By Candace Salima, US Daily Review Contributor
The genre of alterna-history is a relatively new one, and not one I was sure I would like. After all, I have a deep abiding love of history and have enough problems with it being altered due to political correctness or an outright rewriting of history to suit one agenda or another. So I picked this book up with a slight trepidation. I’m happy to report I simply could not put it down.
Grahame-Smith skillfully wound fiction into thoroughly researched history in such a way, it made it a very plausible story…if you suspend disbelief and allow that vampires do exist. It is fiction, after all. So let’s dip into the story itself.
The backliner reads:
Indiana, 1818. 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 Union 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.
As I turned each page, I marveled at the skill Grahame-Smith showed in his attention to historical detail, the twist of this fact and that fact in order to breathe life into the legend he had created, that of the Great Emancipator as a vampire hunter. I easily believed Abraham Lincoln’s devotion to learning could translate to rigorous training as well.
I highly recommend this book for any home library. You will be amazed at how entertaining it is while also educating the reader to the life and times of Abraham Lincoln. Of course, one must be able to separate fact from fiction, but I give this book a solid five stars for readability, believability, and sheer entertainment. Well done, Mr. Grahame-Smith.
Purchase Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, it is available in hardback, paperback and Kindle.