Monday, June 18, 2012

Blood Oath by Christopher Farnsworth Review

I mentioned how I love zombies. Well, there is another sub-genre which peaks the deep dark mountain of madness which is my interest. That is the sub-genre of the vampire. Nosferatu. Dracul. Other words that make me seem smarter than I actually am. I love vampire fiction. The myth and monster is fascinating. A human cursed to wander the earth forced to drink the blood of the living to survive. What's not to love? I also disagree with the statement the vampire fiction has been ruined by twilight. Listen: there is a lot worse vampire fiction out there then twilight. Twilight is just the most popular. Sad, but true. Does that mean that twilight is good? No, of course not. But I'm not talking about twilight. I am talking about one of my favorite vampire novels, Christopher Farnsworth's Blood Oath.

One of the two main characters in Blood Oath is a young man named Zach Barrows, an up-and-comer trying to become the youngest white house chief of staff. Zach unfortunately makes a huge mistake when working for the fictional president of the United States. He sleeps with his daughter in the Lincoln bedroom.This actually gets creepier when the future books make reference to the theory that the bedroom is still haunted by Lincoln's ghost. After that Zach is "promoted" to becoming the handler for the United States' biggest secret. Nathaniel Cade, the president's vampire. Okay, here's the gist. Cade is a one hundred and forty year old vampire who has worked under every US president since Andrew Johnson. One who made a blood oath so now he literally has to follow every order given by the president and anyone under his command. Cade is an extremely valuable resource, as you can guess, and has basically been the only line of defense against "the other side". What's the other side? Basically every monster from the deep dark recesses of your nightmares who try every day to cross into our world and turn the entire human race into their own personal hunting ground and all you can eat buffet.  Together Zach and Cade will try to stop a supernatural terrorist plot, an immortal nazi, and an evil shadow company inside the US government.

The characters in Blood Oath are its strongest trait. It's hard to get as excited as I do when one of the sequels come out. Zach is great as the straight man, without feeling useless. This is pretty impressive when you work with a guy who can grab you from shoulder to shoulder and rip you down the middle like you're a piece of paper. Zach actually feels valuable. He goes from a whining little brat to likable hero. I know that you're wondering about Cade. As I said Cade gave a blood oath to president Andrew Johnson. Since then he has protected this country against what hides in the dark. Cade refuses to drink human blood, and it's slowly killing him. Don't get me wrong. Cade is a monster, but he will never stop trying to be human. Cade's character is all about his human side and his vampire side constantly fighting for control. He wears a cross around his neck. This is why we love Cade. Because he feels human. It also has a great villain in Johann Conrad, the original doctor Frankenstein. Yes, Dracula vs Frankenstein. Intrigued yet?

The world of Blood Oath is better than I could imagine. Every chapter begins with an excerpt from classified files which add to the world. Some or movie and book references and others real conspiracy theories. Along with some terrific flashback sequences with Cade, these help the world feel real, which make it the more frightening.

The novel has a believable world, terrific characters, and a great story which ends in an exciting climax in the White House. Each of the sequels are just as good, and I recommend reading all of them, and then read the others which come after. Christopher Farnsworth has become one of my favorite authors because of this series, and I hope he becomes one yours to.

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