Guest Review: Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter

I would like to give a very special thanks to my friend and illustrious lab partner BanjoBrainEater for the following review.  I’m sure you are thinking, BanjoBrainEater…wtf??”  Let me explain, BBE is my Southern, Persian, Vegetarian, Liberal, Banjo and Viola playing, walking contradiction of a friend who loves all things zombie.  He dabbles in urban fantasy, so I asked him to write me a few reviews of books that I just haven’t gotten to yet.  So enjoy the musings of BanjoBrainEater! Oh, and if you know any single, vegetarian massage therapists with a thing for banjos, please let me know!

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is one of several novels written by Seth Grahame Smith. You are hopefully more familiar with some of his other works including Sense and Sensibilities and Sea Monsters (http://www.amazon.com/Sense-Sensibility-Monsters-Jane-Austen/dp/1594744424/ref=pd_sim_b_1) and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (http://www.amazon.com/Pride-Prejudice-Zombies-Classic-Ultraviolent/dp/1594743347).
Seth (I’ve read enough of his books to feel that I can be on a first name basis with him) takes a break from his earlier farcical takes on the classics and instead turns his eye on the true dark history of the United States of America.
Having obtained through somewhat mysterious circumstances, the journal of Abraham Lincoln, Seth begins to read at first with baffling astonishment turning to fear and respect of the man who grew up to be the 16th President of this fair nation (for International readers, I am writing this from an American perspective, but I digress). Given the trials and tribulations that face anyone who turns their eye on the presidency, it can be safely stated that no one goes down that road by choice, and that was certainly true of our hero. Growing up in poverty, and having lost his mother to a vampire, Abraham at a young age was forced to grow up quickly in a world in which the shadows could and would kill the unwary. But truly it was those who were less fortunate who had more to fear from the plague of vampires that descended on this nation, and young Abraham came to realize that slavery was not only a bane on the American spirit, but was but a stepping stone for Vampires of this country to eventually control the entire population of this country, and eventually the world. 
A prescient Abraham Lincoln came to write in his journal in 1828: “So long as this country is cursed with slavery, so too will it be cursed with vampires.” Whether he knew then that those fateful words would drive him onwards to the White House, or that it would ultimately lead to a Civil War is a matter for only historians who need grant money to speculate and write about. Certainly he wasn’t aware of the full impact those words would have on his life, or on this nation when he wrote them.

The Skinny: In all seriousness (as if the above words weren’t serious enough), the book is a fun and light read. In terms of the premise, it still makes me smile and is well formulated. In terms of implementation, he walks a fine line. Certainly there were action scenes (to put it in movie terms) to break up the progression of the plot, and those were well-written. As I am a history nut, I think he could have really gone further and put even more events with a vampire slant on the book, but I could see how that could bog the book down as well. There are several pictures scattered throughout the book with rather humorous interpretations and I would have been happy if there had been many more of them, too.

Hotness:  (Kindlelicious made me include this) From what I’ve seen of the readership of this blog, I can safely say that seduction is a turn-on. More importantly, if major historical figures getting it on with their first ladies (or any ladies for that matter) is something that gets you hot and bothered, them you might want to look elsewhere. While Abraham Lincoln was certainly distinctive, I don’t believe that even in his day he was considered a hottie. Seth does a good job preserving our sanity and our fantasies by not exploring that side of our famous vampire slayer.

Ultimate review: I do recommend this as a read for when you want something fun and light. But if you want something a little more meaty to sink your teeth into (ha!), you may want to look elsewhere.

Rating: 6

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