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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. 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 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.


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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. 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 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.

30 review for The Last American Vampire

  1. 4 out of 5

    Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede

    The Last American Vampire is the sequel to Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, a book that I haven't read (yet). In this book, we follow Henry Sturges through the centuries. He has seen it all he has seen America throughout the centuries becoming the land it is today. He has traveled to his homeland England for the first time since he became a vampire. He has met many quite famous men like; Bram Stocker, James Irving, Arthur Conan Doyle, Mark Twain, Nikola Tesla, Teddy Roosevelt, Rasputin, Eliot Ne The Last American Vampire is the sequel to Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, a book that I haven't read (yet). In this book, we follow Henry Sturges through the centuries. He has seen it all he has seen America throughout the centuries becoming the land it is today. He has traveled to his homeland England for the first time since he became a vampire. He has met many quite famous men like; Bram Stocker, James Irving, Arthur Conan Doyle, Mark Twain, Nikola Tesla, Teddy Roosevelt, Rasputin, Eliot Ness, FDR, Howard Hughes and Jack Kennedy. He even met Jack the Ripper! But deep in the shadow is an enemy lurking, someone called A. Grander III, but no matter what Henry does or where he goes he just doesn't seem to be able to find this A. Grander III. This mysterious enemy seems to want to bring chaos into the world. Yes, there were moments when I thought the book was too long when I read it, it was just so much happening during so many years that I just felt that this could have easily been two books. But in the end, when I was finished and looked back; everything was important, every encounter led in the end to the confrontation between Henry Sturges and A. Grander III. But still it was very much happening and I was left a bit exhausted in the end like one does when a book has had a so strong grip of you that you hardly know what to do when you have finished the book. But what a great read. This review is actually one of the hardest I have had to write because so much happened, but I don't want to give much away and I don't want to write an awful darn long review with me just writing how much I loved this book. I'm sure you all aren't that interested in that... In the end, I just have to say, I really felt drained after reading this book (pun intended)... I received this copy from the publisher through NetGalley in return for an honest review!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca McNutt

    I've never been much of a vampire fan (many vampire-themed books I've read are very gory and formulaic without much to make them unique), but The Last American Vampire, a sequel to another book I've yet to read, has an edge that really makes it stand out - historical fiction set in the 20th century, a seemingly more simplistic time that evokes nostalgia even though I was never there. Henry Sturges is the Forrest Gump of vampires, appearing in numerous significant events and bringing readers alon I've never been much of a vampire fan (many vampire-themed books I've read are very gory and formulaic without much to make them unique), but The Last American Vampire, a sequel to another book I've yet to read, has an edge that really makes it stand out - historical fiction set in the 20th century, a seemingly more simplistic time that evokes nostalgia even though I was never there. Henry Sturges is the Forrest Gump of vampires, appearing in numerous significant events and bringing readers along for the ride with not just horror, but also wit, vivid scenery and believable characters. After a while it began to get a bit repetitive, dragging Henry from place to place in a very predictable pattern, but each of his little escapades is slightly different and takes him to brand new horizons, making this book a thrilling and exciting read. I got it on sale in the giant bargain box of cheap overstock titles at the grocery store here in town so I'll be going back to look for the first in the series after the Canada Day holiday! :)

  3. 4 out of 5

    TL

    First read: January 24-27th 2015 Re-read via audiobook: December 28th 2015-sometime in January 2016 Narrator: Five stars Story: Four Stars ----- Original review: (changes/edits) have asterisk by them Welcome to the story of Henry Sturges :) * * --- This was a really good but sometimes tedious book. Don't get me wrong, I loved seeing into Henry's life, getting insights into his head and seeing all the things he has done past and present. The list of historical figures that came through was impressive and f First read: January 24-27th 2015 Re-read via audiobook: December 28th 2015-sometime in January 2016 Narrator: Five stars Story: Four Stars ----- Original review: (changes/edits) have asterisk by them Welcome to the story of Henry Sturges :) * * --- This was a really good but sometimes tedious book. Don't get me wrong, I loved seeing into Henry's life, getting insights into his head and seeing all the things he has done past and present. The list of historical figures that came through was impressive and for a couple I had a few giggles. A couple of times my mouth even dropped open. The two parts of the story I really hoped the author would do happened and I eagerly devoured them, going over them in my head before continuing on. Plus there was this: My ancestor got a mini-mention haha... that was just awesome :). The villain of the story was well done and not what I expected. She was cruel, calculated, smart, and crazy... a worthy opponent. The uncovering of her identity by a certain someone was amusing, well to me anyway.. .seeing Henry speechless. Plus, a certain other element came into play that had me almost jumping up and down :). *(view spoiler)[I may or may not have squealed a bit when Abe came back on the scene :-D. (hide spoiler)] So what are my issues? Well, I was speeding through this up until after World War 2 era. After that, the book was interesting but started to fail to grab me at the same time. I started to not get book fatigue exactly but wondering why Henry was still doing what he was doing. *Certain things (view spoiler)[Him keeping on working for each president (hide spoiler)] weren't boring but it felt like Henry kept repeating himself in a way. *(view spoiler)[ While I loved seeing Abraham and Henry together as equals, I would have loved more in-depth into at least a few more of their adventures. I know it's Henry's story but still *shrugs* (hide spoiler)] The tie-in with a part of the first book was good and the evening spent talking with Kennedy was quietly unsettling when certain aspects were reflected on... Other than those and a certainly exciting and surprising/one part sad but satisfying ending, I didn't enjoy the latter part as much. It felt like some parts could have been edited or left out perhaps. When the villain makes another appearance, I was intrigued slightly but that was overwhelmed mostly by "Back again? Kill her please!" *It felt too drawn out to me... it probably wasn't done just for the drama (the final fight was exciting in its own way) but that was the only time I was seriously annoyed with the story. (view spoiler)[At least Abe went down fighting but killing him off? *pouts* Just my personal thing (hide spoiler)] Also, while some of the footnotes add to the story, others were merely distracting. Mr. Grahame-Smith does a great job weaving these stories of Henry's existence together with historical events and making them so seem plausible/real.. Making you think "What if" in some cases (fun to play). I would recommend this, it's a great book overall and I would love to here more about Henry one day if there's a new tale to be told :). Happy reading! ---- Check out Carole's awesome review of this book as well :). ❀Aimee❀ Just one more page...'s review Albert's review

