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

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 Entertainingly plausible historical documents at the beginning of each chapter and a sense that this fight is just a skirmish in a larger war help elevate the book above its sometimes bland characters and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

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781101187739
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
05/18/2010
Series:
Nathaniel Cade Series , #1
Sold by:
Penguin Group
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
496
Sales rank:
142,659
File size:
426 KB
Age Range:
18 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)

Meet the Author

Christopher Farnsworth is a scriptwriter and former journalist. He lives in Los Angeles.

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Blood Oath (Nathaniel Cade Series #1) 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 185 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Twenty-five years old Zach Barrows is already a veteran of senate and presidential campaigns; having delivered three states in the last race. The Washingtonian calls him the next Rove as he is now the youngest ever deputy director for White House affairs. Caught with the POTUS' nineteen years old daughter, Zach is being escorted by Secret Service Agent Griffin who takes him to the oldest part of the Smithsonian; a hidden room buried inside the Castle that the Griff calls the Reliquary trophy room where some of the oddities of history are "buried". Zach has joined a very exclusive club as the White House liaison to Nathaniel Cade vampire; pardoned and pledged by President Andrew Johnson in 1867; he leads the global war on horror. Their first assignment as a team is to uncover a conspiracy from within to use biological weapons against the United States. The two key elements that make Blood Oath an entertaining espionage paranormal thriller are the clever intermingling of history with the supernatural mostly through Zach but also with artifacts and the plot never takes itself seriously. The wild story line lampoons American mythos like president-journalist relationships via Nixon and the Washington Post, Frankenstein, Roswell, and the GWOH. Fans who relish an over the top of the Washington Monument and under the Smithsonian will relish Christopher Farnsworth's satirical tale of vampires dining in the White House. Harriet Klausner
Trebble More than 1 year ago
I had a lot of fun with "Blood Oath". The author, Christopher Farnsworth is a scriptwriter and I think it shows in his book. The book reads like you are at a movie. In this book, Zach, the whiny overprivileged staffer reassigned after a indiscretion with the president's daughter meets the mother of all predators, the vampire, Cade. However, instead of being annoyed by Zach, he quickly proves his worth and become likable. We also get to find out how Cade becomes a vampire and how he earns his blood oath. This makes it a great rounded out book with no annoying blanks of critical information. There is also no information overload with this book, so it becomes quite entertaining. There is more than one bad guy in this book and the stories meld into an exciting end with zombies on the attack! The book is a stand alone but the ending does leave room for the sequel. I, for one, would love to continue the adventures of Cade, the president's vampire. I gave this book 5 entertaining stars. Don't forget the popcorn when reading this book.
Suspensemag More than 1 year ago
It isn't often when a book leaves me at a loss for words and far less often that a debut novel leaves me physically longing for the next installment. As bewitching as early Anne Rice, Christopher Farnsworth has done just that with the introduction of "Blood Oath" and the President's Vampire, Nathanial Cade. Only a select few over more than a century have been privy to the true secret of success behind the oval office. The weapon that stalks the night-compelled to follow presidential order-effectively keeps us safe from the nightmare beings that slither in the shadows. Nathaniel Cade, the President's Vampire, is a thinly leashed monster and has been for so long that only a sliver of his previous humanity still lingers. Some would argue-even Cade himself-that all traces of humankind left his body the day he became a monster. Tasked with solving or stopping a number of atrocities over the years, Cade's newest assignment is no different. However, he doesn't realize-until much too late-that not all the monsters are working to prevent his success are on the outside. Racing against the clock, Farnsworth blends the perfect amount of humor and horror with awe-inspiring timing to keep fans on the edge of their seats. Reviewed by Suspense Magazine www.suspensemagazine.com
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm not a huge fan of vampire storylines, but the premise of this book really intrigued me. I am hooked on this series now, both for the vampire-as-secret-agent idea and for the characters themselves. I love Cade - he's the cold predator that a vampire should be, yet he has his flaws like the rest of us. If done right, it would make a really great movie. I recommended the series to a number of people when I worked at B&N, and it hasn't disappointed yet.
Devil_dog140 More than 1 year ago
Good series overall. I'm not a big reader and all three books kept my attention and never a long pause between action. I understand that it might be way out there and really impossible endings but I would recommend the reads to someone else .
L.A.Carlson-writer More than 1 year ago
It's obvious Christopher Farnsworth is writing from a screenwriter perspective; the writing here is simple, straightforward and keeps the reader interested. He adds sub-text at the beginning of each chapter to give us reason to pause and what's not to like; a fresh spin on vampires. Nathaniel Cade has been working for the Presidency for over 100 years doing the dirty work the government doesn't want us to know. Given all the things I've read about the CIA, FBI and other government operations it's enjoyable to read this type of story; history mixed with fiction. Political junkies will enjoy the jokes and references to the Presidency which some we've heard before and I love a story that has a hint of plausibility. There's also some truth in fiction. If placed in the right hands this could be a well-done movie.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was awesome! One of my friends told me i should read it and i loved it. I never realized how good another vampire book could be until i read Blood Oath.
Lolasmom More than 1 year ago
