Book Review: The Last American Vampire, Seth Grahame-Smith (2015)

Wednesday, January 14th, 2015

American History V

four out of five stars

(Full disclosure: I received an ARC through Goodreads’s First Reads program.)

It’s one of the few true blessings to the curse of being a vampire. For in those ephemeral moments we cease to be monsters and get to be superheroes.

I have a confession to make: I’ve never read Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. Sure, I watched the movie – when it came to DVD last autumn – and liked it. Just not enough to check out the book on which it was based, apparently.

So when I spotted a Goodreads giveaway for The Last American Vampire, I was torn. Usually it’s pure folly to read a series out of order, but the alternate history aspect proved impossible to resist. Also, it looked like the story was far enough removed from Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter that I might enjoy it anyway; as of this writing, Goodreads doesn’t even list them as part of the same series, though this could very well be a temporary oversight.

While fans of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter will undoubtedly get more out of The Last American Vampire, this newcomer loved it just the same. The story follows Henry Sturges – Abe’s immortal friend and mentor – in the years before and since the fatal shooting in Ford’s Theater. Breaking one of the Union’s few rules – “A vampire will make no other vampire.” – Henry stalks Abe’s funeral procession, finally stealing the corpse from its casket in Springfield some three weeks after Abe’s death. Henry lovingly resurrects his friend, nursing him back to health, only to have Abe commit suicide by sunshine upon realizing what he’s become.

(More below the fold…)