Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter

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. 

My Take:
Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter was written by the same man that wrote Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.  He is the master of successful unexpected horror blending.  He takes a concept that is utterly laughable, and writes it in such an authentic way, that when you are reading his work, you don't think twice; Abraham Lincoln was a vampire hunter, Elizabeth Bennett was a zombie fighter (from Pride and Prejudice and Zombies).  He has such a skill for making it work (in the words of Tim Gunn for all you Project Runway fans :), I don't know how else to put it--it works.  The author writes with total respect toward Abraham Lincoln.  He isn't making a joke of his life at all, in fact, the vampire presence in the book caused a new light to be shed on Lincoln.  Obviously, he wasn't a vampire hunter, but having the book written from his secret vampire hunting journals allowed the author to dig deep into the President's inner most thoughts of life, loss, and the pressure he felt throughout his entire life.  This book also "solved" some historical mysteries, such as what happened to the lost settlement of Roanoke, and some insights into Mary Todd Lincoln's insanity after the death of her husband.  Overall, this book is a great piece historical fiction, the history, aside from the vampires, is very well researched and accurate.  The book has pretty good pacing, once you get passed the beginning, which was just a little tiny bit dry.  I will say that just because you love a good vampire/paranormal/supernatural book, does not necessarily mean you will love this book.  There is a lot of action, but it is spread out, it isn't a non stop thriller.  It definitely leans more toward the historical fiction aspect, rather than the paranormal aspect.  It doesn't get as much into the history and mythology of vampires, because it just isn't important for the book.  The focus of the book is all about Abraham Lincoln, and the present vampire/human conflict (by present, I mean Abe Lincoln's present :)  I am giving this book a rating of a 2, Borders with a Coupon.  I couldn't stop talking about it (much to my ever patient hubby's consternation), and it is one to add to your permanent library.

Do you agree with my review?  Do you think I'm totally off base?  Either way I'd love to hear from you, be sure to leave a comment and tell me how you feel!

If this book were a movie it would likely be rated PG-13 for violence and language



If you are interested in purchasing this book, please consider supporting  The Book Buff by purchasing from the following Amazon link!

18 comments:

Felicia the Geeky Blogger said...

I bought this.....

I can't wait to read it :)

the cautionary tale said...

I love love loved this book!!! No one I know has read this so I can't talk to anyone about it :( Thanks for letting me live vicariously!

Emidy said...

Very cool! I haven't read a book like this before and I'm curious as to how I'd like it. Maybe I'll check this out!

Book-eater Ivan said...

I am CRAVING for this book!! For the first moment that i saw the back cover of this book, I was mesmerized! I have not read the Pride and Prejudice and Zombies because I do not know the story of Pride and Prejudice! (i know, i'm a loser) But this one, I would love to try.

Nice review by the way, and I just became a follower!

Jen-Girls Gone Reading said...

I reviewed this book on my site as well, and I also loved it. It was a great read, and I felt like I learned a lot too. Thanks for contacting me on Book Blogs! Hope we can talk again in the future!

Alison's Book Marks said...

My indie bookseller has been telling me to read this book for a while now, and I think I just need to go for it already!

Great review!

sEy said...

thanks for introducing your blog to me at 20sb. I love reading books :)

Simay said...

Thanks for your welcome message on bookblogs.ning.com. I'm a new follower =)

Melissa @ Flourish {and} Blotts said...

My husband is reading this right now and loves it ... after reading your review, I might just have to steal it away from him! :)

thefriande said...

The idea of Abraham Lincoln actually being a vampire hunter is hilarious, but I was a little hesitant about reading it in case it was a bad parody.
I'm happy to say you turned my thoughts around!

Red said...

I will definitely check out this book. I loved Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. If Grahame-Smith manages to strike the same tone in Vampire Hunter I'm sure this will be just as fantastic.

Lesa Antone said...

Absolutely love your site!! I am a book-lover too, so this is right up my alley!

Thanks for stopping by my MBC page to say hello! When you have a second, I'd love for you to follow my blog as well.

I look forward to chatting!

http://choosegourmetcandles.blogspot.com

Annette Sobolak said...

Can't wait to read this book! It looks intriguing and very different from every other book I've seen on the market. Had it not been for your blog, I don't think I would have heard about this author.

booknerdgirl said...

I've seen this book in the store many times and I've wondered if its any good as well as the other one by this author Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and I think I'll give it a try now. One of my friends also just recommended it. Very helpful review! Thanks! Just started following your blog!

http://diaryofabooknerd.blogspot.com/

Lydia @ The Literary Lollipop said...

Thanks for stopping by my Book Blogs profile. I'm still getting used to it but I wanted to say hello.

Cool review! It seems that vampires are very popular this season in the literary world. :)

Connor said...

I loved your review of this book, infact I love your blog in general. I love the passion you have for books and literature!

Kim said...

I don't know if its because I loved Pride and Prejudice or what, I had a VERY hard time getting into Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. I still haven't finished it, and its one of those books I go back to try to finish in between books. I do have Abraham sitting on my shelf, I'm looking to start that, I'm hoping I like it a lot better than P&P. Your review gives me hope

snglbby said...

This looks like a very interesting read!

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