This was my first read for the Backreads Challenge for 2021 and I am really glad I read it. This has been on my bookcase for years, I didn’t even know it was part of a trilogy so I have added another two books to be TBR pile. I may at some point manage to read some standalones and actually reduce my reading list when I read something.
This book follows Zac Burrows, a career politician who gets more than he bargains for wit his newest promotion. This lifetime appointment put his rise to the top of the American political ladder to a stop, as he has to learn to navigate a world that he had always thought did not exist. Learning on the job how to be be liaison to the President’s Vampire.
There are a number of characters in this book that are fairly unique. I enjoyed getting to know Zac’s character, he is clearly intelligent and has a plan for his life, one that is suddenly shunted off the carefully crafted track. He reacts to the changes as I imagine any potential politician would, denial. All his dreams have just gone up in smoke replaced by a literal nightmare.
Zac has a mentor for his new role, one who has clearly done the role for a few too many years, as often happens in poorly paid positions in various government bodies. He is gruff and terse having seen too much of the world. He provides a good comparison for both Cade, the vampire and Zac in different ways.
This book is written in a similar way to Terry Pratchett, following different people throughout the story whose stories we realise are interwoven. It is a fast paced book with mystery to keep you engaged.
One of the themes of this book is Loyalty. Loyalty is something that can be overlooked as a good trait to have but is it really worth it if you are coerced? There are a couple of characters whose loyalty is coerced in difference ways, but one of them feels that loyalty, whereas the other is only interested in themselves and this is highlighted close to the end of the book.
Another thing that the author looks at is obsession with youth. Ageing is something that a lot of people are comfortable about and others hate every sign of their ageing. There are so many people who you hear about or know that have botox, or fillers, and while I personally wouldn’t use those on myself I can also understand why people do so. However, the obsession with how we look and looking young is highlighted in the extreme in this book and it can make you think about how far you would be willing to go to continue looking young.
I will say there were parts of this book that made me want to curl up and hide, I wouldn’t say that the book was terrifying, but there were points when I felt like I wanted to skip as it was a little gory for me. However it was a well written book which I really enjoyed.
I gave this read 4 out of 5 stars, while I really enjoyed the book, I didn’t feel like I was as invested in the characters as I could have been.