Published by Grand Central Publishing on March 2, 2010
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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.
Hardback: front and back covers
Whoa, what a fun book! Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith is my first of all of the mash-ups that seem to be the big trend these days, so I had no idea what to expect. I have not read Seth Grahame-Smith’s first book Pride and Prejudice and Zombies yet, so I have no basis for comparison in that regard. But I love vampire books and I absolutely adore history, so I thought this might possibly be a good match for me.
I could not have been more right.
Seth Grahame-Smith definitely took a few big liberties with this book. But I didn’t mind that at all. I found that the “ridiculous-ness” of this book was so over the top ridiculous (not in a bad way) that it was not bothersome to me in the least. In other words, it is so far from the truth that it simply cannot be misconstrued or misinterpreted. Abraham Lincoln did not actually hunt vampires. Duh. With this blaringly obvious fact out of the way, I was just free to just enjoy the book. And ohmygoodness I did!
The writing is incredible. The narrative is heavily mixed with excerpts from Lincoln’s journals, which add so much personality to our former President. I found myself reading this “historical novel” to intently that I kept forgetting (over and over and over) that vampires are not real and that Mr. Lincoln actually did not kill them. The mixture of truth and fiction was so perfect that I was fooled on pretty much every page. The truth aside, I completely bought into the story Mr. Grahame-Smith was selling, and it was loads of fun.
Quite fascinating still was how much further Mr. Grahame-Smith went with the whole vampire thing. Not only did vampires exist and Mr. Lincoln hunt them, but apparently they were the whole reason behind the Civil War? Who’d have thunk it? Believe it or not, there were actually a few plot twists in there that were surprising and hilarious and utterly awesome! But if I tell you…if I even hint about them…I will most certainly give them away and I just cannot stand spoilers. So I choose not to divulge any more information about the plot twists, but let me assure you they are good.
Would I recommend this book? Well, certainly! I realize lots of people these days are not terribly interested in reading something that sounds like a history book…but please don’t judge this book by its cover (which is amazing, by the way-check out the front and back covers at the top of this post). Give it a chance! It is so much easier to read than you think, and you will be so entertained, particularly if you are into paranormal fiction. I don’t think it such a great idea for the younger crowd to be reading this one…it’s a little graphic at times, but for the older young adults and adults, PLEASE grab it and give it a go. It’s SO worth it!