  4. 5 out of 5

    Carole (Carole's Random Life in Books)

    1/13/15: Now Available! This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life. 4 Stars! This book first came to my attention because of the cover which I absolutely love. I really enjoyed reading this book. I found some sections of the book were amazingly good while other sections seemed a bit tedious for me. Overall, I liked it and found it to be a worthwhile read. This is the first book by Seth Grahame-Smith that I have had a chance to read and while this is listed as a follow up book to Abraham 1/13/15: Now Available! This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life. 4 Stars! This book first came to my attention because of the cover which I absolutely love. I really enjoyed reading this book. I found some sections of the book were amazingly good while other sections seemed a bit tedious for me. Overall, I liked it and found it to be a worthwhile read. This is the first book by Seth Grahame-Smith that I have had a chance to read and while this is listed as a follow up book to Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, I thought it read just fine as a stand alone novel. I can't remember reading any other book that would be classified as an alternative history before reading this book so I went in not knowing what I should expect. I was not surprised that the book included a long list of important historical figures and events from the past several hundred years. I really enjoyed how so many people from the past found their way into this story. The author choose very well know people and events to include in this story and it was fun to imagine the possibilities. I was a bit surprised by the style used to write this book. This book read very similarly to books that I remember from history class packed with photos, footnotes, and excerpts. I could not believe the number of footnotes that were a part of this novel. Sometimes, I felt like the footnotes didn't add anything to the story but just gave a tedious unrelated detail. I didn't mind that the book was written with footnotes but I do wish that only ones that really added to the story were included. The photos included in the book were really fun and I thought that they really brought a lot to the book. There were a lot of excerpts from Henry's journal so the voice the story was told in shifted often. This book told the story of Henry Struges. Henry Struges was a close friend of Abraham Lincoln and I believe he had a major role in Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. Henry Struges is also a vampire and has been one for quite some time. This book focuses on his life and his encounters with many historical people and events. This book focuses mostly on the period of after the civil war until present day with some focus being given to the very beginning of our nation, actually when the English first started to settle in the New World. One of the main problems that I had with the book was that it read very much like a compilation of short stories. We would learn about one event in Henry's life and then move on to the next with only a very small thread holding everything together. I would have liked to see everything tie together more strongly. It was very nice to read a vampire book that had absolutely no focus on romance. I would recommend this book to others that like a good vampire tale especially fans of Seth Graham-Smith. This is the first book by Seth Graham-Smith that I have read and I do plan to read more by this author. I received a copy of this book from Grand Central Publishing via Net Galley for the purpose of providing an honest review.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Char

    I listened to this on audio. It was a fun historical fiction story punctuated by gory vampire fights and famous characters of the times like Mark Twain, Sir Conan Doyle and Nikola Tesla. Fast paced and fun. Recommended!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Cody

    The Last American Vampire by Seth Grahame-Smith is one of those quasi-historical alternative world geek trips that cannot be taken seriously. Following the story of Henry Sturges, the reader witnesses the world from the mid 1500's to the turn of the 21st century through the vampire lens of Sturges as he participates in many of the more famous events from this time period. Turning the last page of the book there's a feeling of -what was the whole point of the book-? Most of the events Struges witn The Last American Vampire by Seth Grahame-Smith is one of those quasi-historical alternative world geek trips that cannot be taken seriously. Following the story of Henry Sturges, the reader witnesses the world from the mid 1500's to the turn of the 21st century through the vampire lens of Sturges as he participates in many of the more famous events from this time period. Turning the last page of the book there's a feeling of -what was the whole point of the book-? Most of the events Struges witnesses, from the Roanoke mystery to the Whitechapel murders to WWII are treated with such a historical immaturity that they become almost meaningless. The addition of vampire influence to each of them, while sounding kinda cool at first, is presented quite shallowly and becomes too baffling. For example, Sturges turns Abraham Lincoln into a vampire and the two participate in a lot of operations directed by the US government, including one where Lincoln fights with the Russians on the Eastern Front during WWII. Uhhh huh? As puzzling as this is, all these events are very loosely connected by Sturges involvement in them. He meets many famous people from each era, including Tesla or Franklin Roosevelt, but there is such little characterisation it's quite laughable. Each character seems rather corny in the grand story of it all, and even the villain's motives are so mysterious it loses plot quickly. Every timeline presented is all to brief to really flesh out. Maybe if Grahame-Smith spent the whole novel in a particular time period (the Roanoke one for example) and fully fleshed out the story it could've become something a bit better, instead of the scatterbrain type plot presented here. Some readers may enjoy this novel, but with little complexity, arbitrary timeline, a bland main character, it begs the question: why? Rating: 1.5/5

  7. 5 out of 5

    Char

    The Last American Vampire (audio) I listened to this on audio.   It was a fun historical fiction story punctuated by gory vampire fights and famous characters of the times like Mark Twain, Sir Conan Doyle and Nikola Tesla. Fast paced and fun.   Recommended!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Latasha

    omg I freakin loved this book! Henry, please marry me!! the story was great and the characters were out of this world. my favorite part is when he meets Tesla and Twain. omg they were great!!yes, yes. you should read this book!

  9. 5 out of 5

    ❀Aimee❀ Just one more page...