I just loved this book and could not put it down. I read it in two days and even told friends I was busy so I could stay home and read. I was hesitant at first when I heard it was about a vampire, but decided to read it anyway. I really enjoyed the characters, especially Cade and Zach and how their relationship developed. Cade is one awesome vampire and a much better one than the Twilight ones. I truly hope Mr. Farnsworth is writing another book about these characters and I am eagerly awaiting The President's Vampire #2!
Billjr13 More than 1 year ago
Blood Oath review Who says you can't judge a book by its cover? Blood Oath is a great new novel by Christopher Farnsworth. It caught my attention because of the great cover. It has big white text with a dark red wax/blood seal for the president of the United States but with a bat instead of an eagle. The sub-title "The President's Vampire" is just something that says "pick me up; you know you want to look." Ok, so it is loosely based on a "true" story. Huh? Well there was supposedly a sailor who washed ashore in New England with the bodies of several shipmates and he had drained them of their blood. The sailor is sentenced to die in an insane asylum. But secretly President Andrew Johnson pardons him and binds him to serve the office of the president forever. The story focuses on the exploits of the vampire Nathaniel Cade and his liaison to the president Zach Barrows; who is sure this assignment is punishment for sleeping with the president's daughter. Cade is a vampire super agent that out-Bauers Jack Bauer and out-Bournes Jason Bourne and out-Fishers Sam Fisher. He is not a cuddly, sparkly, kind of guy, he is just out to do his job by any means he deems necessary, and that job is protecting the president and the welfare of the United States. He is ruthless and has been given an opportunity to use his given skill set in a profession where that is acceptable. He fights terrorism on both human and supernatural levels. I don't want to delve into the plot for fear of giving too much away, suffice it to say it revolves around an assassination threat to the president by supernatural means and the undead uber-soldiers created by Dr. Johann Konrad who is immortal and the model for Dr. Frankenstein, as well as a shadow agency from within our own government. Farnsworth is a writer who has honed his craft as a journalist and because of that his writing is tight and concisely told. I know it is a cliché but this book is a page turner. I tried to go slow to savor and enjoy this book but once I started I just had to keep reading. This book is a little "X-Files", with a bit of "24" it is a little Dan Brown meets Vince Flynn with some Charlaine Harris meets Dean Koontz and Tom Clancy. It is a political, Black Ops thriller with vampires, werewolves, and the undead. Chris has a three book contract with the second novel in the publishers hands right now and he has at least eight more plotted out. This book is fun and I am really looking forward to the next installment, but don't just take my word for it; Read it. Read it now.
denverbroncosgirl More than 1 year ago
Excellent debut novel! Even though it was about vampires, like so many other current books, I found this story to be original & fresh. It was well written & interesting. Cade was an awesome vamp! At first I didn't like Zach. He was a whiny, pompous, spoiled brat. Experience & circumstance made him grow up & become a stand up guy in a hurry! Bring on The President's Vampire #2!
Ronrose More than 1 year ago
Did you know the President had his own private vampire, sworn by a blood oath, to follow the presidents lawful orders and to protect him against all threats? Well, Nathaniel Cade, the President's vampire, has been doing just that for 140 years. You thought Washington couldn't keep any secrets! Cade, given the choice of death or eternal service to the President, accepts and with the spell of a blood oath, administered by a mysterious Creole woman, he turns his newly acquired powers over to the government. We learn snippets of his history as he takes on both a new case and a new handler in present day Washington D.C. In this first of a series, Cade takes on an old enemy who is literally piecing together an unstoppable army to take out Cade and the President. This is a very interesting take on the vampire legend, with new twists and plenty of action. The characters are well developed and varied. Once you've taken a bite of this one, you won't be able to put it down until you have drained it dry.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
First, when I read the reviews I thought "This is interesting.." But then, I'm on page 81 I'm still waiting for some action! Just don't buy it. A total waste of money.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wish we had a Nathaniel Cade to fight our terrorists today! I love how the factual history is entwined with fiction and the fun of Vampires and other mystical creatures! :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you love vampires this book is a must read its so cool. :)
Michael_Sw More than 1 year ago
Vampires, rookie secret agents, grizzled veterans of government work, and vast evil conspiracies are all common in modern fiction stories. Somehow Christopher Farnsworth mixes them all together for a story that still manages to be fresh, interesting, and unpredictable. I will be buying the sequel. The book has plenty of adult situations, and although the descriptions are brief you may find it inappropriate for younger readers.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book. Vampiric government agent. It's just so crazy it works. A nice mix of secret agent with monsters and magic. There was one section where the language was a little saltier than I like generally (which is counter balanced nicely in my opinion by how often the main character gets upset about people around him breaking the 3rd commandment). And it seems like the author had written himself into a corner with the twist he reveals just before the climax. He needed to drop in a little science fiction to get out of it, which didn't feel like it fit in well with the rest of the story. But over all, I liked it enough to continue on with the series eventually.
Patches33 More than 1 year ago
I enjoy action and adventure with a large dose of science fiction. So naturally I enjoyed this book a whole lot. I read prior to buying this book that there was no character development and that was the main knock on this book. Well I dont think that is true at all. They develop and show the past for the main characters, they dont go into huge depth but they do more than enough to satisfy. I have already ordered the second book and will almost certainly order the third as well. I suggest you read it if you like action, mystery, and science fiction.
carock More than 1 year ago
A quick summer read. Different type of hero if a little strange. Gets to be a little far out. Author has original idea needs to work on story but I would recommend.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
read this and the next two...can't wait for the next one..has a little of everything i like in a story