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Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Review: The Remains by Vincent Zandri

The Remains by Vincent Zandri
Find on: Amazon, Goodreads

About the book:

Thirty years ago, teenager Rebecca Underhill and her twin sister Molly were abducted by a man who lived in a house in the woods behind their upstate New York farm. They were held inside that house for three horrifying hours, until making their daring escape. Vowing to keep their terrifying experience a secret in order to protect their mother and father, the girls tried to put the past behind them. And when their attacker was hunted down by police and sent to prison, they believed he was as good as dead. Now, it's 30 years later, and with Molly having passed away from cancer, Rebecca, a painter and art teacher, is left alone to bear the burden of a secret that has only gotten heavier and more painful with each passing year. But when Rebecca begins receiving some strange anonymous text messages, she begins to realize that the monster who attacked her all those years ago is not dead after all. He's back, and this time, he wants to do more than just haunt her. He wants her dead.

My rating:

My thoughts:

The Remains was not at all what I was expecting. I was very disappointed with it - both story-wise and content-wise. It seemed to take a long time to get to the main part of the story and it wasn't until I was around 60% done that it started to really grab my attention.

I had found this book when I was searching Christianbook.com, so I had thought it was Christian Fiction and would be a clean read - I was wrong. I was shocked to come across quite a few swear words in The Remains (the f-word, h-word, and possibly others that I overlooked) and by all the times God's name was used irreverently. There really didn't seem to be anything Christian about this novel, so I have no idea why it's for sale at Christianbook.

Truth be told, I really have nothing positive to say about The Remains because, even though the story was interesting at times, overall it wasn't that great and there were just too many things I didn't like. I do not recommend this book.

*I did not get this book for review. Regrettably, I purchased my copy. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.*


  1. Melanie, is it? Hmm, interesting review.
    I must ask, as a few questions have been raised by this insightful review of "The Remains" by Vincent Zandri.

    1: The synopsis of the book itself should have been (more than) enough of a hint that the book wasn't going to be a "clean read".

    2: Where the hell is it written that Christian Fiction has to be "clean"? Hell, the Bible itself is FAR from "clean"!

    3: So you didn't care for the book, so it was a "slow burn", does that really warrant the low rating you gave it? That seems a little harsh, considering that it was a mistake on your behalf for assuming that it was something it (very clearly) wasn't.

    4: If you're so dissatisfied with it, why not give it to someone else as a gift? You may not like it, but someone else may.

    (The last is merely a suggestion as you "regret" paying for a book, maybe someone else would enjoy it - as even you found some joy in it).

    1. Hi. Thanks for your comment. I'll try to answer your questions as best I can.

      1) By clean, I didn't mean it wouldn't be violent, I just meant that it wouldn't have curse words (especially the f-word). The synopsis sounded good and didn't give me a hint of what was to come.

      2) That's just my personal opinion. I mainly only read CF and usually CF books are curse free and clean sexually (nothing explicit). That's one of the main reasons I read and love that genre.

      3) There are a lot of reasons for my low rating: 1. I found the story kind of boring (not all of it, but mostly) and it seemed like the first half was just a build up to the main part of the story. 2. even without the swearing and other things I didn't personally like, I would have only given this book a 1.5 or 2 star rating - strictly because of the story. I just didn't like it. I know from reviews that a lot of people loved this book, and that's their opinion, everyone has different tastes.

      4) I bought a Kindle copy and can't give it away. I agree - as I said above, there are a lot of people who loved this book and gave it 5 stars - I just personally didn't care for it.

      Thanks for commenting. I hope this answers your questions :)


  2. Hi Melanie,
    I just wanted to take a moment to comment on your post. Although I can't answer why The Remains was for sale on a Christian media site, this is the error of Christianbooks.com and not of the author, and it seems unfair to judge his book based on criteria under which he has never promoted his books (check them out on Amazon to see how they're typically categorized). The story should speak for itself, and The Remains is good noir storytelling.

    1. Hi Robin. I agree and I didn't rate The Remains on it being Christian Fiction or not. I just mentioned that I found the book there (christianbook.com) because that is why I was blindsided by the curse words. I personally wasn't that impressed with the story and that is why I rated it so low. I know others have loved this book, but I didn't. Thanks for your comment. :)


  3. Interesting take, but a quick search of Vincent himself, or reading the book blurb would have clued you in that this was not "Christian fiction." If you are looking for books that are not Christian, but have titles that might make you think they are, try my novels Redemption and Temptation. Both not Christian, but feel free to leave a one star review (once you have read them) on those too.

    1. Hi Troy. I guess I'm not seeing how the book blurb would clue me in that The Remains wasn't CF...I've read CF thrillers (i.e. books by Ted Dekker, Robert Liparulo, Steven James, etc.) and have loved their books. As I've said to other commenters, I didn't give this book a 1-star rating because I thought it was CF - I rated it on the story itself, which I didn't personally enjoy. I guess I didn't articulate that very well in my review - sorry about that. Thanks for commenting and I hope you have a great week. :)



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