Zach Barrows is a cocky, ambitious White House employee until he's abruptly transferred out and partnered with Nathaniel Cade, a secret agent sworn to protect the president. But Cade is no ordinary civil servant. Bound 140 years ago by a special blood oath, Nathanial Cade is a vampire. On the orders of the president he defends the nation against enemies far stranger-and even more dangerous-than civilians like Zach could ever imagine.
Thursday, June 28, 2012
Blood Oath by Christopher Farnsworth
A Nathaniel Cade novel, #1
by Christopher Farnsworth
Copyright © 2010 by Christopher Farnsworth
Published by Putnam, a division of Penguin Group
While at a certain “big box” store which shall remain unnamed (*cough*Wal-Mart*cough*), I came across a book titled, The President’s Vampire. Now that, I thought to myself, is a title that grabs your attention. It certainly did mine, and I bought it. And, of course, it’s the second novel in a series and, of course again, they didn’t have the first book in the series in the rack. So I checked with this little on-line books store I’d heard a few things about (*cough*Amazon*cough*) and purchased the first book, Blood Oath.
Blood Oath introduces us to Zachary Barrows, a young, up-and-coming and extremely ambitious politician and White House staffer with plans to occupy the White House himself one day. Unfortunately, an ill-timed liaison with the current President’s daughter derails those plans. However, instead of being fired, Zach finds himself reassigned to the position of “handler” to one of the President’s most secret weapons: Nathaniel Cade, Vampire.
That’s right, the President of the United States has a pet vampire. Whenever a situation arises of a nature too “sensitive” for the CIA, FBI, DHS, INS, DEA or any other alphabet agency, they send in Cade to take care of the problem in the most permanent manner possible. Zach, as Cade’s handler, gets orders from the President which he in turn delivers to Cade, and then goes along with Cade to assist in whatever means necessary.
At first, Zach is resistant to his new assignment. Imagine being two words away from the destruction of the future you had worked so hard for only to find out supernatural beings you thought existed only in movies and books were actually real, and moreover, you were going to work with one. Yep, definitely brown trousers time. Or, in Zach’s case, wet trousers.
Zach barely has enough time to clean up when he and Cade are off on their first assignment together. An old enemy/friend of the country is about to unleash the latest incarnation of his greatest invention. Not only has this man discovered the secret to eternal youth, he knows how to bring the dead back to life. Together in a tenuous alliance with a new enemy of the United States, he is ready to use his unmenschsoldat to achieve their shared, ultimate goal: the death of the President and the destruction of the United States.
Oh, and just to make it even more interesting, there’s another vampire running around as well as agents for a secretive, “shadow company” within the U.S. Government, whose goal it seems is to destroy the government, but I couldn’t quite work them into the review without giving away the whole story, so there you go.
What’s an unmenschsoldat? Well, it’s a German word (that’s your first clue to the bad guy’s name). Mensch means “human being” or “a person of honor.” Unmensch is the opposite. And Soldat is “soldier.” Put that together, you have an unlikable soldier. Or an inhuman soldier. Or a zombie killing machine. Take your pick.
I really like the two main characters, Zach and Cade. Zach is a young, ambitious person who’s had his world knocked out from under him only to be replaced by a brand new world to which he must adapt or—literally—he could die. Cade is a 140 year-old vampire bound by a blood oath to serve the President of the United States (not the person, the title, therefore, he’ll be in service until he dies or until there is no President). He is cold, almost unfeeling—you do get a couple glimmers of humanity from him—and like a well-trained soldier, receives his orders and does everything in his power to execute those orders, no matter what. It’s those little glimmers of humanity that make us like him and I definitely do.
I give this story FOUR STARS.