REVIEW by Phin n’ Gin: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith (@sethgs , @phineaslurcock , @ginnylurcock )

Indiana, 1818. Moonlight falls through the dense woods that surround a one-room cabin, where a nine-year-old Abraham Lincoln kneels at his suffering mother’s bedside. She’s been stricken with something the old-timers call “Milk Sickness.”

“My baby boy…” she whispers before dying.

Only later will the grieving Abe learn that his mother’s fatal affliction was actually the work of a vampire.

When the truth becomes known to young Lincoln, he writes in his journal, “henceforth my life shall be one of rigorous study and devotion. I shall become a master of mind and body. And this mastery shall have but one purpose…” Gifted with his legendary height, strength, and skill with an ax, Abe sets out on a path of vengeance that will lead him all the way to the White House.

While Abraham Lincoln is widely lauded for saving a Union and freeing millions of slaves, his valiant fight against the forces of the undead has remained in the shadows for hundreds of years. That is, until Seth Grahame-Smith stumbled upon The Secret Journal of Abraham Lincoln, and became the first living person to lay eyes on it in more than 140 years.

Using the journal as his guide and writing in the grand biographical style of Doris Kearns Goodwin and David McCullough, Seth has reconstructed the true life story of our greatest president for the first time-all while revealing the hidden history behind the Civil War and uncovering the role vampires played in the birth, growth, and near-death of our nation.


Imagine, if you will, Abraham Lincoln as he was when he was a young man in his prime. Now picture him holding an ax. Just a simple ax mind you, one meant for chopping wood. You probably have one in your house. With me so far? What do you mean you don’t have an ax in your house? Seriously? Hey! I am not some sort of murderous hillbilly survivalist freak! You know what, it doesn’t matter, this isn’t the point… You’re supposed to be picturing Honest Abe with an ax. Got that image? Ok, now picture him hurling that ax through the chest of a vampire.

Oh yeah, that’s right. He kills vampires with an ax. Top that Blade.

This book is written in a documentary style. You have snippets from Abe’s journal, letters, newspaper clippings, etc, and tying it all together is a narrative. Because of this, and the fact that you’d miss out on the awesome pictures, I beg you not to listen to the audio book. It’s hard to follow at times and they add sound effects (yeuck) at others. Plus you miss the pictures. Did I mention there were pictures? If you get the eVersion be careful you don’t miss the footnotes. Some of them were important. Then again, some of them are explaining resin…

Lincoln has always been an interesting historical figure, but you add in vampire hunting and he takes this to amazeball levels. The best part was that the addition of vampires was pretty much done seamlessly. At one point when Phin and I were talking we actually agreed that if vampires were real, this would’ve been a totally plausible book. Like this could have actually happened. The insights that the author gives on Lincoln, his formative years, and how vampires shaped the man he became was fascinating.

The first monster I fell in love with was a vampire. Because of this, they’ve always held a special place in my heart. Henry Sturges is a prime example of why the bloodsucking denizens of the night still hold me in their thrall. He’s lived a long, long life, having lost more than one person ever should, and he’s now at the point where vampires begin to suffer from apathy. His way of combating it? To take up arms against the more monstrous of his kind. People often complain that vampires wouldn’t care for their prey, but how would they know? They’re not vampires.

There are far too many other characters that were truly epic to begin to detail in a review. My hat goes off to Mr. Grahame-Smith for his ability to give so many different characters a strong and unique voice, especially when he had to stay true to what is historically known about those characters.

Ginny’s rating: 4 stars
The only reason I didn’t give this novel 5 stars (aside from the slight issues with the whole audio book deal) well actually I can’t remember now… Probably because I had an issue getting into the style of the novel, which made me feel stupid, which made me hate the author a little bit. Once you get the voices sorted in your head, it works really well, but I acknowledge this book isn’t for everyone.

Phin’s rating: 4.5 stars
Phin had no issues getting into this novel and it’s writing style. In fact, he loved the style, it was something he kept raving about while I was still feeling stupid. Being a huge history buff, horror fan, and vampire lover this book was a hit with him. He was so impressed that he’s considering picking up the author’s other titles, such as “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies”, and “Pride and Prejudice” isn’t really his thing. When I asked him for comments he said “Its Abraham Lincoln killing vampires with an ax, what else do you need me to say.”

Seriously folks… that’s all you need to say about this book.

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