Monday, May 30, 2011

Book review: Blood Oath by Christopher Farnsworth

In my previous entry, I commented on meeting Christopher Farnsworth at a book signing for his newest book, The President's Vampire. At the time, I was only part of the way through his first book, Blood Oath.

Farnsworth's vampires are thankfully sparkle-free, and the research on sociopaths that he did before writing this book shows. Nathaniel Cade is a consummate predator, albeit one bound to the service of the President. Born from the premise of "What would the President do with his own vampire? What wouldn't the President do with his own vampire??," Cade is the ultimate Secret Service agent, bound to protect the President and the country from all supernatural, nonhuman enemies, both foreign and domestic. Both cold and intense, Cade is an antihero who knows that he is beyond redemption yet possesses a dedication to his service that goes beyond the bond that has been placed on him.

Farnsworth's writing is fast-paced and reads like a well-written political action drama that on more than one occasion kept me reading well beyond when I intended to stop, thinking "well, I'll just finish this chapter, then I'll go to bed." Farnsworth's antagonists prove to be a source for much rich conflict well beyond the pages of this novel, and Konrad in particular chills and repulses with a veneer of oily slime that makes you feel like you need a shower after each chapter.

The conclusion is satisfying yet leaves enough loose ends to lead well into the next novel and beyond, and while it does resolve the story, it gives the reader just enough frustration to eagerly reach for the next book.

From G.P. Putnam's Sons (a division of Penguin) and available at your local, independent bookstore.

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