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review 2017-07-15 18:21
Worth a read if this is your sort of thing
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter - Seth Grahame-Smith

I admit these kinds of books are a guilty pleasure of mine. You give me zombies and Pride and Prejudice I’ll read it in a heartbeat. You give me William Shakespeare with vampires and I’ll add it to my wishlist to read. People are going to scoff at these types of books because they’re known to be silly and not worth the time reading. Sometimes we just need a bit of silliness in our lives to remind ourselves that it’s okay to throw ideas that have nothing to do with each other and make it into a story (or film, or both.) I enjoyed this one because well, vampires, and history put together are usually a great mix. This time around it’s more of an alternate history story line with an interesting but pretty feasible so it’s not over the top ridiculous. Vampires who support the South because it gives them easy access to food. Sounds plausible doesn’t it? It makes sense if you think about it that way. Of course then you have vampires like Henry who don’t believe in getting food that way and that’s where the plot of vampires and history blend nicely together. The format of the book is also different and interesting in where it’s written like a ‘non fiction’ book. It’s a nice way of putting it together and adds more to the story to make it more enjoyable. The problem with this is, since it’s meant to emulate a non fiction book, it also dry and boring in some parts. So the execution of this type of book could have been a bit better to make the read less of a chore - as some parts seemed to have dragged. Despite some of the parts being a bit boring, it’s worth a shot to read. I enjoyed the ending immensely and liked what they did there with Lincoln. This book isn’t for everyone that’s for sure, but if you’re curious about it, give it a try.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-03-24 23:03
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (Review)
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter - Seth Grahame-Smith

This is another book I finished about a year and a half ago, so my review will be rather short and to the point (as three-star reviews tend to be anyway).


Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter was certainly the odd read, and not at all what I expected. I loved Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, which was also written by Grahame-Smith, but Abraham Lincoln proved to be incredibly different. It still had all the quirky gore and fight scenes, but with the uninspiring narration of a biography.


I am not very good at suspending my disbelief when the author doesn’t 100% convince me certain things are possible in the world they have created. Anyone who knows me knows I love fantasy and other unrealistic fiction, but you’ve got to get me to believe in your world before I can let myself enjoy something. Grahame-Smith’s world here is very much our ordinary world, except it includes vampires. This is fine, but I get stuck at the biography-but-still-a-narrative concept presented in this particular book. The book’s synopsis tells us that Grahame-Smith supposedly discovered The Secret Journal of Abraham Lincoln, which explains passages of this book that are directly quoted from Lincoln in that diary. It does not, however, explain any of the perfect dialogue exchanged between characters throughout the book. It would have succeeded much more in its believability had it just been written like a narrative, without pretending to be a biography. The dialogue brings me completely out of the story because I am constantly reminded that there is no way the author of any biography could know exact conversations that happened between people hundreds of years ago.


Aside from this, though, the rest of it does sell you on its genre (biography), and I really would have enjoyed it much more without so much dialogue. I still felt emotionally attached to a lot of the characters, especially Lincoln’s family, and it was cool to see a “secret” side of history. I find conspiracy theories fascinating, and this felt very similar to that. I do generally enjoy Grahame-Smith’s writing (since I loved one of his other books), but this one wasn’t all that memorable for me and I would probably by-pass it when recommending books to someone.


There is only one other thing that made this impossible for me to believe, but since it’s a huge spoiler, it is going under a “read more” tab!


