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.
The book itself moves fairly well considering. I've always felt historical fiction plods along at many points as they tie the fiction into the history and dish out too many little details at the reader. I think the way Seth handled the novel by, not only breaking it up into sections; but also linking it to a short tale occurring in todays time worked quite well. To be honest I have a hard time separating truth from reality for Lincoln now. Maybe he really did hunt vampires...
But I digress. All in all, the story obviously follows Lincoln's life, starting with him as a boy at home and follows him all the way to his death. Seth chooses key points to focus on during those times. Some are key due to history, others are key due to Lincoln's involvement in vampire hunting. He creates some interesting looks into the big events of Lincoln's life this way- twisting reasons behind his personal drive, the civil war, his assassination and others.
The book also has some great graphics in it by way of photographs and sketches taken from actual historical images and modified to show some 'vampiristic' twists. They made a great addition to the story.
I think anyone that enjoys an interesting piece of speculative fiction would like this, not to mention fans of vampire tales or similar historical fictions. It's available now in hardcover. Definitely worth the read.