“The boy had been crouched so long that his legs had fallen asleep beneath him – but he dared not move now. For here, in a small clearing in the frostbitten forest, were the creatures he had waited so long to see. The creatures he’d been sent to kill. He bit down on his lip to keep his teeth from chattering, and aimed his father’s flintlock rifle exactly as he’d been taught. The body, he remembered, The body, not the neck. Quietly, carefully he pulled the hammer back and pointed the barrel at his target, a large male who’d fallen behind the others. Decades later, the boy would recall what happened next.”
This is the newest (or at least when I read it, it was) in the popular strain of horror mashups that have been coming out the last few years. This isn’t so much a mash-up as it is a fictional retelling of the story of President Abraham Lincoln. The general flow of his life (leaving his father on terrible terms, being handy with an axe, working on a riverboat up and down the Mississippi) is the same, but with the introduction of vampires. His mother was killed by one and since his early childhood, Lincoln has sworn to hunt and kill vampires wherever he finds them. He’s aided in his mission by a friendly but unorthodox vampire who will send him names of blood drinkers that need to be slain for the good of the country. Along the road to the Presidency, Lincoln comes to have a personal interest in eradicating slavery from the land of the United States – vampires are using it to gain power in the political machine of the US government.
This book is fantastic. Not only is it written by the same author as “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” so it has a quirky sense of humor, but he weaves the story of President Lincoln into a story including himself as the author. It helps you to keep in mind that this story is a fiction – which may be hard to do because it is so well written. It follows the journals of Lincoln as they have been kept by a society for the preservation of the truth about what really happened in the Civil War and the years preceding it as it pertained to vampires. Also, Grahame-Smith has included helpful “historically accurate” photographs of points during Lincoln’s life which prove the existence of vampires.
While not necessarily a good biography on Lincoln to read for a school project, it most certainly is interesting and entertaining. I’m not going to count this as my presidential bio for Lincoln, but I wouldn’t mind owning this book just for the sake of owning a great book. If you like vampire books (without the glitter and the romance) and you enjoy historical fiction, I highly recommend this book as a good read. And I’m anticipating reading whatever Grahame-Smith puts on the shelves next.
“Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” was written by Seth Grahame-Smith and published in 2010.