    In this spin-off of the author's "Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter", we get to see the life of Henry Sturges up to the current day. Henry was the vampire that taught Abe to fight the bad vampires. Think of this as a vampire version of Forest Gump. We see Henry before vampirism, and then throughout history as he interacts with the historic figures and events. And of course these events often had evil vampires involved either directly or pulling the strings. You'll hear the story of the mysterious R In this spin-off of the author's "Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter", we get to see the life of Henry Sturges up to the current day. Henry was the vampire that taught Abe to fight the bad vampires. Think of this as a vampire version of Forest Gump. We see Henry before vampirism, and then throughout history as he interacts with the historic figures and events. And of course these events often had evil vampires involved either directly or pulling the strings. You'll hear the story of the mysterious Roanoke Colony, meet Nikola Tesla, Mark Twain, Jack the Ripper and Rasputin. We see Henry throughout the major battles and wars, meet presidents, deal with the KKK, experience prohibition, and what really happened with the Hindenburg. I would periodically set the book down and look up the true history. The author does well keeping within known history and adding his twist to it. I enjoyed learning more details about the actual history. I did feel that the author inserted the vampire villian as an afterthought. Like he needed something to tie the story together. Somehow it seemed like a side issue for me. There is epic gore. I can usually put up with the gore when it's told in over the top humorous fashion... think Simon Pegg and "Hot Fuzz" And there were several moments like that in the book. However, there were some that turned my stomach. A few times in the book, Henry draws out the pain and fear in his victims tortuously because they are truly evil...and that's just not my cuppa tea. Some may feel it is slow at times, but the pace was fine to me. I really enjoyed most of this book. Thank you Netgalley for a free digital copy in exchange for an honest review.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Crowinator

    To be fair, Seth Grahame-Smith can write. I wish he'd use his talents on something else, something less gimmicky, but those who enjoyed Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter (the book, not the movie) will probably enjoy this too. It's memorably gross, in a novel way (at one point, vampire Henry smokes a cigar and exhales through the ripped out throat of a victim so that it comes out of the victim's nostrils; at another, he reminisces about popping off vertebra of a victim like champagne corks; some Kl To be fair, Seth Grahame-Smith can write. I wish he'd use his talents on something else, something less gimmicky, but those who enjoyed Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter (the book, not the movie) will probably enjoy this too. It's memorably gross, in a novel way (at one point, vampire Henry smokes a cigar and exhales through the ripped out throat of a victim so that it comes out of the victim's nostrils; at another, he reminisces about popping off vertebra of a victim like champagne corks; some Klansman are flayed and nailed to crosses; Nikola Tesla uses a death ray on Rasputin -- which still doesn't kill him). The mash-up of true history and vampire "history" can be fun, but it can also be textbook-level dry, too. I think the idea sounds more fun than the execution. That's weird, right? Maybe it's because I dislike historical fiction and, as a result, many alternate histories, and vampire violence wasn't enough for me, since it's presented so seriously. Would this be better if it was wholly B-movie silly? I have no idea, but it would benefit from not being 400 pages, for sure. The conceit wears thin, after a while, despite the surprisingly nice writing.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Gram

    Read this book and solve the mystery of the disappearance of the Roanoke settlers; discover the identity of Jack The Ripper; how Rasputin really died; Howard Hughes deadly secret; the truth behind the assassination of JFK - and much more! Then, throw in more gore than Leatherface could let out with a zillion chainsaws! Terrific fun!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Devann

    I did have a few bones to pick with this book - mainly centered around how it largely fails to deal with either race or gender on what is basically a trip through Dead White Dudes of the Past Several Hundred Years - but for once I was actually able to 'get past' that for the most part and rate it five stars because it was just so ridiculously fun. You definitely have to take all the events here with more than a few grains of salt - as is true with most 'historical' fiction but Henry is an unexpe I did have a few bones to pick with this book - mainly centered around how it largely fails to deal with either race or gender on what is basically a trip through Dead White Dudes of the Past Several Hundred Years - but for once I was actually able to 'get past' that for the most part and rate it five stars because it was just so ridiculously fun. You definitely have to take all the events here with more than a few grains of salt - as is true with most 'historical' fiction but Henry is an unexpectedly hilarious protagonist and his POV is just a lot of fun to read. There are some spoilers under the cut although I do stay away from anything relating to the big central plot reveal but I just needed to list a few things that happen in this book to make you understand how completely bonkers it is. (view spoiler)[ I absolutely lost it fairly early in the book when - after feeding on some asshole beating his horse - Henry decided to tell us that vampires get erections after feeding because of all the blood and they call it 'ballooning'. To which I immediately said 'well you probably shouldn't'. After that he heads off to England to hunt fucking Jack the Ripper with Bram Stoker and Arthur Conan Doyle. He hangs out with Tesla and Mark Twain. He rips Rasputin's fucking dick off while Tesla is standing nearby smoking because he 'already did his part earlier'. HE BLOWS UP THE HINDENBERG. And several other things besides. (hide spoiler)] Seriously. It's just ridiculous event after ridiculous event and I know it sounds like it would eventually keel over into being entirely too much and just awful but somehow it never does. Truly amazing. I would read another one with no hesitation.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Albert

