Blood Oath (Nathaniel Cade Series #1)

Blood Oath (Nathaniel Cade Series #1)

4.1 190
by Christopher Farnsworth
     
 

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Zach Barrows is a cocky, ambitious White House employee until he's abruptly transferred out and partnered with Nathaniel Cade, a secret agent sworn to protect the president. But Cade is no ordinary civil servant. Bound 140 years ago by a special blood oath, Nathanial Cade is a vampire. On the orders of the president he defends the nation against enemies far

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Overview

Zach Barrows is a cocky, ambitious White House employee until he's abruptly transferred out and partnered with Nathaniel Cade, a secret agent sworn to protect the president. But Cade is no ordinary civil servant. Bound 140 years ago by a special blood oath, Nathanial Cade is a vampire. On the orders of the president he defends the nation against enemies far stranger-and even more dangerous-than civilians like Zach could ever imagine.

Editorial Reviews

Elizabeth Hand
Christopher Farnsworth's taut thriller…is an irresistible page-turner…complex and unnervingly realistic…The supernatural elements here are dazzlingly clever. With its labyrinthine plot and byzantine layers of government deceit, Blood Oath is a 21st-century riff on themes explored in such classics from America's first Paranoid Age as The Manchurian Candidate and Invasion of the Body Snatchers.
—The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly
This action-filled debut by scriptwriter Farnsworth reads like a cross between P.N. Elrod's historical vampire adventures and Thomas Greanias's conspiracy thrillers. Nathaniel Cade, “the president's vampire,” swore to fight on the side of President Andrew Jackson and all his successors. In the present day, Zach Barrows, a rising political star caught canoodling with the president's daughter, suddenly finds himself training to be Cade's handler after tough, wise special agent William Griffin retires. As they try to stop Cade's old nemesis, Dr. Johann Konrad, from creating an army of Frankensteinian monster soldiers, they uncover a deeper government conspiracy. Entertainingly plausible historical documents at the beginning of each chapter and a sense that this fight is just a skirmish in a larger war help elevate the book above its sometimes bland characters and their predictable motivations. (May)
Kirkus Reviews
There are secret agents and then there are secret agents, like the undead predator protecting the White House. Debut novelist Farnsworth expands his cinema-ready concept for a screenplay into this rousing if ridiculous mash-up of spy stories and vampire vogue. Our point of view is provided by swaggering D.C. political operative Zach Barrows, who is rewarded for his service as deputy director for White House affairs with the weirdest appointment ever. Secret Service Agent Griffin takes the new kid into a secret trophy room hidden in the Smithsonian's Castle, where a young, pale warrior awaits. Barrows soon learns that he's to be the liaison to Nathaniel Cade, a real-life vampire who was drafted into service after he was pardoned by President Andrew Johnson in 1867. Cade's role is to protect the country from ghouls and bogeymen that make al-Qaeda seem friendly. Like all good bloodsuckers these days, Cade can go out during the day and only drinks animal blood. "Someone has to hold the line," Griffin says. "That's what we do. We fight every incursion they make. They invade; we repel. Forget the War on Terror, Zach. This is the War on Horror. And you've just been drafted." Farnsworth does an admirable job of integrating his cliched creation into American history (Nixon wants to unleash his pet vampire against Woodward and Bernstein, but Cade's deal precludes it) and into a juicy techno-thriller story. This first entry finds a rogue scientist, Johann Konrad Dippel (the inspiration for Mary Shelley's Frankenstein), plotting to use the corpses of American soldiers as weapons. The book, complete with clipped prose and wildly unbelievable action sequences, strongly recalls the supernaturalthrillers of Matthew Reilly. Fun stuff if you like this sort of thing, but its amalgamation of concepts from Twilight, 24 and CSI make it feel like it was cooked up in a focus group. A paranormal thriller begging for a slot in airport bookshops.
Library Journal
The President has a vampire. Screenwriter Farnsworth's series debut asks the reader to set aside disbelief and buy into this premise, among other more fantastic concepts, and it's almost easily done with his adept writing style. The galley's back cover promises a hero that can out-Bauer Jack Bauer, and Nathaniel Cade does just that with his preternatural talents. Bound by voodoo to serve the President as his secret agent, Cade is truly inhuman, but the villain he's up against errs more toward the inhumane and has a terrifying scheme. To balance out Cade's vampire coldness, we're given young agent Zach Barrows, a wisecracking spin doctor who is not at all prepared to believe the world is not what he's always thought it to be. VERDICT Lacking humor, this is no Sookie Stackhouse paranormal mystery, and readers may find themselves as confused as Barrows seems to be throughout the novel. Recommend only to readers who would enjoy a preposterous supernatural twist on Vince Flynn's thrillers. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 1/10].—Stacey Rottiers, Ann Arbor, MI

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780515149036
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
03/01/2011
Series:
Nathaniel Cade Series, #1
Pages:
496
Sales rank:
243,156
Product dimensions:
4.10(w) x 7.40(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range:
18 - 17 Years

What People are saying about this

John Connolly
Witty, exciting, and compulsively readable, with a central character who seems destined to become a favorite of both skeptics and true blood believers, Blood Oath may just be the best debut vampire novel in many years. (John Connolly, author of The Lovers)
Mitch Horowitz
Blood Oath is the vampire novel that finally gets it right. Christopher Farnsworth has done his homework in places where most writers wouldn't even know to look-and the result is a rollicking tale of the supernatural grounded in some of the true oddities of American history. If Dan Brown wrote a vampire thriller, this would be it. (Mitch Horowitz, author of Occult America)
Brad Meltzer
Blood Oath is exactly how I like my Presidential thrillers. With vampires. (Brad Meltzer, author of The Book of Fate)

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