Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame- Smith

Indiana, 1818. Moonlight falls through the dense woods that surround a one-room cabin, where a nine-year-old Abraham Lincoln kneels at his suffering mother's bedside. She's been stricken with something the old-timers call "Milk Sickness."

"My baby boy..." she whispers before dying.

Only later will the grieving Abe learn that his mother's fatal affliction was actually the work of a vampire.

When the truth becomes known to young Lincoln, he writes in his journal, "henceforth my life shall be one of rigorous study and devotion. I shall become a master of mind and body. And this mastery shall have but one purpose..." Gifted with his legendary height, strength, and skill with an ax, Abe sets out on a path of vengeance that will lead him all the way to the White House.

While Abraham Lincoln is widely lauded for saving a Union and freeing millions of slaves, his valiant fight against the forces of the undead has remained in the shadows for hundreds of years. That is, until Seth Grahame-Smith stumbled upon The Secret Journal of Abraham Lincoln, and became the first living person to lay eyes on it in more than 140 years.


Genre: horror; historical fantasy

Rating: 4/5

The bad:
  • The premise is a bit to get over. If you can separate yourself from the fact that one of the best known presidents is being presented as a hunter of evil vampires, you're better off.
  • Abraham Lincoln isn't always a very dynamic character. You understand that the Great Emancipator hates the undead, but you don't always connect with him. He does a lot of unwarranted moping.
The good:
  • Believe it or not, the history is pretty accurate, save for the vampire hunting part. Grahame-Smith has obviously done some research here. So much so that when I went to catalog the book for the library, it wanted to put it in nonfiction, to which I laughed as I adamantly replaced the tag with fiction.
  • The book is suitably gory and won't disappoint horror fans. Lincoln doesn't always win and the vampires are actually very believably integrated into history. 
  • It's an easy read. The action keeps up and there are doctored pictures that make the book look more authentic. 
Verdict: For a piece of speculative fiction, this was fun and a good horror story. Honest Abe made a surprisingly good action hero. 

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