Review: Blood Oath by Christopher Farnsworth

May 11, 2010 Horror, Mystery/Suspense, Putnam, Thriller 9

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Putnam Adult (May 18, 2010)
  • ISBN-10: 0399156356
  • Source: Publisher
  • Warnings: Mild gore, violence, language

Nathaniel Cade isn’t your typical secret agent-he’s a vampire who has been protecting the Presidential office for the past 140 years.  Cade was captured and was to be executed, but was pardoned by President Andrew Jackson. Sworn by a blood oath cast by a voodoo priestess, it is Cade’s duty to protect the President from any supernatural harm, things kept secret from the unsuspecting American public.

Zach Barrows is a White House staffer caught in a compromising position with the President’s daughter.  He’s now been assigned to work with Cade, and understandably daunting task.  The two are on a mission to stop Konrad, a German scientist whose work involves reanimating the dead, forming an indestructible army of the undead.

I won’t deny that I was a bit perplexed at first by the premise of Blood Oath and I’m undoubtedly not alone in that opinion. However, as I started to become absorbed in the book, I realized that this isn’t another one of those horrid attempts to blend monsters with popular fiction or classical literature.   There’s actually a pretty compelling and exciting storyline wrapped around it.  Farnswoth has done a tremendous amount of research for this book, quoting actual sources in his acknowledgments. In fact, the storyline would exist on it’s own, without the premise of a vampire secret agent, but in this case that just adds to the overall experience.

Cade’s character is an extremely easy to like.  I likened him to Angel (for all you Buffy fans!).  He was dealt a hard card in life but he’s doing his best to deal with it.  He experiences genuine emotions, he’s not some stone-cold killer.

Zach’s character was a bit annoying at first.  He literally wet himself when meeting Cade for the first time. I guess that’s to be expected, who knows how I would react in the same situation.  It is Zach who goes through the most dramatic transformation in the book.

One of the things I really enjoyed was the excerpts from the briefings book about Cade that start off each chapter.  They provide back story about the “Nightmare Pet” project, for which Cade is the subject. Some of them provide a bit of humor, specifically the one that is supposedly a transcript from tapes from Nixon’s Oval Office.

I enjoyed this book so much that I became obsessed with reading it; I devoted all of my down time to it.  I stayed up late at night and I awoke early in the morning to read it. I finished it in 24 hours, quite a feat for me considering it’s 400 page length! This is the first in a series of books revolving around the President’s Vampire himself, I can’t wait to get my hands on the next in the series! Considering Farnsworth is a scriptwriter, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a movie based on the book series.

I highly recommend this to fans of horror and political thrillers.  Fans of the Dresden Files or Guillermo Del Toro’s The Strain would enjoy this.

Check out this phenomenal trailer:

9 Responses to “Review: Blood Oath by Christopher Farnsworth”

  1. Kay

    This one sounds kind of fun. I can see why it would be absorbing. I’m not a terribly big fan of the vampires mixed with classic novels or even Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter. They may be great books but I’m having a hard time with the concept. However, a vampire protecting the president? I could see that. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Jen-Girls Gone Reading
    Twitter: girlsgonereadin

    What an interesting idea! I am glad that authors are taking the vampire craze and actually creating good fiction with it. Thanks for the great review.

  3. softdrink

    I confess, my first thought was “seriously?” But I’m glad it turned out to be a good book!

  4. Becky
    Twitter: BeckyLeJeune

    I’m reading this one right now and it’s reminding me a lot of Hellboy. (And I love Hellboy!)

  5. sqt

    i just got done with this and I gotta admit I thought it was fairly absurd. Since when are the most psychopathic, unreliable people a good idea for black ops? And in what universe would someone be able to bring a severed head through customs with claims of “brain transplant?” Uh, what? There were so many moment that were not credible, but given the reviews I’ve been reading, credible doesn’t count anymore. I guess I get to be the cranky reviewer that doesn’t agree with the majority…