Written by: Christopher Farnsworth
Publication date: April 28, 2011 (Putnam Adult)
Released in Hardcover, ebook, Kindle and audio
The ultimate secret. The ultimate agent. Nathaniel Cade returns.
For 140 years, Nathaniel Cade has been the President's Vampire, sworn to protect and serve his country. Cade's existence is the most closely guarded of White House secrets: a superhuman covert agent who is the last line of defense against nightmare scenarios that ordinary citizens only dream of.
When a new outbreak of an ancient evil-one that he has seen before- comes to light, Cade and his human handler, Zach Barrows, must track down its source. To "protect and serve" often means settling old scores and confronting new betrayals . . . as only a centuries-old predator can.
My Review: If you're not careful, Christopher Farnsworth could make a conspiracy theorist out of you! He seamlessly combines real historical people, places and events with his own story that it creates the illusions that both things are true. You can easily tell that Farnsworth is no stranger to CNN. Well, he takes our real world, our government, and all their ugly and dirty little secrets and adds the coolest background story to it: A vampire, Nathaniel Cade, sworn to a blood oath placed on him in 1867 by none other than Marie Laveau herself. The blood oath goes like this: "By this blood, you are bound to the President of the United States; and the orders of the officers appointed by him; to support and defend the nation and its citizens against all enemies, foreign and domestic; and to serve it faithfully for all the days you walk the earth." And he does so...well.
What I love about this series is that Nathaniel Cade is a real vampire. Not a brooding teenager or a vampire at war with his killer instincts and his desire to keep his humanity. Don't get me wrong, I love a good story about a mopey, young, good-looking vamp that blends right into society, fooling everyone, never letting on to what he really is - except to the human girl he falls in love with. But every once in a while I like to read about a real kick ass, scary, mean-as-hell predator.
In this sequel Zach and Cade seem to have a closer relationship. I especially loved one scene in particular when Cade almost snaps a mans wrist just for reaching out to (condescendingly) poke Zach in the chest. They look out for each other. This time around they are battling reptile-like creatures, that have been nicknamed Snakeheads. Apparently, I misunderstood the description of these things because I couldn't help but imagine giant iguanas. The whole thing was a little ridiculous so I don't think it mattered. I get it though; you have to give the monster, a monster to fight. Cade is way too powerful to waste his skills killing humans unless they get in the way of his oath, of course. He kills just about everyone and everything in this book I can only hope he left somebody behind to create enough story for a third book.
My only complaint is that there were way too many characters. Every other chapter was a new place, a new person with their own background story. Sometimes their stories are short-lived and sometimes they don't come to fruition until later. Either way it can be a lot to remember. The book is a lot of politics, a lot of information and I started to forget people and what side they were on. Everyone is looking out for numero uno so you never knew who they were really working for and where their true loyalties lie.
Overall: Action-packed and not unlike last time, moments of great humor. Strong main characters and I look forward to more.