Putnam, May 18 2010, $24.95
Twenty-five years old Zach Barrows is already a veteran of senate and presidential campaigns; having delivered three states in the last race. The Washingtonian calls him the next Rove as he is now the youngest ever deputy director for White House affairs.
Caught with the POTUS’ nineteen years old daughter, Zach is being escorted by Secret Service Agent Griffin who takes him to the oldest part of the Smithsonian; a hidden room buried inside the Castle that the Griff calls the Reliquary trophy room where some of the oddities of history are “buried”. Zach has joined a very exclusive club as the White House liaison to Nathaniel Cade vampire; pardoned and pledged by President Andrew Johnson in 1867; he leads the global war on horror. Their first assignment as a team is to uncover a conspiracy from within to use biological weapons against the United States.
The two key elements that make Blood Oath an entertaining espionage paranormal thriller are the clever intermingling of history with the supernatural mostly through Zach but also with artifacts and the plot never takes itself seriously. The wild story line lampoons American mythos like president-journalist relationships via Nixon and the Washington Post, Frankenstein, Roswell, and the GWOH. Fans who relish an over the top of the Washington Monument and under the Smithsonian will relish Christopher Farnsworth’s satirical tale of vampires dining in the White House. Harriet Klausner
Flight Of Shadows
WaterBrook, May 18 2010, $13.99
Her genetic code makes Caitlyn Brown the most wanted person on the planet as her DNA enables her to do almost anything. However, all she wants to do is remain in hiding as her back deformity makes her believe she is the ultimate pariah.
However, the affluent in a world filled with poverty want more and she is the source. They go after her with only Razor the illusionist as her ally although she distrusts him. She hopes he can guide her to friends while the Feds and a twisted bounty hunter, all working for the rich, pursue her. As Caitlyn learns who she is, she is caught in a quandary not just between two men she cherishes and believes love her; but in terms of choosing life for her and extinction for humanity or death for her and life for mankind.
Flight of Shadows is an exciting cautionary tale that extrapolates from current trends to paint a dismal future with the heroine treated as a Typhoid Mary if she fails to do the bidding of the powerful. Caitlyn makes the tale work holding together the exhilarating hunt for her. Although the philosophical ethical issues could have been explored even deeper, readers will appreciate Caitlyn’s dilemma; mindful of Ursula Le Guin’s The Lathe of Heaven, but perhaps Hell is more descriptive. Harriet Klausner
Can't Teach An Old Demon New Tricks
Pocket, Mar 30 2010, $7.99
In Dogwood, Texas five years ago Kevin Farnsworth attended a convention. When he returned home to his wife Rachel, he was not the same person. Rachel is unaware that her Kevin is dead; murdered by a demon who took possession of his body.
When Rachel gives birth to Cassidy, the new mom finds her offspring acting oddly and her spouse missing. She soon learns what is going on when a demon horde arrives demanding she tell them where Kevin is; they believe he knows where Azarel the fallen angel is hiding. Satan sends Sam another fallen angel to find Kevin. When he meets Rachel, he falls in love with the kick butt human. Soon afterward as their attraction grows, Rachel and Sam are caught in the middle of a demonic war.
This is an amusing lighthearted Texas romantic fantasy as angels and demons make Dogwood the focus of the latest frolic. Fast-paced, fans will root for the human caught in the middle as everyone seems to want a piece of her; only Sam literally wants the whole piece of her. Although the romantic relationship between the fallen angel and the mom never quite seems to gel, fans will enjoy this jocular tale of a tough human female battling heaven and hell to protect her hybrid demon offspring; though having a lot of fire extinguishers around should help. Harriet Klausner