*REVIEW* Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
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 really didn't know what to expect from this one... I have not read Pride and Prejudice and Zombies so I didn't know what to expect from Seth Grahame-Smith. Couple that with my complete lack of history retention, and I assumed this one was not going to go so well for me. I'm happy to say I could not have been more wrong in my prediction. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is a fantastic book full of history, action, horror, loss, and hope. It's also full of some ridiculousness but you had to guess that from the title!
The book starts out by introducing us to a very young Abe Lincoln who is about to lose his mother who he is extremely attached and devoted to. Later he learns that his mother's death was actually the work of a vampire. Yep, a VAMPIRE. Abe decides then and there that he will devote his life to the eradication of vampires in America. Early in his "hunts", he stumbles upon Henry Sturges, a vampire who decides to take him under his wing and teach him all there is to know about hunting and killing vampires. Henry says that not all vampires are created equal and hopes to see the more evil ones banished from the land.
The book treats us to a wide history that shows us how Abraham Lincoln became the greatest President of the United States. We see his rise in the legal field, his first dips into politics, and much much more. We also see his first experience of love, his eventual marriage, and the birth of several children. Unfortunately, Abe also deals with a tremendous amount of loss that is truly heartbreaking. Throughout all of this, we get to witness Abe's battle against the vampires. His numerous hunts and kills and his eventual alignment with the Union, a group of vampires intent on winning the Civil War for the North and destroying the South's most capable combatants.
I really, really liked this one. So much of this history had been lost to me. When I learned about Lincoln and the Civil War, I was one of those students who believed in memorization, then reguritation, and then it would all be lost to me not long after. Reading this book was like hearing these stories for the first time all over again. Then add into the mix the fanciful tales of the vampires and it became an engaging and interesting read that I struggled to put down. And the reality of slavery in the book? Horrifying!! It's easy to not think about those dark days of our country's past but being reminded about the things that went on back then was sobering. Once again, I am in awe of Abraham Lincoln and all the men who fought with him to turn things around.
So would I recommend this to a friend? I sure as heck would! I quite enjoyed the author's writing style and think this book would appeal to many. I think I owe it to myself to check out Pride and Prejudice and Zombies now!