Some Thoughts on The President’s Vampire

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Looking back on the past few books I’ve reviewed, I’ve detected a definite underlying trend. I keep mentioning Christopher Farnsworth, and his Cade series. I think it’s about time, then, that I stop nibbling around the edges and focus some serious attention on these books.

Nathaniel Cade is a vampire, who, in the Nineteenth century, was captured and scheduled to be put to death. Instead, he was pardoned by President Johnson, under the unassailable logic that if vampires exist, there must be worse creatures out there. Therefore, one voodoo curse later, Cade is now sworn to serve the President as America’s last, best line of defense against what other monsters lurk in the shadows. Sparkly vampires? No, the Cullens are as far from Cade as tap water is from gin.

And that’s a good thing, because he’s the only thing between us and zombie jihadists, mutant lizard monsters, and the pure manifest spirit of evil. Facing off against evil outside our government and within, Cade and his human handler Zach Barrows lead a ridiculously inventive and entertaining series with one of the best premises you’ll come across. If you’re a fan of Hellboy, this series is for you.

Farnsworth does everything this type of series should. Starting out in screenplays, he understands how to frame a scene visually in the text, and create solid, three dimensional characters. Cade and Barrows interplay with each other as Holmes and Watson often do, where Barrows is the only person who can see the humanity in the monster. Because as monstrous as Farnsworth makes his vampire, his humanity keeps coming through. He has honor, a sense of duty, and a clear sense that, when it comes to defending those he sees as being under his protection, half measures aren’t going to cut it.

Christopher Farnsworth is three books into this series, and I sincerely hope he has many more coming. It isn’t really necessary to read them in order, but should you want to, the first is Blood Oath. The following two, The President’s Vampire and Red, White and Blood respectively, remain as taut and suspenseful as the first. I’m not certain if Chris has this particular ambition, but there’s a killer TV series here, ripe for the picking. Until then, for the vampire fans out there, these are books you should be reading.

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