Book Review: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

August 5, 2017

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter cover

I hope that everyone is having a good weekend, regardless of
how you are spending it.

Things have been going pretty well here, except for some
minor setbacks in my schedule, and I can still do what I liked.

As I brought up in the last
review
, I had gotten a few books from Amazon recently so that I can try a
few things out or caught up on what I could not before, I have so far covered
one of those books, which totals about six titles.

Today, I will be reviewing another one of those titles,
which is called Abraham Lincoln: Vampire
Hunter
by Seth Grahame-Smith.

Abraham Lincoln has lived an incredible life and rose to become
one of the most beloved presidents in the history America because of what he
did.

However, Lincoln's legacy has not been fully covered,
because behind the scenes of many of history's greatest events, vampires loomed
and, after learning the truth behind the death of his mother, Honest Abe is
determined to carry out a war of extermination against the creatures of the
night, as he also works to bring about the future we know.

When I first heard of this title, which was way after the movie came out, I thought that it would just
be one of those things that felt rather generic or lacking of substance, while
at the same time making Abraham Lincoln going on a Rambo-like killing spree,
but when I showed somebody one of
the first reviews I did after getting set up on Patreon, they recommended this
book to me and I decided to check it out.

And after reading this, I must say that I really enjoyed in.

From the moment that I opened up this book and started
reading it, I did not really want to put it down for any reason, though I do
have to satisfy the same needs as everyone else.

Usually, when I start reading a book, I do not expect
anything other than enjoyable read, just like any other reader, but because
this story involved vampires, I was expecting things to go rather poorly on all
front, as this is why I tend to hate modern fiction featuring vampires and
people hardly do anything to make them seem original or blend into the rest of
society.

However, Seth did something that hardly anybody writing
stories featuring the occult does and actually drew me into not only the world
of 19th century America, allowing me to see what was going on, but
delivered it with a writing style that drew me just as well as The Maltese
Falcon
did.

Part of what allows a reader to escape into the world of a
book is how the writer presents the world and writes it, as it allows a book
that may not be completely original to still feel like it is a unique work, and
if the reader gets a vibe that this is just more of the same that they have
seen over a million times, much like the movies from Hollywood, shows on
American television, or even anime, though I still prefer it to what many
creators here release, they are going to put the book down and stop reading it,
which is something that writers and publishers do not want to see because a lot
of work was done with those books.

Fortunately, Seth seems to understand this quite well and
was able to deliver some that did not feel like just another vampire story,
even if he was probably cashing in the vampire craze that exploded with titles
like Twilight, to the point where I feel like I actually would have been
okay if Seth decided to have Abraham Lincoln go on a killing spree that went
from beginning to end, and it actually makes me want to give him a good round
of applause.

If more writers were able to deliver works like this in this
area of fiction, instead of work that just feels like a rehash of something
that has already been done, I would not have been as turned off about vampire,
werewolf, and zombie stories as I am, and people would have been able to accept
them better.

Unfortunately, the garbage pile that can be found when
looking for books like this are so huge that it might actually be harder than
finding a needle in a hay stack, and that will not change until more competent
writers start entering field.

I also liked how fiction and history were woven together neatly.

Over the course of my life, especially before I found out
how flawed archaeology is, since an acquaintance working in the field confirmed
that they mostly do just manufacture a story around what they find, I have had
a strong interest in history, wondering what things were like, and reading
something like this made me feel like I was reading one of those well written
nonfiction books, as opposed to the ones that school dish out.

While I cannot say that everything present is factual,
seeing as what we know of the 19th century, other than works that Project Gutenberg and so many groups are trying
to preserve, and somethings are the product of Seth's imagination, such as the
meeting between Lincoln and Edgar Allan Poe, things were tied together so well
that I wanted to believe that the things mentioned in the book really did
happen, much like the members of my church want to believe their main scripture is true, when
hardly anybody can find anything that says it can verify the things found in
it, though I am not necessarily going to say the lack of evidence proves that
my church's scriptures is false because I would be committing the logical
fallacy of ad ignorantiam.

Many readers may not care as much about something being
presented as fact or close to reality as fans of detective, mystery, and crime
fiction, unless they are fans of historical fiction, which is what some people
consider this work to be, but being able to interweave things that actually
happened in the past with things that did not happen is an art form that can
give a book a much more unique feel than other than works out, and is something
I think that fans of historical fiction can appreciate just as much as fans of
detective, mystery, and crime fiction appreciate the best cases and heists that
have ever been written, since the biggest fans of the genre would probably pick
it apart just as much as I pick Detective Conan apart.

If Seth were not able to do this much, I would have written
this off as yet another title trying to make buck off the fans of vampires, and
thrown it into the trash.

