Wednesday, November 21, 2012


Somehow I expected this to be more campy or cheeky or funny or something, but the book seemed far too serious for its subject matter, and by that I mean the subject of vampires.  I think the author walked a fine line here, trying not to trivialize slavery or the Civil War or Lincoln's assassination, while at the same time introducing a potentially comic supernatural element into Lincoln's life. For me, the blend of the historical setting with vampire slaying just doesn't work, especially since the author attributes just about every death—Lincoln's mother, girlfriend, son, and countless others—to vampires.  Of course, the real baddies, like John Wilkes Booth and a fairly large contingent of slave owners, are, in fact, vampires.  Lincoln's cohort in his quest to stamp out the vampire population in the U.S. is "good" vampire Henry Sturgis (like Edward in the Twilight series?), who tells Lincoln where to find various "bad" vampires for Lincoln to destroy with his trusty axe.  Seward, Lincoln's adversary for the presidential nomination and then later his Secretary of State, has also killed a few vampires.  He and Lincoln then have the daunting task of convincing the rest of the cabinet that vampires will take over the country if slavery continues.  There are some interesting historical nuggets here, such as the fact that Lincoln's bodyguard had abandoned his post on that fateful night at Ford's Theatre.  However, aside from the vampires and the points of history that are common knowledge, I couldn't always separate fact from fiction.  Perhaps it was the author's intention to blur the line just enough to make the journals and correspondence contained in the novel seem legit, in a weird, alternate-universe kind of way.

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