Kirkus Reviews QR Code
KINDRED by Tammar Stein

KINDRED

By Tammar Stein

Age Range: 12 & up

Pub Date: Feb. 8th, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-375-85871-0
Publisher: Knopf

For the Abbott-Levy siblings, good versus evil is a family affair. The archangel Raphael descends on Miriam, a college freshman, and issues a cryptic command that she botches. Guilt-ridden, Miriam confides in Moses, her twin brother. Mo’s had a similar visitation, only his was demonic. Miriam abruptly leaves school and lands a reporting job at a rural Tennessee newspaper while coping with a sudden, severe gastrointestinal illness of possibly supernatural origins. Supported by her boss, two friendly organic farmers and, especially, Emmett, an appealing tattoo artist, she struggles to understand what’s happening and to accomplish her next task. Then Mo shows up with an agenda of his own. There’s much to like in this series opener: Miriam is engaging, her interfaith roots (Roman Catholic mother, Jewish father) interesting and the heavenly visitations credibly devastating. Less believable are her blind affection for selfish Mo and her circumstances (the job and the world’s best medical benefits). Despite uneven pacing and loose plotting, this intriguing exploration of divine intervention and cast of complex characters add up to a compelling read. (Fantasy. 12 & up)