The Last American Vampire by Seth Grahame-Smith
The Last American Vampire – Vampire Henry Sturges returns in the highly anticipated sequel to Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter-a sweeping, alternate history of twentieth-century America by New York Times bestselling author Seth Grahame-Smith.
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. Henry’s will be an expansive journey that first sends 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 By Mark Turner
I’ve been a fan of horror for most of my life. So when I first heard of the concept of taking famous people like Abraham Lincoln and making him the fiercest vampire hunter of all time the concept intrigued me. The result of the book ABRAHAM LINCOLN: VAMPIRE HUNTER delivered on all levels. The only problem was that it ended.
Not to fear as author Seth Grahame-Smith returns us to the world of the vampire picking up where the previous book left off. But don’t think it’s all about Lincoln as he apparently doesn’t make it past the opening of the book. Instead this book follows the life and adventures of Henry Sturges, the vampire who helped Lincoln win the War Between the States. It follows his life after Lincoln passed and in the changing world of not just humans but vampires as well. With the south defeated the bad vampires (yes there are good and bad vampires in this world) seem to be dwindling. With the exception of one major enemy.
Sturges is called on by the leader of the good vampires, those what want to live in conjunction with humans, to seek out an evil vampire that has been killing the emissaries sent to Europe. It’s near the turn of the century and Henry does so obligingly, taking the opportunity to visit his homeland for the first time since leaving it all those years ago. As he does so he also fills the reader in on how he came to be a vampire and what happened to him in the years before Lincoln.
As with the first book famous people from various walks of life cross paths with our hero. When he first arrives in London he meets a famous author as well as a doctor friend of his who knows a lot about deductive reasoning and detective work as well. He’s framed for a series of murders occurring in the west end of London (guess who this gets called on) and he works his way about seeking his prey who in turn has sought him out as well.
The story progresses through the ages, taking him through both world wars and into the present. Along the way he gets involved with Tesla, Mark Twain, Rasputin, a zeppelin, the assassination of JFK and more. These aren’t really spoilers, as you read the book it becomes abundantly clear where he is going from one point to another. And through it all is the mysterious evil vampire that he’s been searching for through the years. The revelation of who that is becomes the surprise twist in the book and comes far earlier than the last chapters.
The book is an easy read and Graham-Smith presents and engaging story that holds your interest throughout. Perhaps the only problem lies in the amount of time covered in the book. To take on so many years in a single book is a bit much but it does a fine job of it. It will also seem inconceivable to some that he would meet so many famous people over the years. But hey, this is fiction and makes for a good time while reading. Suspend belief and jump on the bandwagon. Enjoy the ride.
In the end my only regret was that the book ended. And with it following Sturges up to the present another sequel isn’t likely. Perhaps more books involving other good vampires that crossed Sturges path could happen. Only time will tell. And fortunately Henry Sturges has plenty of time on hand.
Seth Grahame-Smith is the New York Times bestselling author of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, and Unholy Night. In addition to adapting the screenplay for Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, he also wrote Tim Burton’s film Dark Shadows. Seth lives in Los Angeles.
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