    The Last American Vampire by Seth Grahame-Smith is one of those rare sequels that outdoes the original in both scope and vision. The first book is of course Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter which is not as ridiculous as it sounds and far better than the movie that was made from it. This second novel begins soon after the first has ended, with the assassination of President Lincoln. His friend, and vampire, Henry Sturges filled with grief and not seeing how this young nation could continue forward The Last American Vampire by Seth Grahame-Smith is one of those rare sequels that outdoes the original in both scope and vision. The first book is of course Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter which is not as ridiculous as it sounds and far better than the movie that was made from it. This second novel begins soon after the first has ended, with the assassination of President Lincoln. His friend, and vampire, Henry Sturges filled with grief and not seeing how this young nation could continue forward without their great leader does the unthinkable. He turns Lincoln into a vampire as well. But Lincoln, unable to accept this new existence throws himself out the window into the sunlight and burns. Sturges, alone must go forward and is called back to the land of his birth by the Union of Vampires to deal with a conspiracy that threatens both vampires and humans alike. Along the way he recalls his own turning at the hands of a vampire that had settled with the first English settlement in the Americas at the place known as Roanoke. He also becomes involved with Bram Stoker and Arthur Conan Doyle as they hunt the killer known as Jack the Ripper. As time passes Henry becomes involved in conspiracies with Tesla, Edison, Rasputin, Mark Twain, President Teddy and Franklin Roosevelt, the crash of the Hindenburg and a failed attempt to murder Adolf Hitler. Sturges with the help of an old friend becomes something of a secret agent in service to the United States and his life is one long history lesson with humans and vampires alike battling for the soul of this young nation. What might have seemed to hamper this novel, the aspect of over a hundred years of history told through the eyes of a vampire, is in fact what makes it so entertaining and bold. Historic figures and happenings told through the eyes of one who would have lived it. With some being vampires and some human, but detailed in such a manner that the reader is left with a thought of, what if? Don't be misled though. These are not PG vampires, not your teen fantasy run of the mill blood suckers. These are monsters bent on the destruction of humanity with a deep seated vendetta to destroy the country that come from the original colonies. Grahame-Smith takes his character and story through the history and events of the last hundred or so years with depth and flow. The story never stagnates and Henry is forever trying to save the country he loves. A terrific novel!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    I am a fan of Seth Grahame-Smith. I enjoyed Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter so much that I went on to read his first book, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. My favorite of his books is Unholy Night, his story of the three wise men. What I enjoy most is that on one level he stays very true to history, or text, and then weaves in a purely fictional story with vampires or zombies. The readers of his books willingly suspend disbelief making these books a fun read. These books make me feel like I am pa I am a fan of Seth Grahame-Smith. I enjoyed Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter so much that I went on to read his first book, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. My favorite of his books is Unholy Night, his story of the three wise men. What I enjoy most is that on one level he stays very true to history, or text, and then weaves in a purely fictional story with vampires or zombies. The readers of his books willingly suspend disbelief making these books a fun read. These books make me feel like I am part of a fanciful inside joke. I was happy to get one of the first copies my library received of his latest book, The Last American Vampire. The book begins with the death of Abraham Lincoln and moves forward through time with the vampire Henry Sturges. For the most part I enjoyed the book. It was fun and an interesting fictional twist on history. What I did not like was that the book covered far too much too quickly. Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter focused on the lifetime of the former president and the Civil War, this book attempts to go from 1865 to 2001. While it was fun to meet some real-life characters of history, so much was lost in the speedy travel. I think the author would have been better served focusing on the two World Wars. I kept wondering if this was the book Grahame-Smith wanted to write or if this was the book his publisher wanted him to write. The door was left open for another book, but I hope the author thinks carefully before starting a third of this series. I left another author and her great vampire tales because she could not let the story end. If you are a fan, read The Last American Vampire. If you have not read any of Grahame-Smith’s books, read one, or all of, the first three. I look forward to his next book and hope that he moves onto new characters and history or literary classic.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Erin

    Find this and other reviews at: http://flashlightcommentary.blogspot.... Every reader I know has a guilty pleasure and I am no exception. Some like steamy romances, others favor straight-up erotica, but I myself gravitate to steampunk and paranormal fiction which is how I discovered Seth Grahame-Smith back in 2010. I'd just reread Pride and Prejudice and feeling game for a laugh, I decided to follow it up with Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Honestly I found the book amusing, but I wasn't overly Find this and other reviews at: http://flashlightcommentary.blogspot.... Every reader I know has a guilty pleasure and I am no exception. Some like steamy romances, others favor straight-up erotica, but I myself gravitate to steampunk and paranormal fiction which is how I discovered Seth Grahame-Smith back in 2010. I'd just reread Pride and Prejudice and feeling game for a laugh, I decided to follow it up with Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Honestly I found the book amusing, but I wasn't overly impressed with the title, so I very nearly passed when a local bookseller recommended Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. Please excuse the pun, but I like books I can sink my teeth into and while my first experience with Grahame-Smith had been entertaining, I'd found Pride and Prejudice and Zombies fluffy and I didn't consider a second go round particularly promising. Fortunately for all, I ignored my initial impulse and threw the recommendation on top of my other purchases. For the record, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is a much better book than it is a movie. It is playful and dark, but it is also remarkably clever. Grahame-Smith wove several elements of Lincoln's life into the fabric of his fiction and placed some very imaginative twists on Civil War battles like Bull Run and Antietam. The author's inclusion of headliners such as Edgar Allan Poe, William H. Seward, Stephen A. Douglas, George B. McClellan, and John Wilkes Booth further emphasized his appreciation for the history on which the story was based and brought a unique dynamic to a genre typically void of authentic detail. In short, I loved it. Naturally, this appreciation prompted significant enthusiasm for The Last American Vampire (Bout time I got round to the book in question eh?). A sequel for lack of a better term, Grahame-Smith's latest release reunites readers with Henry Sturges and chronicles the vampiric history of America from Roanoke to the assassination of JFK while tying Abe's enigmatic mentor to the Whitechapel Murders and the October Revolution. Notable cameos represent a who's who of history with appearances by Abraham Lincoln, Adam Fitzroy Plantagenet, Frederick Abberline, Sir Henry Irving, Bram Stoker, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, John White, Virginia Dare, Nikola Tesla, Mark Twain, Theodore Roosevelt, Felix Yusupov, Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich, Grigori Rasputin, Alexei Nikolaevich, John D. Rockefeller, Chief Powhatan, John Smith, Niels Bohr, J. Edgar Hoover, Eliot Ness, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Adolf Hitler, Howard Hughes, Lee Harvey Oswald, John F. Kennedy and Jack Ruby. So what are my thoughts? Did The Last American Vampire live up to its predecessor or did it fall short like Grahame-Smith's adaptation of Austen's classic? Honestly, I think it somewhere in between. The historic scope of the novel appealed to my interests and I get a kick out of Grahame-Smith's sense of humor, but feel the execution lacked necessary cohesion and question the significance of much of the material in relation to Henry's pursuit of Grander. It's a fun piece, but much like Norrington's The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, the final product fails to meet its full potential.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Christine

