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Friday, October 8, 2010

Review of "Blood Oath" from Titania of Fishmuffins of Doom!

Today's guest review comes from Titania of Fishmuffins of Doom, who would like to share her take on Blood Oath with us; take it away, Titania!

Zach Barrows has no idea what he’s in for when the President gives him a new,
permanent assignment. He is thrown into a world where the creatures he thought
existed only in horror movies are very real and very dangerous. One of those creatures
is Nathaniel Cade, the President’s Vampire. He swore to protect and fight for Andrew
Johnson and all subsequent presidents. He must follow all executive orders, but
that doesn’t make him any less dangerous. Zach is to be trained as his new handler.
He just needs to get over the overwhelming fear he experiences when he’s even in
the same room with Nathaniel. Their first assignment together consists of stopping
an assassination attempt on the President and trying to figure out if the actual Dr.
Frankenstein (whose real name is Johann Konrad) had something to do with it. Along
the way, they encounter another, less virtuous vampire, a mysterious Agency that tries
to kill them, and a zombie army. Will they be able to tackle all these obstacles and still
save the President?

I absolutely love this novel. If you think the vampire genre is tired and needs to stop
already, read this book. It’s a great mixture of a political thriller and a supernatural
mystery. One of its more unique elements is its retelling of events in history from
Nathaniel Cade’s perspective. The whole novel just draws the reader in. At the
beginning of the chapters, there are articles or reports on Nathaniel or transcripts of
conversations. These snippets of documents really lend a realism to the story. It’s
easier to suspend disbelief this way. The narrative jumps around in time, sometimes
moving forward and advancing the plot and other times jumping back to lend
background on Nathaniel and his very long history. The story is compelling and its
tempo increases, creating suspense and tension, up until the end.

One of Christopher Farnsworth’s many talents is creating realistic and distinctive
characters. Nathaniel Cade is an odd vampire. He’s devoutly religious and extremely
serious. He’s has a flat affect without being a flat character. He’s a reluctant vampire,
but not whiny or annoying like Twilight’s Edward Cullen of Buffy’s Angel. He merely
accepts his lot in his unlife and does his job. Part of the difference between Nathaniel,
and Edward is that this is not a romance in any way. It is very clear that vampires are
not human at all and have no interest in humans other than the blood in their veins.
I think his attitude really supports the idea that Nathaniel may look human, but his
thought processes and motivations are completely different from a human’s. As the
novel progresses, his history is explored, leading to an understanding of his behavior
and adding more depth to the character. Other characters in the novel are also very
different and realistic, but Nathaniel is the most compelling of them.

The only downside to reading this book is that I don’t know how long I’ll have to wait
for the second book to come out. I was pleasantly surprised by how well written and
interesting the narrative is. It’s now one of my favorite books and I highly recommend it.

My rating: 5/5 fishmuffins


5/5 Fishmuffins is saying something -- she doesn't toss those fishmuffins around lightly...
Thanks, Titania!!!

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