Thursday, October 20, 2011

Book Review: Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter

Once again, Seth Grahame-Smith is creating a new sub-genre in literature, though I don't know what to call it - maybe biographical horror fiction? Anyway, the author of "Pride and Prejucide and Zombies", which started a wave of literary horror mashups, has struck again with "Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter".

 My college major was history, so I actually enjoy reading historical biographies, and this is an especially well-written biography of Lincoln - just with the added fictional element of him being the world's foremost vampire hunter. I feel like I learned a lot about Lincoln, while getting to play "What If."  (What if one of the underlying causes of the Civil War really was to keep vampires from taking over the country?)

 While I really enjoyed "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies", I think to get the most out of it, you have to be a big Jane Austen fan and a zombie fan. If you're not already familiar with the writing style of 19th century novels, the phrasing can be stilted and difficult to follow. That's not a problem with "Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter". It's very accessible, even if you're not a history buff - in fact, it might make the average reader want to find out more about Lincoln and the Civil War.

One caveat, I found the ending a bit predictable. And not in a "Titanic" movie kind of way. (Spoiler alert: it hits an iceberg and sinks.) I mean, I know John Wilkes Booth assasinated Lincoln, the only question was how vampires were going to be worked in. But I predicted exactly how it was going to be done, and that's a bit disappointing. Not enough to spoil my enjoyment of the story, though. This book gets a spot in my permanent collection. The only question is where to shelve it - under sci-fi/horror, or historical biographies?

No comments:

Post a Comment