    In 1587 the Colony of Roanoake was established and just as quickly disappeared, seemingly without a trace. To this day no explanations of what happened to those 115 colonists has been uncovered. In the fall of 1888 “Jack the Ripper” terrorized the WhiteChapel district of London with his string of murders. Just as suddenly the murders stopped and no one knows who Saucy Jack might have been or why the murders so suddenly ended. In 1897 Bram Stoker introduced the world to Count Dracula, a vampire. In 1587 the Colony of Roanoake was established and just as quickly disappeared, seemingly without a trace. To this day no explanations of what happened to those 115 colonists has been uncovered. In the fall of 1888 “Jack the Ripper” terrorized the WhiteChapel district of London with his string of murders. Just as suddenly the murders stopped and no one knows who Saucy Jack might have been or why the murders so suddenly ended. In 1897 Bram Stoker introduced the world to Count Dracula, a vampire. Many have speculated on the inspiration behind his, now classic, story but no one really knows for sure. Well, let me tell you, since reading Mr. Grahame-Smith’s book I now have all the answers to these mysteries and more. After helping Abraham Lincoln in “Vampire Hunter” Henry Sturges returns offering readers his own story, including his own “making”. Since his making he has been a vampire with a conscience, righting wrongs when he can, feeding only on the dregs of society and believing that humans and vampires can co-exist. Henry is definitely pro-human. But now Henry has a nemesis. Another vampire who believes their species should rule and humans need to be brought to their knees. In his quest to find this vampire he takes the reader traipsing through the pages of history … Henry’s version. Henry has had centuries to accumulate the wealth required to sustain his mysterious and (of course) never-ending lifestyle. Having been “outed” to American presidents Henry also moves in circles of power. As we follow along on his journey we meet many of the who’s who in Europe, Russia and North America including Rasputin, Tesla, Arthur Conan-Doyle and FDR as well having an up close and personal (Henry style) view of most major historical events from Roanoke, through both World Wars and right up to the assassination of JFK. All of that seems as though it would be a lot to cover in one book, but it all works in this one. I do not read much in the genre of alternative history because the few I did read have seemed forced in their attempt to make history fit the story. Not so in the case of Mr. Grahame-Smith’s entry. The introduction of his vampires into historical events is seamless. It is so smoothly done that, although I KNOW it’s a work of fiction, I find myself once again as I did in Vampire Hunter, tapping my forefinger onto my chin and thinking, “Hmmm – it’s possible!” The inclusion of footnotes and surprisingly convincing photos only adds to that perception. The book closes with Henry’s retirement. I hope not!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Tressa

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I wasn't sure I would enjoy The Last American Vampire as much as Seth Grahame-Smith's Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, but I did. This is a fun, gory book that perfectly weaves famous American historical figures and events into vampire lore. It's fun anticipating and trying to guess which character or event the lead character Henry, a 500-year-old vampire, casually plunks down into the plot, and to determine, why, yes, Rasputin was almost impossible to kill and now we know why: he was a vampire! I wasn't sure I would enjoy The Last American Vampire as much as Seth Grahame-Smith's Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, but I did. This is a fun, gory book that perfectly weaves famous American historical figures and events into vampire lore. It's fun anticipating and trying to guess which character or event the lead character Henry, a 500-year-old vampire, casually plunks down into the plot, and to determine, why, yes, Rasputin was almost impossible to kill and now we know why: he was a vampire! We get to meet Mark Twain, Howard Hughes, Virginia Dare, Rasputin, Tesla, a handful of presidents, and many others and learn how they conspired with the dwindling population of vampires to keep America on the right track...or to ruin her. I really appreciate the pro-American theme Grahame-Smith infuses into his plot.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Hillary Pincus

    I didn't watch "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter" but I saw the movie (yes, yes I know. Shame, shame.) The main character in The Last American Vampire is Lincoln's vampire partner in crime, Henry Burgess. The story follows Henry just after Lincoln's assassination, through White Chapel, to Russia and hunting down Rasputin, tasked with eliminating Adolf Hitler, the crash of the Hindenberg, WWI, WWII, and the assassination of John F. Kennedy (in no particular order). During these adventures there are I didn't watch "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter" but I saw the movie (yes, yes I know. Shame, shame.) The main character in The Last American Vampire is Lincoln's vampire partner in crime, Henry Burgess. The story follows Henry just after Lincoln's assassination, through White Chapel, to Russia and hunting down Rasputin, tasked with eliminating Adolf Hitler, the crash of the Hindenberg, WWI, WWII, and the assassination of John F. Kennedy (in no particular order). During these adventures there are many cameos by famous historical figures. It took me a bit longer to finish this than it should have, but the story was amusing and held my interest and I would recommend this read to anyone who loves vampires and history, and vampires in history :)

  19. 4 out of 5

    Badseedgirl

    This was even better than the first book in the series. Henry Sturges is fleshed out much more in this book. In making him the main character, Mr. Grahame-Smith open up over 400 years of history to flounce around in. And My does Henry flounce. Apparently vampires, and Henry Sturges in particular, had a finger in almost all major events in history. I didn't think I would, but I'm actually looking forward to the next book I the series.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Abby

    3.5/5 Forrest Gump with vampires! Our main character Henry goes through years of American history meeting many important figures. Years of killing people under the rule of various presidents, including Rasputin and Hitler. One thing that really frustrated me about this book was that it kept flipping between first and third person viewpoints, both representing the same person. Maybe it was written different, but it was extremely annoying on audiobook.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Elisha Condie

    It kind of pains me to give one of Seth Grahame-Smith's books one star. Because I really liked his other books. And I've thought about it for a few days and I think what was missing from this book was it's human center - in the other books we had Abraham Lincoln, the Bennett sisters, or the Holy Family. This book is all about Henry Sturges, that guy who taught ol' Abe about vampire hunting. This book follows his whole history and it can be summed up as: Bad guy you think is dead ISN'T! And muc It kind of pains me to give one of Seth Grahame-Smith's books one star. Because I really liked his other books. And I've thought about it for a few days and I think what was missing from this book was it's human center - in the other books we had Abraham Lincoln, the Bennett sisters, or the Holy Family. This book is all about Henry Sturges, that guy who taught ol' Abe about vampire hunting. This book follows his whole history and it can be summed up as: Bad guy you think is dead ISN'T! And much killing ensues. It got to be anti-climactic almost after every single bad guy kept resurfacing. And then murders someone in a gruesome way. This book was WAAAAY too gross for me. I was just skipping whole pages. And just over and over and over. Its weird to get bored by excessive gore, but that's just what happened. I didn't like this one but would still recommend his other books.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Marc-Antoine

    I haven't had this much fun reading a book since, well, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. Which is fitting since this is the sequel.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Cupcakes & Machetes

