Honest Abe the Warrior

“Honest Abe the Warrior”

Recently, I discovered that my favorite 2011 book was “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” by the brilliant Seth Grahame-Smith, author of faux history tales such as “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.”

We begin in modern times where the author tells of working a dead-end job in a corner store not by choice, but out of necessity. He visits with the customers, but mostly only in the hope that they will grace his doorstep again. One guest in particular named Henry stands out in his memory because he always wears sunglasses when he comes in. One day, the author strikes up Henry in a conversation that proves to Henry there is something worthwhile about this man. Henry gives the author a present, a collection of hand written journals that are supposedly the personal diary of Abraham Lincoln.

The author wastes no time tearing through the words as he finds them an entertaining read, but nothing more. When Henry proves to the author that he himself is something more than he appears to be, the journals begin to look a bit more authentic.

Thus, we are thrown into the story of the journals, where we meet Abe as a young man heavily involved in his family; anger towards his father and devotion towards his mother. Through a series of events, we find out that not only is his father in debt to a ruthless businessman, but we also learn that the businessman in question has no pulse.

Vampires are real in Abe’s world, and not only are they real, but they’ve situated themselves in matters involving business and government. When the vampire businessman comes to claim the debt owed to him by Abe’s father, a young Abe Lincoln takes matters – and an axe – into his own hands thereby beginning a long and adventurous career as a vampire hunter.

One of his first hunts is of a particularly nasty vampire that preys on human children. In early America, medical knowledge was not what it is today and because of such, children had a higher mortality rate, especially in Abe’s youth. This vampire was taking that into account and preying on helpless children. When Abe interfered, he was nearly killed. Henry found him, nursed him back to health and trained him on how to be a better vampire hunter.

From this point on, Henry would write to Abe randomly giving him the name and location of vampires that were in need of Abe’s personal services…and his axe. It led Abe to wonder why a vampire was willing to sell out other s of his kind, which led to some distrust amongst the two of them, but it became an understanding laced in blood.

During the time that Abe was successfully beheading vampires, he was knocking the heads off of humans on the political front. He was serving in local politics, working as a lawyer and pursuing higher offices, all while venturing out to behead other undead nastiness at Henry’s behest.

And then, in the midst of a burgeoning political career, Abe uncovers the truth about the secret sect of vampires he has been hunting, and discovers their plans for nothing less than the United States government. He tightens his hat, adjusts his coat and heads out on the adventure that will shape not only his future, but the future of every American he will soon gain command of.

“Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” is a pleasant experiment in alternative American history that uses enough factual history mixed with creativity to make a refreshing, breath taking read.

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