Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (review)

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is not a “funny” book. It is entertaining as all get-out, but unlike, say “The Zen of Zombie“, it has few jokes. What it does have is a fascinating alternate history, one where vampires were a driving force in shaping American culture and history – and the role that our 16th President had in eliminating it.

This book is written like the best (and most engaging) biographies, drawing from “source texts” and cunningly altered “historical photographs”. It is compelling, combining a detailed history of the real-life Lincoln with a plausible secret shadow-world.

One potentially troubling detail – that in this alternate world, Lincoln does not oppose slavery solely for being slavery – is dealt with several times. Lincoln, the vampire hunter, finds slavery abhorrent all on its own; it is simply worse when it serves the ends of bloodsuckers.

I am rarely a fan of alternate histories; too often we see only the aftereffects of the differences. Here, because of the shadowy nature of the alternate world, we are able to discover it along with Lincoln, and it comes across much more plausibly.

I highly recommend this book to fans of vampires, urban fantasies, Lincoln, biographies, and especially those who enjoy the recent spate of novels that mash historical texts and modern horrors.