    History buffs and historical fiction nerds will adore. “But that’s the wonderful thing about being a vampire. Our hope of Heaven is revoked the moment we’re made. Every subsequent sin is a teardrop in the ocean.” This is the follow up novel to Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. While I had a lot of fun with that novel, this one was even more of a historical thrill ride. Here, we follow Henry Sturges after the death of his friend Lincoln as he trots through important points in history. Beginning with History buffs and historical fiction nerds will adore. “But that’s the wonderful thing about being a vampire. Our hope of Heaven is revoked the moment we’re made. Every subsequent sin is a teardrop in the ocean.” This is the follow up novel to Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. While I had a lot of fun with that novel, this one was even more of a historical thrill ride. Here, we follow Henry Sturges after the death of his friend Lincoln as he trots through important points in history. Beginning with his landing in the New World before he was made, up until the early 2000s. From the true story behind the disappearance of the people of Roanoke, to encounters with Jack the Ripper while hanging out with Brom Stoker and Arthur Conan Doyle, to hunting Rasputin and trying to take down Hitler. These are but bullet points in the life and adventures of Henry Sturges. True patriotic American hero. The oldest vampire in America. Will he ever stop fighting for his country? America should hope not. While Henry Sturges is a fun character, it was Grahame-Smith’s ability to bring historical characters back to life with care and charisma that really made this book.

  24. 5 out of 5

    ☕ Kimberly

    Five reasons to grab your earbuds and listen to The Last American Vampire I love history and Grahame-Smith weaves vampires into some of the biggest events in history from the folks who disappeared at Roanoke to JFK’s assassination. He takes us to London, with Jack the Ripper and introduces us to Tesla, Edison and Mark Twain. It was riveting from his re-telling of the Hindenburg crash to visiting Teddy Roosevelt in the White House. The tale is relayed through Henry Sturges the Vampire who hunte Five reasons to grab your earbuds and listen to The Last American Vampire I love history and Grahame-Smith weaves vampires into some of the biggest events in history from the folks who disappeared at Roanoke to JFK’s assassination. He takes us to London, with Jack the Ripper and introduces us to Tesla, Edison and Mark Twain. It was riveting from his re-telling of the Hindenburg crash to visiting Teddy Roosevelt in the White House. The tale is relayed through Henry Sturges the Vampire who hunted with Abe Lincoln. We get a full account of his life as a vampire and his patronage to America. Henry is a likable character and quite noble for a vampire. His friendships, interactions and the path he blazed had me spellbound. While Grahame-Smith twists our history to include vampire involvement he did so in such a way that it felt realistic, even dare I say plausible. I love when the lines of reality and fiction blur and he does so seamlessly. Think of this as a memoir of Sturges life with twists, turns, loss and love. At 400 pages/15 hours of audio both my husband and I were never bored. It was broken up into events and stories with an overall threat that kept us both engaged. MacLeod Andrews narrates and he has quickly become one of my favorite narrators. From voices to his tone, he adds another level of enjoyment to listening that heightens my reading experience. We came across many characters and I was amazed at his ability to give them each voice and accentuate their personalities through pitch. Grahame-Smith’s imagination, writing style and ability to tell a tall tale made the Last American Vampire a story I will long remember. I became attached to the characters and caught up in the overall plot. Copy provided by publisher. This review was originally posted at Caffeinated Book Reviewer

  25. 5 out of 5

    NaTaya Hastings

    I loved this book. Honestly, I'm not certain that I didn't like it even more than "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter." One of my favorite things about both of these books is that Smith writes them like history books (complete with footnotes and actual photographs of things like Teddy Roosevelt posing with an elephant he'd just killed and Jack Ruby with his gun jammed into Lee Harvey Oswald's stomach). The facts he uses in his book are so... FACTUAL! I mean, seriously, the only thing keeping a pers I loved this book. Honestly, I'm not certain that I didn't like it even more than "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter." One of my favorite things about both of these books is that Smith writes them like history books (complete with footnotes and actual photographs of things like Teddy Roosevelt posing with an elephant he'd just killed and Jack Ruby with his gun jammed into Lee Harvey Oswald's stomach). The facts he uses in his book are so... FACTUAL! I mean, seriously, the only thing keeping a person from reading these books as absolute truth is the fact that s/he doesn't believe vampires actually exist. But if a person DID believe in vampires? Oh yes, everything in these books is absolutely plausible. I can honestly see some confused people who are on the fence about whether or not vampires are real reading this book, finishing it, slamming it down, and saying, "I KNEW IT! I -KNEW- THEY WERE REAL!" Ha. Seriously though, the realism in these books is what makes them so much fun and so wonderful. The thing I like about this book so much -- the thing that very possibly makes me enjoy this one more than the original -- is all that cameos in the book -- Mark Twain, Howard Hughes, Arthur Conan Doyle, Bram Stoker, Henry Irving, Eliot Ness.... I mean, HELLO?! What a stellar, badass cast of cameo characters. Although, honestly, "cameo" is not the most appropriate word because some of these characters played pretty major roles in the novel. It was fantastic. Viewing Howard Hughes' eccentricities and insanities through vampire-colored glasses is simply... perfect. It doesn't seemed forced at all. Wait, after a plane crash, Howard Hughes was turned into a vampire? ... Yeah, I can see that. That makes perfect sense. And it DOES! It is such an easy transition from mentally ill billionaire to crazy vampire. Not such a stretch. And Rasputin? OH yeah. That guy was TOTALLY a vampire. :-p Anyway. Now I'm kind of rambling. But seriously, this book was fantastic, so much fun. There wasn't a single part of this book that I didn't love.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Erin

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Re read for a second time and it's just has good has the first one. Omg!!!! Another great book by Seth Grahame-Smith!!! I absolutely fell in love with this book!! I couldn't put it down. I fell in love with Henry Sturggs all over again. Of course in this book it tells of Henry's side and how he became a vampire. This books was exquisite and just mind blowing. I hope they make a movie of this.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Mike

    Very enjoyable read. I had no idea it was new, I'm usually very behind. I was impressed with the authors ability to stay true to historical timelines while weaving supernatural events in between. This could have been titled with "The Adventures of..." as it did read much like a video game plays. Different levels and tackling more and more difficult bosses. Lots of fun and highly recommended.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer (the_pumpkin_reads)

