Thursday, July 5, 2012

Review: 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.

Using the journal as his guide and writing in the grand biographical style of Doris Kearns Goodwin and David McCullough, Seth has reconstructed the true life story of our greatest president for the first time-all while revealing the hidden history behind the Civil War and uncovering the role vampires played in the birth, growth, and near-death of our nation.


I really enjoyed reading this novel and think that Mr. Grahame-Smith did an excellent job writing it. I was immediately intrigued by the introduction, knowing that it would be a great read.

The first of three parts of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter describe Lincoln's childhood through his twenty-first year. This part of the novel describes how he came to be the vampire hunter that he was. He trained himself for the most part to face the vampiric scourge that was taking over America. When Abraham was sixteen years old, he came across a character, whom I very much like: Henry Sturges.

Over the course of the novel, Henry was always there for Mr. Lincoln. He'd helped train Lincoln for future vampire encounters and sent him information about vampires that he felt Lincoln should destroy. Henry was a very likable creature, giving Abraham condolences during his times of grief and despair. If it hadn't been for Henry, Abraham Lincoln probably would have committed suicide, for which I like Henry even more. I really like one of Henry's quotes that is used throughout this book: "Some men are just too interesting to die."

When it got to the point of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter where Mr. Lincoln would hunt no more (due to his age and wanting to care for his family), I was slightly saddened. Even more saddened when Lincoln makes a certain remark in the third and final part of the novel, which causes Henry to disappear.

I couldn't help but love the introduction and ending of this novel. The ending actually left me grinning widely. Henry was indeed a remarkable man. In the end, I give this book 8.5/10. I can't wait to see the movie and recommend this book to anyone who loves things having to do with vampires (and by vampires, I don't mean vampires that are immediately in love at first sight and sparkle like in Twilight) and things like this fictional twist on American history.

1 comment:

  1. I read this book a while ago, and I forgot about Henry. He was so epic.
    Glad you enjoyed, the book got surprisingly little buzz. I'm so excited for the movie!

    ~Riv Re
    Riv Reads