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


“It’s no wonder we’re always getting’ mistaken for queers. Look at us—a bunch’a proper men, never growin’ old, ’angin’ about in the dark, bitin’ other men on the neck. They don’t fear us ’cause we got claws and fangs; they fear us ’cause they think we’re comin’ after their sons.”

The Last American Vampire is an action horror novel by Seth Grahame-Smith and a sequel to Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter, released on January 13, 2015.

After I finished the first book Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, I realised it had taken me so long to actually read it that a sequel had been published. I was so ecstatic I immediately bought it, and I’m glad I was able to continue with the story straight away without having to wait for another book to be written.  It’s tricky to sum up this book, because there are so many characters and stories intertwined in its pages but here we go. (spoilers from the first book)

In this book we follow Henry Sturges – Abraham Lincoln’s vampire companion in ALVH. After Abe’s death at the end of the first book, Henry is wracked with guilt as they did not part as friends. He decides to steal Abe’s body and perform the unholy deed of making him immortal. Long story short, that doesn’t go well at all. Thus we follow Henry alone and learn of his humble beginnings, how he was created and his life after Abraham’s presidency. It’s a tale full of Nazis, ancient vampire organisations and even, Mark Twain.

2President Abraham Lincoln’s funeral

The Last American Vampire is definitely out there, I thought the different cameos of famous faces in the first book were plentiful but it has nothing on this book. Pretty much every supporting character is historical, from Bram Stoker, to Nikola Tesla, Rasputin, to Mark Twain and all the presidents after Abraham. It makes for an entertaining and intriguing ride. It sounds illogical but as I said in my previous review, Seth Grahame-Smith is just that excellent at mixing history and vampirism. One would almost believe that he’s onto something.

I loved this book just as I loved the one before it. I love this series. I would have to say on reflection that the first is slightly better, only because the ending to The Last American Vampire was so sad and no one enjoys seeing their favourite characters wounded or worse. The ending to this book had me in tears, especially with the throwback to this scene below.

3

My introduction to this entire series was the movie Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and after comparing the series to the film I’m royally pissed off. The film is so incredibly different it’s painful and it couldn’t follow on with The Last American Vampire because 1. It’s all about vampires fighting other vampires and in the film they are unable to hurt their own kind and 2. It’s all about Henry’s past and how it catches up with him and in the film his backstory isn’t similar at all. In fact, in the book, the character Adam isn’t even evil! I’m pissed off because the books are infinitely better and I can’t believe they actually gave Henry Sturges such a poor backstory in the film, when the real one is so much more interesting. I’m pissed off because they made it so there will never be a sequel film when the sequel book is so good.

On the whole I enjoyed immersing myself in Henry’s life, feeling regret, amusement and sadness all along with him. My favourite part was gradually learning about his early life and Virginia Dare. I very much look forward to the third instalment, which is obviously going to happen as the ending was the ultimate sequel bait.

The Last American Vampire (Seth Grahame-Smith)
  • 8.5/10
    The Final Score - 8.5/10
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