This is a really good book. I mean, I went into it expecting to like it, since it’s part of the recent trend of retconning classic literature or history to include things like vampire, werewolves or demons, which I think is hilarious and awesome, so I was pretty positive that I would like it before I ever read it. But I found myself impressed by, first of all, how well the author researched this book. This is clearly a man who has read a biography or two of Abraham Lincoln. I honestly expected to find a bibliography at the back of the book. And secondly, I was very impressed by how well he wove the whole “vampire hunter” thing into Lincoln’s life and American history. Now, I don’t know a whole lot about Lincoln’s pre- president life, I know what I learned in history class basically since I’ve never been terribly interested in the Civil War, but what he wrote seemed pretty accurate to what I knew and what I sort of vaguely remembered hearing about. And the part about how vampires were the true villains behind the south and slavery? Awesome! And it actually kind of made total sense, in a really weird way. Of course vampires would see that as a perfect way to feed. Why wouldn’t they? Who would go after them for it? Okay, who in the south would go after them for it?
I can’t say as I was totally impressed by the “vampire hunter” part of it, since we never actually see Abe doing that much vampire hunting in the book. It’s mentioned that he does it, and that he is a great hunter, but the author mostly focuses on actual biographical information about Lincoln’s life, slightly to the detriment of his street cred. The reader just kind of has to take his word for it that Abe is as big of a badass as he says he is. Hopefully that will be fixed in the movie, which I am very much looking forward to.
Also, I felt like there were a few too many description of dreams in the book. It happens like four or five times in a 336 page book. That’s a bit much. And at least two of those times he pulled the same thing, where it treats the dream like it’s really happening until all of a sudden Abe is jerking upright in bed and gasping. That’s kind of an old, tired trick to pull in the first place, and to pull it more than once is kind of sad. That said, the bit of foreshadowing of Lincoln’s death was nice, and nicely Shakespearian, though honestly who needed it? Does anyone not know that Abraham Lincoln was assassinated? Anyone? But maybe he was trying to play like we didn’t know what would happen to Lincoln, like he was introducing us to a brand new character, or a little known person from history or something. An odd card to play, but whatever.
All in all though, an awesome book and one that I’m very glad that I read. It sat in my To- Read stack for over a year before I ever got around to it, and now I feel bad for that. So, for anyone who’s been intending to read it, but just hasn’t yet- go ahead and dig it out. You will not regret it and will walk away with a serious new respect for Abraham Lincoln. Not that I was lacking in it before, he’s always been one of my favorite presidents, but learning all this new stuff about him, even filtering out the vampire stuff, has made that respect blossom into possible hero worship. And to then make him a vampire hunter, well… he’s a total badass. And an awesome president. I especially love his quip to cowardly general Mclellan “If you do not want to use the army, I would very much like to borrow it.”