    Despite this being an obviously less than serious book I really found it interesting, and it kept my attention! I enjoyed Henry Sturges and the kind of Vampire he was and really enjoyed all the interesting bits of history they weaved into his tale. If there were more in this line I would read them, and have already planned on reading more by this author. A fast paced book that deserves its four star rating.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Alexis

    This book was... I don't even know. There is so much going on it makes it somewhat hard for me to try and think of a cohesive review here. If I had to sum this book up in a sentence it would be, what the bleep did I just read!? This sentence being said in my mind over and over again with increasing emphasis as I went through the book. I managed to read most of it, though I admit to skimming the last 80 or so pages. However, the only thing that kept me reading was the thought that he honestly coul This book was... I don't even know. There is so much going on it makes it somewhat hard for me to try and think of a cohesive review here. If I had to sum this book up in a sentence it would be, what the bleep did I just read!? This sentence being said in my mind over and over again with increasing emphasis as I went through the book. I managed to read most of it, though I admit to skimming the last 80 or so pages. However, the only thing that kept me reading was the thought that he honestly couldn't make the story any more ridiculous and yet... somehow he always did. Never has the saying, "It was like watching a train wreck" been so adequate. I alternated between rolling my eyes, grimacing, and being irritated but I could not stop reading. I will try to put into words my feelings about this book. Henry is a vampire. He is the same vampire who trained Abe Lincoln to kill vampires in the previous story. In the beginning of this story he turns his old friend but it doesn't end as expected. After this follows a series of stories that are the life of Henry. Henry is one of only two survivors of one of the mysteries in history, the Roanoke settlement. This, it turns out, is one of the less notable stories about him. Throughout his long life he killed Jack the Ripper, killed Rasputin, and killed Hitler. He was the original one man CIA before the CIA was a thing. He was best buddies with Bram Stoker, Arthur Conan Doyle, Mark Twain, Nikola Tesla, and, of course, Abe Lincoln, just to name a few. He was in a partnership of sorts with the first Rockefeller to amass the families fortune. Oh and he also was one of the founders of life insurance. He did not, however, cure cancer... lazy vampire. One of the most cringe worthy things in this book for me was his great love with Victoria Dare. Victoria was the other survivor of Roanoke. She was three. He raised her along with the Powhatan tribe. She considered him her father and he looked at her as a daughter. Then she turned 16 and, one would assume, grew boobs and hips. At this point she was "unusually skinny" which was apparently a beauty standard in Europe at the time (might wanna tell that to history because I don't think it got that memo) and again had boobs. Her 16 year old self was irresistible so, though he knew it was wrong, when she came in his tent one night he couldn't resist. They banged. They banged for a week non-stop and then they got married. Though she continues to think of him as a father but now he is also her lover. Two in one. Isn't that romantic? *excuses self to go vomit again at the memory of it* Also on the note of Virginia Dare, you know that whole bit in history with Pocahontas and how she stepped in to try and keep peace by saving John Smith? Yeah you were wrong. That wasn't Pocahontas. That was really the white ginger chick Virginia who saved the day. You didn't honestly think a non-white person could do something like that did you? Silly person. Excuse me while I do quick spoiler rants on various characters: Jack the Ripper: (view spoiler)[Absolutely pointless add in. I mean he was killed in what maybe amounted to a paragraph and a half. Some of his murder scenes were so over the top gorey that they lost any impact at all. This coming from someone who watched every Saw movie. (hide spoiler)] Rasputin: (view spoiler)[He has his blood boiled till his neck and other bits explode. He is shot in the chest and head. Clawed. Eyes gauged as Henry sticks his claws through Rasputin's brain. Still he survives until Henry notices his huge dick when they are struggling and rips it off at which point Rasputin finally looses will. So apparently ancient powerful vampire mystics can be beaten by ripping off their giant dicks. Now I get historically Rasputin was mutilated like this but the whole thing was written as so over the top I just couldn't. (hide spoiler)] Grander: (view spoiler)[Oh Virginia. Your motive was so weak and idiotic as to be nonexistent. It made zero sense. Unless of course we look at it without the motive and see a girl who just became totally unhinged after being fucked (literally) by the only father she ever knew and then watching every person she knew besides him be slaughtered. No surprise her mind cracked. (hide spoiler)] Now moving on to the writing as a whole. The entire book felt overstuffed. There were multiple parts that could have been cut out and not missed at all. The idea of footnotes was a cool one but, like much of the other stuff in this book, overdone to the point where I just stopped paying attention to them since so many had no relevance to the story. In the end it was like the author wanted to write a book with all his favorite stories and people from history not caring if they would actually make a cohesive story. Perhaps it would have been better if he had split them into multiple books thus giving adequate attention to the various people and moments in history instead of trying to shove them into various tiny spaces. The gore was over done. I like gore. I really do but I enjoy it well done. The author put so much in that the book was overflowing with it. There was so much description on one of Jack the Rippers murders that I found myself not caring about it halfway through because it just got to be so much. I was completely desensitized to it and it lost any impact because it was happening so frequently in such huge amounts pretty much all in over the top ways. There was some history that was accurate and well done. There was some history that wasn't. It is fiction so the fudged history, most of it at least, didn't bother me. What did bother me greatly was the author breaking his own world rules which happened on more then one occasion. The most notable of these rules that was broken was the rule about what happens to vampires when they change. If you establish with the first change that all the man's wrinkles went away and he basically got turned into his young 20 some odd year old self again keep with that. You can't then have a vampire who remains looking ancient, pockmarked, and balding. If you set a rule keep the rule. Finally the occasional insert of a character's thoughts in the middle of action was obnoxious. It totally pulled me out of the moment and would have been so much better if it wasn't there. One of the most annoying to me was when Abe is turned he thinks, "One cell, two cell, red cell, blue cell." Correct me if I'm wrong but I'm pretty sure there was no Dr. Seuss books in circulation back then. In conclusion, this entire book was trying to hard. There were too many characters and historical events stuffed into too short a book. There was too much gore so that it became overdone and like a desperate cry for "look I can write disturbing stuff!" There was a ton that should have been cut out. And finally Henry was just too much. The author was so busy focusing on all the historical accomplishments he wanted Henry to be responsible for that Henry didn't feel like a fleshed out character at all to me. This book did keep me reading but not because it was good. It kept me reading because it was so bad as to be mind boggling. So I give it two stars instead of one because it did keep me hooked even if it was the same way those nasty Harry Potter flavors of jelly beans had you trying them even though you knew they'd be disgusting because you just had to find out how horrible could a jelly bean truly be.