Evangeline...

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    Thursday, March 11, 2010

    Thirsty



    I’m giving away a copy of Thirsty by Tracey Bateman! See details at the end of this post.

    I felt like cheering when I heard that Tracey Bateman was writing a vampire novel for a Christian audience. With the recent surge in popularity of all things blood-sucking (well, maybe not mosquitoes), I was hoping a Christian publisher would see the value in exploring the depths of metaphor within vampire lore.

    Let me take a step back for a second and say that my love for finding symbolism within legends, myths, and ghost stories is rooted in my highschool discovery of Bram Stoker’s Dracula and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Contrary to pop culture treatment of these Halloween monsters, the actual literary works dealt with heavy themes of good and evil, mankind’s thirst for power, and God’s ultimate control.

    I’ve pretty much been enamored with the vehicles of metaphor ever since. I probably drove my college professors nuts with my endless interpretations of symbolism in the driest and most straight-forward of texts. Apparently, my physics professor didn’t want to hear my extrapolated thoughts on Newton’s Laws of Motion.

    I’ve learned to chain my inner allegory addict when I’m around science-y types, but I’m pretty sure none of them read my blog, so I should be safe as I applaud the exquisite use of metaphor in Thirsty.

    In my opinion, Thirsty is a dead-on (notice I didn’t say undead-on) example of how and why we can, and should, use a vampire character to bring scope and breadth to the theme of a Christian book.

    Nina Parker, the protagonist in Thirsty, is a recovering alcoholic. Her addiction has destroyed her marriage and her relationships with her family, and now she’s forced to move back to her hometown. But something other than Nina’s personal demons haunts Abbey Hills, Missouri. As the origins of Nina’s curse surface, she struggles to navigate her new path of sobriety while piecing her life back together.

    Nina’s striking neighbor offers support, friendship, and the possibility of new love, but something about Marcus is unsettling, alien, or maybe all too familiar. As their friendship grows, Marcus recounts the story of another family curse, couched in local legend, that bears an alarming similarity to Nina’s own destructive legacy.

    As two obsessions collide, Nina and her daughter, Meagan, are caught in a very real nightmare. Desire and addiction threaten to consume Nina’s existence as she takes step by tenuous step toward the only true source of strength.

    Thirsty is a satisfying and, yes, uplifting read. I think no one is immune to the call of addiction in some form or other. If we’re honest, we’ll see shades of ourselves in Nina’s story. But we’ll also see grace and strength for the battle.

    The visionary folks at Waterbrook graciously provided me with a copy of Thirsty to give away. Leave me a comment and tell me your favorite vampire or monster story or your favorite character in one of those stories. I’ll draw a name on Friday, March 19th.

    I’ll start.

    My favorite vamp has got to be the charismatic and ever-searching Lestat from Anne Rice’s The Vampire Chronicles.

    11 comments:

    Kersley Fitzgerald said...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QCOzKufIIzs

    (hee hee!)

    And, hey! I'm a science-type! Sorta!

    Sara said...

    mmm, I would have to say that my favorite vampire story is Van Helsing (the movie)--and I'm nost intrigued by Van Helsing himself, as presented in the movie--being the right hand of God, fighting the evil, being God's representation in the fight--and how they wove together the Dracula and Frakenstien myths...it was just a great story!

    Megan DiMaria said...

    Barnabas Collins, of course! Know who he is? He's the vampire from the late-1960s-1971 soap opera Dark Shadows.

    Shannon and Paul said...

    In books, Victor Frankenstein is my favorite character in a monster book, Mary Shelley's original. I empathize with his control issues and the desire to flee when it all goes wrong.

    My favorite creature in books is Remus Lupin because he is wonderfully well-rounded.

    In other media... Angel and Spike. Always Angel and Spike.

    I have the book (great book!) but liked this question. ;)

    Jenny B. Jones said...

    I was ted to chime in. I was and still am THRILLED about this book and for us getting all 2010 with Christian fiction. My LEAST favorite vamp was played by Susan Sarandon's ex-husband in an old 80s flick called Fright Night. It was dumb and campy, and probably if I watched it now, it would be more SNL humorous. But at the time, I was a teen or pre-teen and it scared the crap out of me. I couldn't sleep for weeks and couldn't walk by a mirror without checking to see if anyone was behind me. If my mom had let me buy a garlic necklace, I totally would have.

    Donita K. Paul said...

    My favorite vampire is The Count. One furry, little Muppet. Two furry, little Muppets. Three furry little Muppets. Four . . .

    Kathy said...

    My vote is for Remus Lupin. The ravages of the conflict within show on him physically, but he continues to let good triumph in his mentoring of students and protection of Dumbledore. He's actually the only vampire/werewolf creature that has ever appealed to me. Besides the Count, of course. One furry Muppet, Two furry Muppets... roflol.

    Robert said...

    My favorite vampire character would have to be Gerard Butler’s Dracula in Dracula 2000. The movie not only played off of the symbolism found in the original story of Dracula, but it also created an entirely new and original explanation of who Dracula was in biblical history. If you have not seen the movie, I really don’t want to spoil it by naming the identity of this pivotal character. In the end, the fact that the movie even addressed the Christian idea of forgiveness of sin was the icing on the cake that was this wonderful movie.

    crownring said...

    Hi Evangeline!

    I'm with Megan DiMaria in remembering Barnabas Collins of the old cheesy TV series "Dark Shadows". I used to watch Dark Shadows after getting home from school.

    Of my recent vampire reads, I'm finding Eric Wilson's "Field of Blood" and "Haunt of Jackals" great for some "can't put it down" type reading. (Yes, this is the same Eric Wilson who wrote "Fireproof"!) In "Field of Blood", the vampires are re-embodied demons Jesus cast out of the demonic into the herd of pigs and who have found their way into an ancient family tomb and have staged a false resurrection in the 20th Century. Nastira is the worse of the lot and he comes be be regarded as the Black King by the others in the vampire clan.

    Wilson's third book in the trilogy is due out in a few months. I can't wait!:D

    Atypical Girl said...

    I made up a vampire story once, and I thought that was pretty good. :) I used to watch "Dark Shadows" with my dad...hilarious memories! :)

    Great review, Evangeline!

    Avid Reader said...

    I have to admit my favorite vampire story to date is the Twilight series. I think my favorite character would have to be Alice Cullen, she seems the least codependent ... :-P Thanks for blogging about Thirsty! I am excited to check it out, whether I win the drawing or not.

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