Indiana. Moonlight falls through the dense woods that surround a one-room cabin, where a nine-year-old Abraham Lincoln kneels at his suffering mother's bedside. She's been stricken with something the old-timers call "Milk Sickness."
"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.
When the truth becomes known to young Lincoln, he writes in his journal, "henceforth my life shall be one of rigorous study and devotion. I shall become a master of mind and body. And this mastery shall have but one purpose..." Gifted with his legendary height, strength, and skill with an ax, Abe 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 a and freeing millions of slaves, his valiant fight against the forces of the undead has remained in the shadows for hundreds of years. That is, until Seth Grahame-Smith stumbled upon The Secret Journal of Abraham Lincoln, and became the first living person to lay eyes on it in more than 140 years.
Using the journal as his guide and writing in the grand biographical style of Doris Kearns Goodwin and David McCullough, Seth has reconstructed the true life story of our greatest president for the first time-all while revealing the hidden history behind the Civil War and uncovering the role vampires played in the birth, growth, and near-death of our nation.
Following the success of his bestselling Pride and Prejudice and Zombies with another m lange of history and horror, Grahame-Smith inserts a grandiose and gratuitous struggle with vampires into Abraham Lincoln s life. Lincoln learns at an early age that his mother was killed by a supernatural predator. This provokes his bloody but curiously undocumented lifelong vendetta against vampires and their slave-owning allies. The author s decision to reduce slavery to a mere contrivance of the vampires is unfortunate bordering on repellent, but at least it does distract the reader from the central question of why the president never saw fit to inform the public of the supernatural menace. Grahame-Smith stitches hand-to-hand vampire combat into Lincoln s documented life with competent prose that never quite manages to convince.
The author certainly did his homework. Makes you really believe the whole vampire bit occurred through his life. Great story telling. Highly recommend.
Terrifying yet Meditative
The wonderful thing about this book is the seamless transition between actual biographical content and macabre fantasy. in one moment we will see Abraham walking home along a dirt road, and before we realize we have gone down the rabbit hole Abraham is locked in mortal combat with the undead. Underlying this "extra excitement" is a subtle analogy being drawn between slave owners and the bloodsuckers themselves. So whether you want some good old-fashioned blood and gore, or the potential for in-depth analysis, this book is more than accommodating.
Good Mix of History and Fantasy
I concur with prior reviews about the clever entanglement of fact and fiction. The book was an entertaining read. The only problem is that all the footnotes are at the end of the book, making them useless.