Tag Archives: Christopher Farnsworth

Review: Blood Oath, by Christopher Farnsworth

Blood Oath (The President's Vampire, #1)

What Blood Oath is about:

The ultimate secret. The ultimate agent. The President’s vampire.

Zach Barrows is an ambitious young White House staffer whose career takes an unexpected turn when he’s partnered with Nathaniel Cade, a secret agent sworn to protect the president. But Cade is no ordinary civil servant. Bound by a special blood oath, Cade has spent more than 140 years in service to the president, battling nightmares before they can break into the daylight world of the American dream.

Immediately Zach and Cade receive their first joint assignment: one that uncovers a shadowy government conspiracy and a plot to attack the Unites States with a gruesome new biological weapon. Zach soon learns that the world is far stranger, and far more dangerous, than he ever imagined . . . and that his partner is the least of his problems.

This is the first vampire novel I’ve read since I devoured Justin Cronin’s The Passage last year.

I enjoyed Blood Oath thoroughly (not that it’s anything like The Passage at all, though – the only similarities are that they both feature vampires and there are secret service types involved). Blood Oath is one of those great, action-packed page-turning reads, the kind of book that delivers pure entertainment. Even though it’s a vampire novel, it’s not like your typical paranormal vampire novel. It reads more like an action thriller that just happens to have, as its main protagonist, a vampire.

It turns out, you see, that all of the presidents of the United States have had in their service a vampire, one Nathaniel Cade; it’s Cade’s job to keep the bad guys of the “other world” away from this world and back in the other world where they belong.

Cade does a fine job of things, too. He’s got a new partner now, though: young and quite cocky Zach Barrows, who had ambitions to achieve lofty heights in the political world. Being stuck partnering with a vampire isn’t at all the kind of thing Barrows has been dreaming about. Even though he’s been told it’s the most important position among the President’s staff, it feels more like a punishment to him.

I thought Farnsworth did a good job in terms of world-building; the vampire/other world aspect is tied into the regular world seamlessly and reads quite credibly. I liked Nathaniel Cade, too: his own personal code of vampire ethics, and the hints at the potential consequences of adhering to such a rigid code. Zach Barrows is the perfect partner for Cade, too; his cockiness and quick mouth add to the occasional humor in the story.

The action is fast-paced and extremely readable, and while there is violence, it’s not gratuitous violence at all. I enjoy reading thrillers, but sometimes they’re just too violent for my taste. That doesn’t happen here. The violence is there for a reason, to show the reader what’s happening, and Farnsworth doesn’t take it farther than it has to go.

I’m looking forward to reading the sequel!