Reading Realms takes a look at the first novel in a new urban fantasy series by Christopher Farnsworth.
Rating: 4 smileys
This much is true…
In 1867, a young sailor was convicted of murdering two crew mates and drinking their blood.
The papers called him a vampire.
The President of the United States pardoned him, sparing his life. He spent the rest of his days in an asylum for the criminally insane.
At least, that’s the cover story…
Blood Oath combines the currently popular urban fantasy with a sort of alternate history thriller to create quite an interesting tale. It follows (as the cover will tell you) a vampire- "Cade"- who works directly for the president handling all sorts of supernatural problems in the world that the government works to keep a lid on.
You get to meet his new partner as the story begins to unfold: a typical Washington bureaucrat that got himself into a bit of a jam messing around with the president's daughter. He finds himself way in over his head, more so than a human that might have at least received some sort of combat training in their life. In my opinion, this inserts an excellent everyman into the story that any reader can latch onto while riding along with the superhuman vampire Cade.
This also allows us to see a bit of Cade's 'human' side as he deals with his older partner leaving and breaking in a new partner. Though Cade, as most "good-guy vampires" in stories does give us plenty of human elements to latch onto. Pushing against his vampiric nature, showing us that he hates what he is, does not feed on humans, etc.
For any generic elements you might think the story contains I thought the plot and pacing more than made up for it. The beginning of each chapter gave us little mini-entries about monster facts or Cade's history, as well as several flash back moments where we get something more in depth of his history. The plot danced back and forth between several elements and enemies and as the book tied up, it also opened up possibilities for future installments.
As always a novel lives and dies for me based on the characters and I liked nearly every character, good or bad in this book. Most of all I loved the two main characters. The play between the new partnership was great as it grew and although I liked Cade from the beginning, his new partner Zach grew on me throughout the story to seem an essential piece of this world by the end.
I think anyone who loves Urban Fantasy should pick this book up, not to mention vampire fans or even fans of thrillers. "Blood Oath" is available now in paperback and the second volume "The President's Vampire" just came out in hardcover. Jump into this series now while it's starting, it's worth it.
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