Friday, March 19, 2010

Book Review - Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, by Seth Grahame-Smith

Title: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
Author: Seth Grahame-Smith
Genre: Historical / Horror
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 bloody axes

In Vampire Hunter, we follow the life of Abraham Lincoln as he discovers, fights, and eventually exiles the plague of vampires that haunted America in its early existence. He makes many friends in his life (both alive and undead) that help him accomplish this task. As you may have read in my First Impressions post, the novel is written in the guise of a biography, in which the author relates to Abraham Lincoln's "private journal".

I found Vampire Hunter an enjoyable read, which is odd considering the fact that I have to give it a less than stellar review. Smith's re-imagining of one of America's most interesting political figures is very interesting and creative. However, I just find the premise too hard to believe. Supposedly, vampires are an unknown threat to America. But how does a man keep a secret like that? In addition, Abe begins to tell his partners about the vampires - this makes it even more unlikely that the secret is kept. Even more fantastic, it seems EVERYONE in Congress knows about them. The fact that the country has lost all information on the vampires until the discovery of the diary is just not possible.

Also Smith seems to get lazy with his writing at point in the book. He includes direct quotes from Abraham Lincoln's journal, which was written by a man living some 150 years ago. This should be a mechanic that adds to the historical feel of the novel. However, one can easily recognize the speech patterns of Smith in the so-called "quotes" of Lincoln. This really ruins the immersion of the novel at times.

However, I eventually decided that when you read this novel, you cannot take it seriously. If you are looking for a solid historical account, you should not be reading the book. Look at it as an exciting ride through what Might have happened in one man's life, and you will get a lot more enjoyment from the experience.

You may love this book, or you may hate this book. I'm somewhere in between...

3.5 out of 5 bloody axes.


  1. I'm glad that you enjoyed it even if there were parts that weren't true to form.

  2. I had my eye on this one but haven't picked it up yet. I may wait until my TBR pile is much smaller before giving it a try. Is it the same author who wrote Pride and Prejudice and Zombies or did I make that up?