Thursday, 1 November 2012

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter - Seth Grahame-Smith


Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is a mouthful of a title, but at least it does what it says on the tin. Seth Grahame-Smith, the writer behind the Pride and Prejudice rewrites, has taken on the most famous of US presidents. How could I possibly say no to the opportunity to read a book about Abe kicking vampire arse. Many thanks to Corsair for providing me with a review copy of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.

I did not know this, but Abraham Lincoln was known for his strength and skill as a brawler. The years spent building rail fences also left him proficient with an axe, so it totally makes sense for him to hunt vampires.

I like the way Seth Grahame-Smith has structured the book by alternating his own narrative with quotes, clippings and letters from the real Abraham Lincoln. Some possibly less real than others. It gives the book a more historical feel, but still personal as we are privy to the thoughts of the characters.

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter turned out to be different from my expectations. I thought it would be more separate from the real Abraham Lincoln, and set during a period of his life which we did not know so much about. This was not the case at all, it reads a lot more like a biography of his life, but with some very notable alterations. Vampires.

Abraham Lincoln lived a life full with tragedy, and according to Seth Grahame-Smith, it was all because of vampires. If the first vampire to cross the 16th president of the United States of America knew that Abraham Lincoln would become his worst nemesis because of his actions, the vampire might have acted differently. Who knew Abe and Batman would have so much in common?

It's a great read, brimming with both action and interesting historical tidbits. What I did not expect was to feel my chest tightening so often. There were a few emotionally very powerful moments present, some historical moments, but brought to life by Seth Grahame-Smith's penmanship. The look of despair on the face of a young girl shackled together with the other slaves on a cart, and going who knows where, made it necessary to pause my reading to collect myself.

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter weighs in at 384 pages, and is published by Corsair.

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