Christopher Farnsworth: Blood Oath
Move over James Bond, this secret agent’s cocktail is blood, warm, whether shaken or stirred.
By far this is the best vampire book I have read in a long time, and I’ve read my fair share.
Blood Oath, Christopher Farnsworth’s debut novel, takes the idea of the vampire and rests it on the opposite end of the well-known romantic and light bloodsucking tale on the vampire spectrum. Blood Oath is gritty, suspenseful and leaves vampires where they should be; as thirsty creatures that only live for blood. Unless of course, you bind them to an oath to serve the United States and turn them into a hero instead.
This novel is an intricately woven fast-paced story of terrorism, political espionage and living dead horror all packed into one solid novel. It is apparent why Blood Oath was optioned for a movie, for it reads as one, fleshing out characters brilliantly and sucking you in immediately with non-stop action and breathes new life into the vampire genre.
Nathaniel Cade became a secret agent for the President of the United States by way of a blood oath after he was captured in 1867 after killing two crewmates. He was sworn in by a Voodoo Priestess to help President Andrew Johnson and each President thereafter for as long as he lived. But one would wonder how does Cade keep his hunger subdued? Ironically, he wears a cross around his neck.
Now working for the current President, he is joined by Zach Barrows, a young and ambitious White House staffer, who is the newly appointed aide to the President’s Vampire, to stop an mad scientist who has created the ultimate monster, unstoppable zombie soldiers.
Dr. Johann Konrad, a present day Nazi-esque Dr. Frankenstein, has learned the key to resurrecting and manipulating dead tissue. Cade and a very wet behind the ears Zach, go on a top-secret mission to stop him and this takes them on a very deadly adventure. Deadly even for a vampire.
Farnsworth injects real world politics into Blood Oath and pairs zombie warfare with a plot by Arab terrorists and their American inductee, but not so much that this is the main threat or focus in the book. It is just a weft in the grand fabric of the story.
A lengthy flashback on how Cade became a vampire flips the current day setting to the 1800’s, allowing the reader to connect with his character and actually feel sorry for him. To add to this are insights about his history that starts each chapter in the form of excerpts from a classified briefing manual. It is a brilliant way to give more information to the reader without breaking up the fast paced action.
When finding out this story was optioned for the big screen, I could not help trying to cast actors for the major players involved, for each are very strong characters in their own right who rattle off extremely witty dialogue. There are certain horrific scenes in this book that I simply cannot wait to see depicted on screen. Such as the epic scene in the White House that should make Night of the Living Dead look like third grade recess in a school playground, and the sickening depravity of Dr. Konrad who injects a bio-mutating serum that turns an unsuspected victim into a tree-like mass.
There is news that Lucas Foster, producer of “Jumper” and “Law Abiding Citizen”, who optioned Blood Oath, has also claimed the rights to Christopher Farnsworth’s follow-up, “Black Site”. So those who wish for the return of Cade will be very happy. I personally cannot wait.
For those of you who’d rather read lighter angst ridden vampire fair, I assure you…you WILL be missing out. This book was exceptionally written and has made me a die-hard Christopher Farnsworth fan. Go get a copy of Blood Oath now.
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