Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I loved reading this book. It was one I couldn't wait to get back to when away from it. Growing up in Illinois, state motto “Land of Lincoln,” I've learned about Abraham Lincoln since a very young child and have continued to look for more information as an adult. FYI: the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum is very much worth a visit with the whole family, www.alplm.org. Though I'm not a Lincoln scholar this book seemed to remain true to what we know from history of the man. Placing fantasy fiction in a real time and place with real historical figures works for both the author and the reader; the author doesn't have to build an entire universe from scratch and the reader can jump right in to something that feels very real without a lot of explanation. Seth Grahame-Smith does start his story when Abe is a young child with some background on his parents giving the reader a complete story of Abe's life from birth to death.
A story about fighting vampires works really well with the story of fighting slavery. The vampires sucking the blood of enslaved people are a physical manifestation of the wealth and greed that is stealing their life. It also parallels current events in that large multinational corporations are trying to suck up all of the resources and wealth for themselves. And like then, they're lying about what's causing our problems and their real intentions.
The story is episodic and a bit dry at times, but that's a side effect of it being told as real history, like a biography of Lincoln's life. I would have given it 5 stars except that the e-version I read was organized oddly. The Table of Contents for example is at the back of the ebook. There are links to it, the text, a preview of the authors next book, and the copyright page at the front, but expecting to see it in the first few pages I just kept turning pages as if reading a traditional book and started reading when I came to the story. I didn't see the Table of Contents until I got to the end. Also, while reading I kept coming across asterisks that implied notes with more explanation, but there is no indication of where the note is, nothing at the bottom of the page or the end of the chapter. The asterisks are not numbered like many footnotes and there is no Notes page listed in the Table of Contents. Again, it wasn't until I was done reading I came across the Notes page and noticed one of the asterisks might be dark blue instead of black. That's when I discovered that each one is a link that pulls of a pop-up with the Note on it. So if you've got the ebook, know to tap the asterisks as you come across them.
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