Monday, 9 July 2012

Blood Oath by Christopher Farnsworth 
Hodder & Stoughton, 2010 
Book provided for review 

I didn't realise this was a vampire book until I was well into it. I would not have chosen to buy it because of my prejudice about vampires and literature, however, the concept of the book is redeeming and engaged me. It works well as a "vampire-book-for-grown-ups". Cade is a 160 year old vampire who is morally chained to the Office of the US President and who ultimately is the only person left to solve a crisis. The characters are believable and push the story forward. At times I felt there were too many people as new characters are introduced all through the book. The back story and context is dealt with very well. Most chapters start with a quote from an "official" text which provides information necessary to understand the characters and the plot.

Towards the end (trying not to provide a spoiler...) there is some confusion over whether there are three or four "thingies". It felt like the author originally had three and then edited to change to four, changing the numbers but not specific plot details. It took me three read-backs to work out what was going on. Until then the narrative flowed smoothly.

The vampire protagonist is a great character and I'd happily read another book by the same author with Cade in the lead. Though I'll be expecting the plot to be less convoluted and easier to follow.

Minor note to the author and publisher: the title Blood Oath has been used in other books, in a popular Star Trek episode and in vampire games. Consequently, an Internet search does not bring up details of this book without a bit more digging.

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