Have you seen the movie Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter? Was it good? My ears perked up when Robin told me it was made into a novel. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to read it once she said I could borrow her copy.
Normally, I read books and don’t post reviews unless I’m supporting another writer I met through blogging or any other social media. So, I didn’t have pen and paper by my side to jot down memorable plot points or my reaction throughout scenes. I was simply going to return the book after I finished, keeping my feelings to myself or sharing my thoughts with friends.
However, this story concept was awesome–it felt wrong to not do a book review. I ended up changing my mind at the last second. Here’s my thoughts on the book:
Indiana, 1818. In a one-room cabin, nine-year-old Abraham Lincoln kneels at his mother’s bedside. “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. Gifted with his legendary height, strength, and skill with an ax, young Lincoln 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 the Union and freeing millions of slaves, his valiant fight against the forces of the undead has remained in the shadows for almost two hundred years-until Seth Grahame-Smith stumbled upon The Secret Journal of Abraham Lincoln. Now, using the journal as a guide, Seth reconstructs the true life story of America’s greatest president. For the first time ever, he reveals the hidden history behind the Civil War-and uncovers the role vampires played in the birth, growth, and near-death of the nation.
If someone would’ve told me I’d be reading historical fiction, I would’ve told them to “shut the front door.” History was my least favorite subject in school. That’s why it was a nice surprise when I enjoyed this 3 part, 14 chapter novel. I loved that it didn’t read like fiction at all. The author was so dedicated in Abraham Lincoln’s journal entries (to make them sound authentic) and stuck strictly to the facts that happened (instead of dabbling into the emotional aspect) that this novel read like a textbook or a research book at the library.
- The photos added in the story with the circles, emphasizing the president on his vampire hunter escapades, were awesome! For a second, my mind started playing tricks on me LOL. I knew this didn’t happen. But what if it did?
The scene were settlers are tricked by the evil vampire doctor caught my attention. It reminded me of Mindhunters (starring Johnny Lee Miller and LL Cool J)–a guy told the group about an old myth where an entire village was wiped clean. Croatoan had been carved on the tree, leaving people to believe either a body of water or an American Indian tribe killed everyone.
- In the book, the evil doctor carved “Croatoan” into the tree to put the blame on the Indians. He thought it’d be funny to have settlers going after the innocent. Man, none of my ancestors could get a break. Between American Indians being blamed for victims’ deaths (no one could believe it was vampires) and slaves being treated like property, this novel made me sad during those parts (not because of getting lost in the story, but because I knew that’s a terrible part of United States history that truly happened). Made me take a moment to reflect how awful it was back in the olden days. The story wasn’t written in the slaves point-of-view but Lincoln wrote powerful images in his journal.
Like I said before, it was strictly an account of what happened. So, if I was supposed to feel bad in certain scenes, I didn’t. The emotion wasn’t there for me–like when Lincoln lost his first love, his mom, his two sons. It was kind of like “wham, bam thank you ma’am.” There was no time to process what happened because the next action scene was already taking place.
I loved hearing about people in history–like Edgar Allan Poe, Martin Luther King, etc. It was cool that Seth Grahame-Smith managed to create this fake world with real people. The ending was perfect!
I RECOMMEND this book to read.