Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
The book is divided into three parts: Boy, Vampire Hunter, and President. Or as I call it: Good, Really Good, and Cheesy. First, we learn about Abe’s childhood, which sets him up to become a vampire hunter, and uses great historical context. We learn about his houses, his frontier Baptist upbringing, his love of stories and how his parents were victims of vampires. It’s a great setup, and I learned a lot, such as that Abe was raised to believe slavery was a sin.
Then, you get the vampire hunting. I didn’t really care for Abe’s vampire friend, who I thought undermined the purpose of the book in terms of killing vampires; I know he’s in there as a statement about not judging people, but he sort of gets in way, and much of the book is too heavily reliant on him. These are Abe’s exploits, not his vampire friend‘s, I thought. But, he himself is a magical plot device.
You see, he gives Abe a vampire hit-list, and the hunting spree begins in glorious, dark, graphic detail. He has an ax that can blind vampires with light, and so almost every hunting scene is really dark and suspenseful. There’s a great feeling of “How will he kill this one?”, a thrilling weight, as he confronts each bloodsucker. Some of them end up being people you least expect!
You really get the sense that Abe, going from odd job to odd job (Ferryman, clerk, captain, lawyer, senator, representative, but mostly vampire hunter.) really was a self-made man who had a deep dark secret, and no real interest in selfish political gain. He was interested in the freedom of all men from vampires. Later in the story it does get cheesy, as Abe Lincoln’s vampire friend reveals he’s part of a group of Good Vampires called the Union, who want to live in Harmony with Man. And, well…no spoilers here, but if you know history, you know what happens, and you can guess how the author weaves the Civil War in with Vampires.
All in all, Lincoln’s biography alone makes for a good vampire hunter story. Its historical context is so well-framed. Just take out “________was killed by a disease”, and add “vampires” in place of “disease”. But, here was the story of a true frontiersman who had one purpose and battled with his own inner and outer dark side for a Greater Purpose: To kill vampires with an ax. And that’s something every American can get behind. Apologies to those Good Vampires with those magical-plot-devices. I’m hoping the movie sidesteps some of that, so we can just get the good stuff.