Tag Archives: vampire

Review of Blood Oath (Nathaniel Cade #1), by Christopher Farnsworth

I borrowed an audio copy of Christopher Farnsworth‘s Blood Oath from my local library.

Description from Goodreads:

Zach Barrows is an ambitious young White House staffer whose career takes an unexpected turn when he’s 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, Nathaniel Cade is a vampire. He battles nightmares before they can break into the daylight world of the American dream, enemies far stranger – and far more dangeorus – than civilians have ever imagined.

Review:

This wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t anything new and inspiring either. I liked that Cade is so demonstrably inhuman. I thought Zach was funny. I liked the idea of the secret, crime-fighting vampire. All in all I enjoyed the book. 

My only real complaint, beyond there being nothing particularly new here, is that (as is SO OFTEN the case, especially with male authors) there are exactly 3 women in the book. They all play minor roles. Two are the lovers of more important male characters and one uses sex as a weapon and currency to get what she wants. 

Is it truly not possible to have a female character who isn’t characterized by who she has sex with or why? This book wasn’t really any worse than other books in the regard, but as always, it’s an irritant that you can’t unnoticed once you do. And once you start noticing, you realize how painfully frequent it is.

Bronson Pinchot did all right with the narration. I thought he played Cade too dryly. He sounded board for most of the book, instead of intense. But it wasn’t unpleasant to listen to, on the whole.

Review of Bloodlist (Vampire Files #1), by P.N. Elrod,

I borrowed an audio copy of P. N. Elrod‘s Bloodlist from my local library.

Description from Goodreads:
Jack Fleming, ace reporter, always had a weak spot for strange ladies. And he certainly should have listened to the one who said she was a vampire! Because when a thug blasts several bullets through Jack’s back, he does not die–and discovers that he is a vampire as well!

Review: 
Well, that was something I listened to. I can’t say I loved it, not that it was actually bad. I was just rather bored with it, having expected more. The vampire aspect was totally pointless, Jack could have just been any prohibition-era gumshoe. (And I say that as someone who loves a good vampire novel.)

I did appreciate that he wasn’t an alpha-asshole. He admitted to fear, cried and cared about his friends. It humanized him.

The book does suffer from the classic lack of female characters though. There is only one female character at all and she, of course, is the sexpot hooker-with-a heart. Cliched beyond mention!

Whitener did a fine job with the narration.

Review of Happy Hour at Casa Dracula, by Marta Acosta

I picked up a copy of Marta Acosta‘s Happy Hour at Casa Dracula when it was free on Amazon (mostly because I’d earlier bought paperback of the third book in the series, The Bride of Casa Dracula, not realizing it was part of a series.)

Description from Goodreads:
Latina Ivy League grad Milagro de Los Santos can’t find her place in the world or a man to go with it. Then one night, at a book party for her pretentious ex-boyfriend, she meets an oddly attractive man. After she is bitten while kissing him, she falls ill and is squirreled away to his family’s estate to recover. Vampires don’t exist in this day and age — or do they? As Milagro falls for a fabulously inappropriate man, she finds herself caught between a family who has accepted her as one of their own and a shady organization that refuses to let the undead live and love in peace.

Review:
There were several things to appreciate about this book. There was a decent amount of humor. There was a heroine with a backbone. There was diversity; the main character is Mexican-American for example. There was appreciation for voluptuous bodies, without shaming people who are thin. But there were also things that annoyed me. It’s written in first person, which I hate. Names are dropped into almost every line of dialogue, and it makes the writing feel more amateurish than it deserved. The attraction between the heroine and hero is instant and feels unexplained, as I didn’t at all feel any spark. Previous relationships are unintentionally ambiguous. There’s cheating, more than once on a partner. The book calls out Latina stereotypes and then turns around and uses them. Nothing of note happened for most of the middle (a lot of shopping) and then the whole last quarter felt contrived and too convenient. And, despite her Ivy League education, when a solution is needed, it’s her sex appeal, not her brains she falls back on to resolve the problem. I have the rest of the series and I liked this one enough read it. But I didn’t love it enough to jump right into book two. I’ll step away for a while first.