Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

Liana Teixeira

Seth Grahame-Smith, author of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, has a knack for creating alternate storylines. In his latest novel, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, Grahame-Smith reconstructs the life of one of the greatest American presidents. A surprisingly entertaining read from start to finish, Vampire Hunter introduces readers to a different Abraham Lincoln, one with an interesting side job.

The story begins as Lincoln’s mother becomes deathly ill and eventually dies of what doctors call “milk sickness.” Abe soon discovers from his father, however, that vampires are responsible for the death, and he makes it his mission in life to kill every vampire in America. Fast forward approximately five years and we find a teenage Abe devoted to hunting vampires.

Abe is tall and robust for his age and able to handle his hunting axe quite skillfully. Unfortunately, one particular hunt almost costs him his life, had not a mysterious vampire named Henry Sturges intervened. Henry, Abe realizes, is not like other vampires; he does not share the same blood-thirsty instinct as his comrades and insists that not all vampires are evil. Henry and Abe soon develop a close friendship, and Henry offers to help Abe in his search for justice. Henry trains Lincoln as an axe-fighter then sends him the names and addresses of evil vampires to kill. This arrangement brings temporary stability to Abe’s life.

But while working on a flatboat on the Mississippi River, Abe witnesses something that would shape his future political career…slave auctions. Lincoln follows a slave buyer to his plantation and discovers that he is a vampire and that the slaves are to be used as food. Abe understands that as long as slavery exists in America, vampires will thrive as well. It is at this point that Abe vows to become an abolitionist and work towards the end of slavery.

When Abe is elected president, a considerable time later, he is faced with a Civil War littered with rebel vampires of the South. However, the Union prevails and most vampires flee to other countries for refuge.

Seth Grahame-Smith’s creative adaptation of Abraham Lincoln’s life deserves its own history. The actual historical context is so cleverly mingled with fantasy that it would make any reader question the truth. Taking one of the most respected men of our nation and turning him into a vampire-hunting president is, indeed, a truly impressive feat.