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review 2017-01-07 00:00
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter - Seth Grahame-Smith This isn't a book that I would typically pick up an read and it was my first time reading Seth Grahame-Smith and anything Abraham Lincoln related, however loosely. I was introduced to this book when I began listening to the preview for it on audible and I was so intrigued that I bought the audio book and I actually ended up loving it! I don't think I would have liked this book nearly as much if I had read it in paper format, or e-book for that matter, because the audible narrator, Scott Holst, was phenomenal! He really brought the story and the characters to life and completely captivated me in the process. Obviously this was a very loose reselling of the life of Abraham Lincoln but I have to admit there was a lot of historical accuracy, aside from the vampires and the hunting of them, of course, but I learned a lot about Lincoln's childhood and family life as well as what it was like growing up in that day and age of American history. Grahame-Smith did an amazing job of collaborating fantastical elements with historical events to create a re-telling that was entertaining and informative in equal measure. I'm looking forward to reading more of his books like this and the next one on my TBR shelf is Pride and Prejudice and Zombies! I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys historical fiction, historical non-fiction, or books about Vampires and I definitely recommend listening to this book in audio format for an even better experience!
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text 2016-08-22 18:53
JOINT POST: MR and OBP talk supernatural
The Monstrumologist - Rick Yancey
London Falling - Paul Cornell
Fated - Benedict Jacka
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone - J.K. Rowling,Mary GrandPré
The Night Circus - Erin Morgenstern
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies - Seth Grahame-Smith

Moonlight Murder and I already spoke about Magical Realism and now today we are going to cover the supernatural genre. 






Moonlight Murder


Books with supernatural elements are fairly common and easy to find - supernatural simply means something beyond scientific understanding or the laws of nature. Folklore and mythology is full of supernatural beings and events. Werewolves, ghosts, and demons are examples of supernatural creatures. Anything with this sort of element will fill that square.

I want to talk about a specific subset of supernatural fiction - the supernatural thriller or mystery, which is sort of the intersection of fantasy and horror. I have a few books that I want to offer in this subcategory:

1. The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey: This is actually YA horror, but guys, it is so good. It blows the doors off of Yancey's follow-up series, The Fifth Wave, in my opinion. Set in an alternate New England, called New Jerusalem, this is Yancey's effort at a Dickensian cryptozoological horror story and it works. Snap to, Will Henry.

2. London Falling by Paul Cornell. Here was my review of this book from 2014: "This book was a total mindscrew for 75%. Really, really good though." Basically, London Falling is police procedural + urban fantasy + supernatural.

3. Fated by Benedict Jacka: This is the first in the Alex Verus series, which is sort of a Harry Dresden set in London. Alex is a mage with foresight who is pretty much constantly in danger. There's also a sentient spider who designs clothing.

I haven't entirely decided what I am going to read, although I am leaning strongly in the direction of Mayhem, by Sarah Pinborough. I've never read anything by her, but I've had my eye on this one for a long time.



Obsidian Black Plague


Supernatural books I think sometimes can also dance around the magical realism genre. But in this case, most truly supernatural books do not just have some minor elements that are magical, the majority of the book includes supernatural creatures, humans with supernatural abilities, or world building that is based upon something supernatural.

For this square I am thinking of reading the following books:

1. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling. I have not read this book for several years at this point, so it would be nice to read again.

2. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern because I have this book somewhere on my shelves and I believe it has been sitting there for a while.

3. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, #1)
by Seth Grahame-Smith because even though I saw the movie and disliked it, I am still interested in the book. Also this is sitting somewhere on a shelf too.


I would add that supernatural can include so many series out there that I think that everyone should be able to get this one pretty easily even if supernatural fiction is not your thing. You have authors like Jim Butcher, Ilona Andrews, Patricia Briggs, Ransom Riggs, Deborah Harkness (though I think the last two books in her series were not all that great), Charlaine Harris, and Stephanie Meyers.

I even really enjoy my supernatural with a touch of romance/mystery and some of the authors listed above are included in these genres as well.


1. OBP & MR talk Magical Realism


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review 2016-08-22 11:55
DNF: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: The Classic Regency Romance - Now with Ultraviolent Zombie Mayhem! - Jane Austen,Seth Grahame-Smith

I have never been able to finish a Jane Austen novel. I often wonder if I'm the only one who simply does not like and will most likely never like her books. Though weirdly enough, sometimes I like retellings of classics. But even the addition of zombies can not make this bearable for me.



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