However, because Seth was able to bring things together as
well as he did, I feel like giving him a good round of applause, as it makes me
a bit more interested to check out more of his work, though I probably will not
do so for a while because I am planning to take a break from the printed
medium.

This is what fans of historical fiction want to see and Seth
really delivered quite nicely.

Another thing that I liked quite a bit was how how I was
able to get all the feelings that I expected from a thriller.

In many works of thriller, there are things that the fans
expect to see, just like fans of the many other genres of fiction out there,
and part of that is that the get the feelings of suspense, excitement,
surprise, anticipation, or anxiety at the right moments.

Even though I am still kind of new to thriller books, since
I have only really delved into two books that can definitely be considered
titles in the thriller genre, and one
title
that I would want to but do not think I can, I have still read quite
a books to know what makes a good book and what does not, and the feelings that
one expects to find in thrillers is something that can make any work better.

In the case of this book, Seth was able to make feel each of
these feelings as one of America's favorite presidents goes out and tries to
vanquish vampires once and for all by making sure that Abraham does not always
succeed, yet make things look very interesting by actually giving some moments
where Abe might actually come off as Rambo, and even raises interesting
questions, though not in the philosophical sense, such as why vampires would go
after their own and what they plan to do to alter America.

This is what I expect to see from a work of thriller, and,
unlike John Grisham, Seth was able to really deliver to the point where I was
on the edge of my seat.

If Seth was not able to do this much, I think I would have
hated this book as much as I thought I would, and Seth would have appeared to
be much worse than John Grisham was in The Whistler.

However, because he actually succeeded, I am even more
interested in checking out other books written by him, and that makes me want
to give him a major around of applause.

Hopefully, he can keep this up in any future works, because
it is so hard to come across good works of thriller, and he does deserve to get
the recognition that he gets already.

Then again, Set is only human, like the rest of us, so he
might not be able to consistently churn out gold, so I guess I will just have
to wait and see if he does produce anything else worth giving a try, since this
is the first work I read from him.

The thing that I liked the most though was how the vampires
were written.

One of the things that really turns people off about
vampires, other than how unoriginal they seem, as many writers do not really
experiment with them as much as they could, is that they are too easy to spot,
especially on the big screen, via obvious indicators.

Back when Bram Stoker wrote Dracula, he
wrote the infamous count in a way that one would not know that he was vampire
around the time that Jonathan Harker met him, even if you knew going into it
that Dracula was a vampire, and it helped to make it look a little better than
it ended up being.

Like Bram, Seth made it hard to tell who was human and who
was not, because his vampires did not give off any strange auras, nor did they
show off as much as many of the vampires today, which ended up making me wonder
who was a vampire and who was not.

Vampires, when they are not first people a reader is
introduced to, should not be easy for the audience to spot, because it makes it
feel a bit stupid when the protagonist cannot realize that they are interacting
with vampires, and Seth seems to understand the importance of this aspect of
vampire fiction quite well.

If he did not do this, I would have hated him much more
because he would have definitely been doing nothing more than cashing in on the
vampire craze, and I would not have seen how people could think that this book
is so great.

Fortunately, he did not do something as boring, and it
helped to make the characters feel much more fleshed out than just slapped into
place for the sake of money.

This is what writers of vampire stories need deliver, and if
they did, vampire fiction would not be as looked down upon as slapstick humor
is in the eye of literary experts.

Sadly though, much like everything else wrong with the
entertainment industry where I live, I do not see this changing any time soon.

Still, Seth deserves a ton of praise for at least doing
something a bit different, and this alone made the book worth trying out.

Outside of those things, I cannot think of anything else
that I particularly liked, at least that could stand on its own.

Because my interest was captured quickly and held all the
way through to the end, even though I was expecting to be disappointed, the
writer did such a good job interweaving fact and fiction together to the point
where I wanted to believe that the events presented really happened, I got the
feeling that I expected from a work of thriller, and the vampires were actually
pretty well hidden, this book was one of the best that I have read so far.

Although I liked the book, there are some issues.

However, aside from things that are too minor to talk about,
such as typos, nothing really seemed to bother me too much.

As a result, I will have to say that there is nothing worth
mentioning.

Considering how there was so much to like, and hardly
anything to hate, even though vampires were present, this was definitely worth
reading.

I recommend this to fans of historical fiction, thrillers,
and those that want to see a good story featuring vampires, as they will like
this the most.

As for everyone else, this might be worth giving a try, as
this was not a book that made me feel like it was yet another vampire story,
and it might serve as a good introduction to the historical fiction genre.

If you liked this review and would like to see more, please
considering supporting me on Patreon
or buy the reviewed title from either Amazon
or The
Book Depository
, so that I can find more worthwhile reads for you guys, and
do whatever you do when you find something that impresses you.

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