"The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." — Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Blood Oath by Christopher Farnsworth

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Summary: A vampire sworn to protect the President of the United States battles enemies, both foreign and domestic. 

I was given a copy of this book by the publisher.

At this moment, there are eight separate conspiracy groups plotting to destroy the U.S. government. And Nathaniel Cade, the President’s Vampire, is working against the non-humans who would bring us down. 

This book was awesome! From the very first page, when Zach Barrows, a self-titled “young Karl Rove,” is reassigned as the presidential liaison to the President’s Vampire, I read with accelerated heartbeat and eager anticipation. His new job: “Forget the War on Terror, Zach. This is the War on Horror. And you’ve just been drafted.” Cheese ball line, I know, but it totally works. 

Cade is a newly-formed vampire about to be executed when President Andrew Johnson pardons him. Johnson hired voodoo priestess Marie Laveau (yes, that Marie Laveau) to bind Cade to protect and serve whomever is the President of the United States. What a premise, and one that leaves me begging for the next in what I hope is a long series of books about the President’s Vampire. 

I love political thrillers and this has black ops, treason, betrayal and vampires. Books written by journalists always tend to be better written, because they know how to tell a story efficiently without falling in love with their own words. There is just enough plausibility about real threats that you almost wonder… “Could there really be…? Nah! Right? No!… But maybe…” 

The back of the book reads: 
Enough action to out-Bourne Jason Bourne and out-Bauer Jack Bauer. I loved most of the Jason Bourne books, and the movies as well. Never quite got into “24” but I know that Jack Bauer does torture. So I chuckled when Cade says with no irony, “The United States doesn’t torture.” 

There are some other bits of humor scattered throughout this action-packed political thriller. Certain lines will have you racing to Google and then laughing once you realize what it really means.

If you like any David Baldacci, any Brad Meltzer, any Dan Brown, any Tom Clancy, any James Rollins, you will devour this book. (Sorry, couldn’t resist a little vampire humor.)

My minor criticism:
As the monsters rampage through the White House, “Bits of human flesh and blood spread out over the wallpaper selected by Jackie Kennedy.” Poor Mrs. Kennedy. Don’t we have enough visions of her covered in the bits of human flesh and blood belonging to her husband? It was a gruesome reference that wouldn’t have been so distracting had it been any other first lady (with the exception of Mary Todd Lincoln, of course).

I could also see almost every scene in my head as I read along, so clear and descriptive was the writing. We could spend hours discussing the casting for when this is made into a movie – and I do hope it is made into a movie. Once you read it yourself, I hope you’ll chime in with your casting suggestions.

Bottom line: Sink your teeth into this one, with relish!

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