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    ~~Spoilers for the first novel~~ This was not as good as its predecessor, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, but then, most sequels aren't. This was still pretty good; it was definitely interesting, and I found myself staying up late to read it, neglecting homework to read it, driving to work a little faster than usual just so I could get there a couple of minutes early and read it in the parking lot . . . you get the idea. It's very compelling. This story picks up pretty much at the end of the last ~~Spoilers for the first novel~~ This was not as good as its predecessor, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, but then, most sequels aren't. This was still pretty good; it was definitely interesting, and I found myself staying up late to read it, neglecting homework to read it, driving to work a little faster than usual just so I could get there a couple of minutes early and read it in the parking lot . . . you get the idea. It's very compelling. This story picks up pretty much at the end of the last novel, with Lincoln recently assassinated. Like the first novel, it's told in third person, with first person block quotes throughout. Like the first novel, it's alternate history. And, like the first novel, it's all about one particular character who gets worn down by constantly struggling with a series of unfortunate, even tragic, circumstances. So what's different? Well, pretty much everything else. For one thing, the main character is Henry, not Abraham. For another, the tone is very different. Whereas all the block quotes from the first novel are from Lincoln's diaries, narrating things as they happen, these block quotes here are from recordings of Grahame-Smith's (yes, he worked himself into the story again) interview with Henry. Because of this, these quotes are all told from the slightly more cynical perspective of someone who is recalling things from 150 years earlier. Instead of seeing a character's ups and downs through his own eyes as they happen, you get a relatively static picture of Henry from a long time afterward. Additionally, the 19th-century diary entries from the first novel felt like they took place in the nineteenth century. It was a little bit jarring, in this book, to hear a character narrate in the first person events from the 17th century, describing them with 21st-century analogies. Another big difference is the gore. Wow, is this ever gory. Sooo many people (and children!) get shot in the head, and then come the detailed descriptions of which part of the head exploded first, and how the brains came out, and what they tasted like. There's violence TO the good guys, violence FROM the good guys, and violence that you find out only afterward didn't even happen, since it was just a daydreamt fantasy. This book even goes back to a death from the first novel that was treated vaguely (but very well-written), and re-tells it with this whole extra set of gory details that I did NOT need to know. And while the plot of the first book was pretty much a single issue, the Civil War and everything leading up to it, this book deals with pretty much every historical issue you can think of from Jack the Ripper to 9/11. It felt like a whole lot of name dropping, especially since so many of these events (in the story too, as well as real life) were unconnected. Henry goes to such-and-such famous place, meets so-and-so famous person (who really was either working for vampires, was working against vampires, or was a vampire). It's too disjointed. It also tends a little bit toward plot summary: I didn't feel I was reading a story as much as reading the Cliffs notes for one. There IS a main villain to sort of tie things together, but the motive, which isn't explained until late in the story, is pretty weak. I thought Henry was a very interesting character in the first book, but he doesn't seem terribly interesting here. He doesn't even feel like the same character, and neither does Abe. Maybe it's because so much of the first book was about his friendship with Abe, and here he's pretty much a solo character for the first 2/3s of the story. Even when he and Abe are together, they don't really seem to connect. They had the mentor/student relationship in the first story, and here they're more equals. At least, that how one of the characters talks about their relationship, but it's never really shown in much detail. In the first novel, they parted on very bad terms, and in that novel's epilogue, we see vampire Abe and Henry working together for a common goal. So when this novel came out, it seemed like we'd get something of what happened in between those two moments, of their reconciliation and coming to terms with everything. Turns out that there wasn't much. Every now and then in the early parts of the novel, Henry feels guilty that he and Abe parted on bad terms. When they finally reunite, it turns out that Abe is angry for a few weeks and then gets over it, and most of that happens outside the story. All that build up, and we don't get to see it. It's also harder to invest in the characters because so much of this story is action, without a lot of heart. There is a brief moment, early on, when Henry hears about the death of Abe's grandson. Remember how Abe's kids dying was such a big deal in the first novel? It's glossed over here. We don't see Abe's reaction to the news, and for all we know, he's completely unaware of it. And you remember all those strong supporting characters from the first novel? Joshua Speed and Mary Todd and everyone else who added so much? There aren't really any supporting characters in this story because of the episodic nature of it all. That's really too bad. The pacing is really weird, too. For example, he starts something really interesting with a surprise revelation about Adolf Hitler, but then just a few pages later, he abandons that whole idea, drops the thread entirely, and glosses through WWII. Meanwhile, the Cold War drags on, and on, and on, and so does Henry's backstory. In the first novel, Abe loses pretty much everyone and everything he cares about, and it's poignant and tragic. Here, Henry loses pretty much everyone and everything, but it's just not as deep, somehow. Maybe because there isn't as much of a connection to Henry to begin with? So after all this, why am I giving a 4-star rating? Because the things it got right, it got very right. There are a few chapters with Arthur Conan Doyle, and a few with Mark Twain, and a few John F. Kennedy --chapters that hit the right mix of quirky and charming. There was definitely a sense of building up to something (though the quality of the pay-off is debatable). And Henry's melancholy and tiredness, especially near the end of the story, is very well portrayed. Most of all, I want to rate this book on its own terms, and it's a pretty good book. It's all very fine and dandy for me to sit here and list the things that are done better in the first book, but the truth is that if this were a standalone, or even a companion novel with different main characters, and not a direct sequel, I'd like it a whole lot better because I wouldn't be comparing it to anything. On its own, I'd say it's a very interesting/enjoyable/exciting/funny book to read, and recommend it to everyone. Go figure.

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