Sunday, 26 August 2012

Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter - Review

Title: Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter
Author: Seth Graham-Smith
First Published: 2010
Genre: Historical Fiction, Horror

It shames me to say that the only reason I picked up this book was because of the title. I mean, just the words "Abraham-Lincoln-Vampire-Hunter". The image alone of Abraham Lincoln running around slashing vampires was too cool not buy.

But sadly the rest of the book does not live up to it's incredibly awesome title.

First of all, the most annoying thing about this book is the constant switching between first and third person. The first being Abe's journal and the third being Grahame-Smith's Narration. It is so annoying and almost completely unnecessary. If he had just stuck to one or the other he could of made a much better book.

Also, I have some issues with taste. I mean, did he really need to take one of the most admired figures in history and dumb his down simply as a "vampire hunter". I mean what next? "Mahatma Gandhi: Zombie Slayer", or how about "Martin Luther King: Alien Killer". It just doesn't seem particularly respectful to me.

My other big taste issue is the idea that vampires were responsible for the slave trade. Lines like "slaves began revolting against their vampire captors in the wake of the Emancipation Proclamation" make me feel a little uneasy. And I know it's just a work of fiction but to me it just feels like passing the blame. Like people who believe in God or fate or destiny or conspiracy theories. People placing the fault of something on someone/thing else to comfort their world view. It was our fault, and it should always be portrayed as our fault and shown as the disgusting, horrific act of human evil that it was.

But despite it's faults, it is readable. It's has decent plot development that goes along at a steady pace and I found myself rarely bored by what I was reading. The other good thing was the historical bits detailing his life. Having known nothing of Abe Lincoln other then he was the leader of the north in the American Civil war and wore a top hat it was genuinely interesting reading about his life. However having seen at the back that the author used Wikipedia as one of his sources I wonder how efficient and reliable his accounts were.

On the whole, I wouldn't bother reading it. Out of the many,many wonderful books to read out there in the world I wouldn't recommend this as one. Even if it does have a kick-ass title.

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