There are those of us who believe life has purpose. We are destined from the beginning to walk along a path of origin and outcome, cause and effect. We come to a critical part in the path, a divide on which we must choose left or right, the road less traveled or the wide and easy. At the end of our path, we hope everything that was supposed to be fulfilled comes to fruition. We hope to bask in the fruits of our labors, letting the glory of a righteous life saturate our souls.
In Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, written by Seth Grahame-Smith, young Abe quickly comes to the critical part of his path by watching his mother die from the bite of a vampire. Through tragedy and death, Lincoln finds his purpose. In his journal, he vows to rid the world of as many vampires as possible, a naïve promise that soon proves too big a task for the future president to take on alone.
AL:VH is an incredible read that mixes historically accurate facts with the horrific world of vampires during the Civil War Era. Vampires are feeding amongst the slaves of the South and becoming powerful in the crop production and slave trade markets. To avenge the death of his mother, Abraham Lincoln sets out to collapse the vampire system. Almost everyone is either a vampire or a servant of the vampire, including Jefferson Davis (President of the Confederacy).
Along the way, Abe meets up with historical figures that are dear to America’s heart. One such example is Edgar Allan Poe, who shares Abe’s curiosity of vampires, only from a different angle. Instead of wanting to kill them, Poe wishes to learn as much as he can about their darkness, which, in turn, will influence his poetry and stories. When Abe asks Poe if he wishes to be a vampire, Poe simply responds, “This life is bad enough as it is, why would I want to live forever?” This is so true to Poe’s personality.
Grahame-Smith uses the biographical writing technique of historians to make the story of Abraham Lincoln battling vampires seem authentic. While reading, you almost forget that vampires do not really exist. Grahame-Smith cleverly creates a fake (we think) personal journal of Lincoln’s that documents his physical injuries and feelings while losing his mother and his first love and battling the bloodsuckers who have taken everything from him.
If you are a fan of history, read this book. If you are a fan of horror, read this book. If you like the idea of Adolf Hitler being a vampire, read this book. And, finally, if you want to see a lifelong purpose fulfilled through struggle and turmoil…well, you get the idea.