Book Review: The Last American Vampire

BookReviewsThe Last American Vampire by Seth Grahame-Smith

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Published: January 13th 2015

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New York Times bestselling author Seth Grahame-Smith returns with the follow-up to Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter–a sweeping, alternate history of 20th Century America as seen through the eyes of vampire Henry Sturges.

New York Times bestselling author Seth Grahame-Smith returns with the follow-up to Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter–a sweeping, alternate history of 20th Century America as seen through the eyes of vampire Henry Sturges.

THE LAST AMERICAN VAMPIRE

In Reconstruction-era America, vampire Henry Sturges is searching for renewed purpose in the wake of his friend Abraham Lincoln’s shocking death. It will be an expansive journey that will first send him to England for an unexpected encounter with Jack the Ripper, then to New York City for the birth of a new American century, the dawn of the electric era of Tesla and Edison, and the blazing disaster of the 1937 Hindenburg crash. Along the way, Henry goes on the road in a Kerouac-influenced trip as Seth Grahame-Smith ingeniously weaves vampire history through Russia’s October Revolution, the First and Second World Wars, and the JFK assassination. Expansive in scope and serious in execution, THE LAST AMERICAN VAMPIRE is sure to appeal to the passionate readers who made Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter a runaway success.

Review

First, I must address the cover. How awesome is this interpretation of the famous ‘Kiss’ photo? I love it!

One of the most alluring things about both of these books is that Smith writes them as though they were history books, complete with footnotes and sometimes (doctored) historical photos. Alongside photos of Teddy Roosevelt posing with an elephant he had just killed are tales of blood and gore of the vampire world. It can certainly play tricks on your mind and have you questioning, are vampires real? The realism behind these books is what makes them such a success and so damn interesting to readers.

The story follows Henry Sturges—Abraham’s immortal friend and mentor. After the tragically fatal shooting in Ford’s Theatre, Henry is left alone in the world. Ever the gentleman, Abe refuses to become a vampire and crushes Henry’s dreams of a friend for the darkness by committing suicide in the sunlight. As Henry is alone, the world continues to progress and move forward.

The scope of history covered in The Last American Vampire is much wider than the previous book. As the wheels of history churn launching Henry into a new world, he finds himself with quite a story to tell. He befriends an impressive roster of intellectuals, artists and celebrities. Names like Bram Stoker are casually mentioned. Henry travels to London in pursuit of Jack The Ripper, finds himself present in New York City for the birth of a new American century, joins an excited nation for the dawn of the electric era of Tesla and Edison. Henry even makes acquaintance with a certain Russian villain history has spoke of many times—Rasputin. In his many journeys Henry witnesses the disaster of the Hindenburg crash, Russia’s October Revolution, the First and Second World Wars, and the JFK assassination. Henry even makes an attempt at the life of Hitler, failing of course.

History buffs will enjoy how the author takes real world events and takes a different spin on how they happened. It is a fun read to see how all of these real-life individuals interact with one another, and how ‘history’ unfolded.

About Lisa Lunney

A Canadian gal that firmly believes words can change the world. An avid reader, writer and Autumn/Winter lover. She excels at communications and writes for pleasure and profession.
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