A few months ago, I reviewed Christopher Farnsworth’s Blood Oath, a book based on a great premise: a vampire sworn by blood oath to work for the United States.
I quite liked it and now he’s released the first sequel, The President’s Vampire. The “A Nathaniel Cade Novel” on the front cover seems to hint we’re far from done with this series either.
Whatever the case, much like the previous volume Farnsworth wastes little time in throwing our characters in to the action with multiple battles with serpent men-like creatures known as Snakeheads. The Snakeheads are a threat that seems related to an infestation Cade fought decades ago in Innsmouth (a reference to the H. P. Lovecraft tale “The Shadow Over Innsmouth”).
Along with his handler Zach Barrows and a group of government contractors, Cade battles the Snakeheads as he seeks to uncover the truth about their creation. Cade and Zach quickly uncover the true culprits, but by the time they do it may already be too late for them and the world.
The President’s Vampire races along at the same breakneck pace as Blood Oath, though it has to try harder to be as compelling as the first novel in what clearly is now a franchise.
Unlike the first novel where he was clearly the focal character, this time Zach actually gets pushed from the narrative fairly early on as Farnsworth bounces around the world and from character to character. He also regularly revives an old Stephen King trick, focusing on a focal point character for only a chapter or two, long enough to see them to their death. It works much of the time, but at a few occasions in the novel it seems to push the two leads completely from their own book.
Still, The President’s Vampire races to an inspired and entertaining conclusion. Unlike so many series titles, it leaves few loose ends at its finish, instead leaving us with the characters clearly in charge as they move forward in their quest to protect the world from supernatural threats great and small.
Though not quite as good as Blood Oath, The President’s Vampire is still Highly Recommended.