Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter Review
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Not long ago, cheeky author Seth Grahame-Smith teamed up with Jane Austen for the hilarious undead mash-up, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. In his second novel, however, he takes on a much more serious issue: vampires…and their place in American history.

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is the embellished biography of America’s sixteenth president, Abraham Lincoln—emancipator of slaves and killer of vampires. As a boy, Abe discovered that his beloved mother hadn’t died from a mysterious illness, as he’d originally been told. Instead, she’d been killed by a vampire who had come to collect on Abe’s father’s debts. That night, young Abraham Lincoln vowed to rid the world of vampires.

And so began Abe’s lifelong battle against the blood-sucking terror that had invaded the country—who feasted on the innocent and used Southern slave owners as suppliers for their evil purposes.

Written with the help of Lincoln’s long-lost journals—the ones in which he detailed his vampire-hunting adventures—Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is an intriguing mix of history, fiction, and horror. Sometimes, in fact, it’s written so smoothly that it’s hard to differentiate the three. And it’s so cleverly concocted that you might find yourself buying into the story—because it seems so strangely plausible. Vampires fleeing to the New World to escape persecution? Sure. Greedy Southern slave owners manipulated by powerful, blood-thirsty vampires? Why not?

As with Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Grahame-Smith stays faithful to his genre—which, this time, is both a good thing and a bad thing. On one hand, his simple, straightforward writing style gives the book an authentic feel—and you’ll often forget that you’re not reading a real biography. On the other hand, though, it feels so authentic that it tends to get a bit dry at times. There isn’t as much vampire killing as you might expect—and the story sometimes gets caught up in details that have very little to do with vampires. Between battles (which are often surprisingly short), the story often plods along, simply killing time until the next short burst of action.

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is definitely an imaginative work of historical horror—and Grahame-Smith does an excellent job of tying American history together to create a satisfying story. Unfortunately, though, he does such a good job of writing a realistic biography that the vampire action is lacking. As a result, Abraham Lincoln isn’t as amusing—or as entertaining—as Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. But if you happen to be a history buff with a twisted sense of humor, you’ll still find it intriguing.

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