Blood Oath by Christopher Farnsworth
Publication May 2010
From Penguin Group
The Ultimate Secret.
The Ultimate Agent.
The President's Vampire.
Reads the cover of my review copy, picked up at PLA 2010 in Portland a few weeks ago. We're all told don't judge a book by it's cover, but COME ON! Those lines in red on a black cover above a presidential seal with the eagle turned into a bat. It looked like a movie poster....a poster for a movie I WANTED to see.
My husband claimed the book while I was busy reading the newest Kim Harrison book and promptly started to groan about all the one liners, cool action, and weird alternative history found in the headers to each chapter which he wanted to tell me about but I refused to listen to because I wanted to read the book for myself. After about a week he gave up, he handed me Blood Oath when I was between books so I could read it while he read the newest Dresden book. He figured that I'd whip through it and then he could have fun telling me the one liners and the great tidbits that he found in the novel since I had already finished it.
So glad he did! Once I picked up this book, I had trouble putting it down. Red lights on the way to/from work....never mind texting while you drive, I was reading. I promise it was only at lights. The 2 AM reminder that I had to get up and work in the morning. Yeah, this book delivered everything the cover promised and more.
Farnsworth is a scriptwriter and journalist who lives in LA. I'm not sure if it's the script writing or the journalism experience, but Farnsworth is excellent at painting a vivid picture of action with an economic use of words. His dialog is snappy and his characters may look stock when you start the novel, but as you read and get to see beneath their surface become three dimensional and more complex.
The premise: Shortly after Lincoln's assassination, a boat comes into port with a newly turned vampire, Cade, and a bunch of dead bodies. Johnson gets his hands on him and has a Vodoo priestess bind him in a blood oath to serve and protect the President of the United States. Blood Oath bounces back and forth between the present and various times in history. The book is written in third person and bounced between the present and various times in history. As Cade and Zach, his new human handler, rush to figure out a current threat to the President and to stop it, the jumps through history give the reader Cade's back story and history with the big baddie.
This book was great fun. I loved it and hope that Farnsworth will be writing more whether the more is another advanture with Cade and Zach (which the end left open to happening even while wrapping up the loose ends of this story!) or a totally new set of characters.