by Seth Grahame-Smith
When Abraham Lincoln was nine years old, his mother died from an ailment called the "milk sickness." Only later did he learn that his mother's deadly affliction was actually the work of a local vampire, seeking to collect on Abe's father's unfortunate debts.
When the truth became known to the young Abraham Lincoln, he wrote in his journal: henceforth my life shall be one of rigorous study and devotion. I shall become learned in all things—a master of mind and body. And this mastery shall have but one purpose."
While Abraham Lincoln is widely lauded for reuniting the North with the South and abolishing slavery from our country, no one has ever understood his valiant fight for what it really was. That is, until Seth Grahame-Smith stumbled upon The Journal of Abraham Lincoln, and became the first living person to lay eyes on it in more than 140 years.
Using the journal as his guide and writing in the grand biographical style of Doris Kearns Goodwin and David McCullough, Seth has reconstructed the true life story of our greatest president for the first time—all while revealing the hidden history behind the Civil War, and uncovering the massive role vampires played in the birth, growth, and near-death of our nation.
--description from Good Reads
I am impressed.
I do not say this lightly. Honestly, I had absolutely no idea what to expect from this novel. There was a great deal of hype, which does not necessarily translate to a book being a quality read, but in this case it is praise most deserved. For one, it is phenomenally well written and painstakingly crafted. I had assumed initially that it would be more of a parody, a freakish carnival of crack. I was SO WRONG. It is a biography boasting years of research and passion. It is a memoir full of the raw anguish felt by a, surprisingly, enigmatic figure in History during his often difficult life. It is a work of literature full of the hopes, doubts and fears that are universally felt by all people, yesterday and today. It is a classic tale of the macabre that has sadly fallen out of style in the last few years.
It is addictive.
And, if that doesn't convince you. Henry Sturgess, vampire, is one of the sexiest undead I've come across since Lestat. Yeah, really. Also, it's not often you can say to yourself, "Damn, that Abe Lincoln is a BAMF."
You WILL though.
I give it 4 and 1/2 Bloody Axes Out of Five.
by Jonathan L. Howard
A charmingly gothic, fiendishly funny Faustian tale about a brilliant scientist who makes a deal with the Devil, twice.
Johannes Cabal sold his soul years ago in order to learn the laws of necromancy. Now he wants it back. Amused and slightly bored, Satan proposes a little wager: Johannes has to persuade one hundred people to sign over their souls or he will be damned forever. This time for real. Accepting the bargain, Jonathan is given one calendar year and a traveling carnival to complete his task. With little time to waste, Johannes raises a motley crew from the dead and enlists his brother, Horst, a charismatic vampire to help him run his nefarious road show, resulting in mayhem at every turn.
--description from Good Reads
I have only recently begun my adventure in the dark, tantalizing world of Johannes Cabal. However, I am already convinced that I will be enjoying my stay. When a story opens with a dapper, young man (donning sunglasses and sensible shoes) approaching the gates of Hell and proceeding to be the FIERCEST BITCH either Heaven or Hell have ever seen before - well, how can I resist? Especially when said protagonist moseys into the inner sanctum of Hell itself and sasses SATAN until he agrees to a wager for Cabal's eternal soul.
I am already so in love with this magnificent bastard, you have NO idea!