Sunday, July 28, 2013

Book Review: Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame Smith

Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame Smith
Release Date: 19th April 2011
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Format: Paperback 
Pages: 352
Rating: 3.5/5.0

This book was read as part of the 2013 OTS and 2013 ODY

Summary from Amazon:
buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery"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 have mixed feelings about this one.

On the one hand, I enjoyed how smart this book was. It was very clever to intertwine Abraham Lincoln as a Vampire Hunter with historical events such as the Civil War and the abolishment of slavery. And it's done brilliantly. It all makes perfect sense, and it really makes Ab Lincoln a more interested character - literally everything he does is influenced by vampires - his entire life is re-imagined. For that I have to give the book props.

On the other hand, it wasn't until the last third of the book or so that I actually really got into it. Until then, the book was plodding along, but I didn't find anything particularly thrilling about it. It was more like one account of a vampire killing after another, and that didn't particularly pull me in. Also, I have issues with the ending, major issues.

Overall, the last third of the book or so really made it for me. The way that vampirism was worked into the life and history of Abraham Lincoln was done so well, that you could almost finish the book believing that this all actually happened. I've no doubt that many, many people would enjoy this read.  

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