Book Review | Blood Oath
Title: Blood Oath
Author: Christopher Farnsworth
I don’t generally see vampire novels and think, “Hey, there’s something I want to read!” but, on occasion, I find one that catches my eye because I’m interested in finding out if it provides a new spin on what I think is an age-old subject. When I read the premise for Blood Oath: Introducing Nathaniel Cade, the President’s Vampire by Christopher Farnsworth, I thought it could be interesting because it seemed to take a different spin on the vampire novel and I decided to read it.
Blood Oath is interesting because it combines a lot of different elements into one novel. There are elements of the supernatural (in the form of vampires and the undead), as well as a bit of science fiction (in the concept of bringing the dead back to life and a horrific machine that is able to take apart a human body in a matter of minutes – yuck!), a lot of action, some suspense and even a wee bit of steamy romance (which, I must admit, I could have lived without)! The story flips back in forth in time, explaining how Nathaniel Cade (known to most as Cade) became a vampire and, as such, how he also became an indentured servant of the President. It also touches on some other events that take place that reflect on his previous missions and then focuses on the present-day where he battles to save the White House members from the undead.
I enjoyed a lot of this novel. I like how Farnsworth incorporated Cade’s history to give an understanding on how he became a vampire and how his relationship with the various Presidents came to be. I enjoyed learning how Zach, who worked for the President, becomes Cade’s handler and has to learn (very quickly) on the job how to deal with Cade and the issues that he faces. I also thought that the storyline surrounding Cade and Griff (his handler of 30 years who is dying of cancer) was touching and well-written, providing another dimension to this novel. I also thought the whole storyline about the undead was really interesting!
It is definitely a first novel and, like many first novels, there are a few flaws. I thought it was awkward that the author introduces Tania (who is also a vampire) and touches very briefly on her connection to Cade but never really explains it. I also didn’t enjoy the sex scene in the novel because I thought it was completely unnecessary. I felt that Farnsworth left some loose ends (thinly disguised as plot twists, such as what happens to Helen Holt) simply to leave the door open to a sequel, which made me feel somewhat cheated as a reader.
Despite the flaws in this novel, overall I did enjoy it. I liked the relationship between Zach and Cade that developed and I enjoyed the action and adventure in the novel. I’m hoping there will be more Nathaniel Cade novels and that Farnsworth will work on developing Cade’s character even further and will lose the sex and tighten up his writing. I’m going to keep my eye out for the next book!
*I received a copy of this book to review but I was not financially compensated in any way. The opinions expressed are my own and are based on my observations while reading this novel.*