Top critical review
Great series, but not the best
on 18 November 2013
I was slightly surprised that this work has received overwhelmingly positive reviews as I didn't think it was that great. The title is the best thing about it (and the first in the series 'Blood Oath' - which is a rather underwhelming and generic title - should have had that moniker.)
What's good - well the concept of a vampire protecting the president remains strong; Nathaniel Cade is a cool creation and a lot of his lines are funny.
What's bad - the plot is sluggish and 'who cares?'; there are a lot of historical flashbacks that do that thing that bad historical novels do and just reference people we've heard of - Eliot Ness, Robert Kennedy - to no advancement of the story. The baddies suck - snakeheads, pah, I've known more scary grandmothers and, in lieu of any real pace, we just get one of the central characters kidnapped so they can be rescued. Dull, dull, dull..... The central conspiracy is too diffuse. It's a lumpy, overblown, everybody-is-bad thing that feels lazy. Who are the Shadow Company? What is the threat? I don't get it. It does not grip and Cade and Zach, his human handler, are not really in jeopardy - they're going to be in the next book, folks, so what is gripping?
Don't get me wrong. This isn't terrible, but Blood Oath was better and - happily - the next in the series - 'Red, White and Blood' (now there's a title - take a bow) - is much better. I am very for this series - pacy horror, it's what we want - but this outing, not so copacetic.