. She's not sure what to do, where to go. But what only increases her fear is that Mo tells her that he was visited as well - only his visit was from the opposite end of the spectrum and he seems oddly pleased by this...

Is Miriam blessed? Cursed? Why her? Why Mo?

What is the purpose behind her mission?

I definitely don't want to give away much here - especially because even the inside jacket cover of Kindred is sparse on the details - which I love - and I want you to experience this phenomenal novel like I did!

First off, as a Christian I am not big on fictional angel stories - it's a fad I've never really gotten into. There have been occasions when I've been truly impressed with them - Silver Smoke was very cool and A Touch Mortal was original in its course - but I've never sought out "angel" books. But taking all of these novels as fantasies can be enjoyable - but so far, I have not yet read one as utterly unique, unsettling, and riveting as Kindred!!!

Miriam is a sweet, smart gal - it's easy to follow her. You hurt with her and root for her. When later we meet an attractive, kind, caring, and very hot tattoo artist named Emmett you want her to find happiness with him. I was super invested in her as a character because Tammer Stein's writing was absolutely excellent.

Then when we are introduced to her twin brother Mo, there is an underlying creepiness and a feeling that he is hiding something dark and wrong - yet you feel their connection, their love, and their familiarity. But it is being tested by outside parties, it seems, and the struggle is engrossing.

Miriam's story is a constant surprise, her character development is incredible, and there is a hushed suspense to everything. I rarely read a YA novel so stark and realistic about some of life's lesser written about moments, nor have I often read about a character I loved almost like a friend - Kindred had it all.

Kindred is, in my opinion, stunningly beautiful, lyrical and touching. It's a romantic, jarring, compassionate story that has no easy answers or resolutions but packs an emotional punch that still leaves me wowed, days later!

I was truly taken aback by Kindred - if you haven't read it - then, in my view, you need to!

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