Review by: Brennan Palm
On occasion, I read a book that is so incredible that I feel no matter how hard I try; no review I write will even come close to demonstrating how great the book is in actuality. The Last American Vampire is one of those very few books.
If you did not read Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter: also by Seth Gramme Smith, and want to read that book I recommend you stop reading this review, as this review WILL spoil some of that book’s plot.
That being said, this book is the sequel to ALVH, however this story’s narrator is Henry Sturges, not Abe. Our story starts with Henry grieving at Abe’s funeral in Springfield. The selfish vampiric bastard can’t stand the thought of his old friend being dead, and decides to resurrect Abe via vampirism. Much to Henry’s horror, after rising from the dead Abe can’t stand the thought of being a vampire, and hurls himself out the window into the sunlight, disintegrating before he can touch the ground. Afterwards Henry is called to the Union’s headquarters to receive a special assignment. A mysterious figure calling himself A. Grander VIII has begun killing key Union diplomats, Henry is sent to England to investigate, instead he finds Jack the Ripper, whose identity I will not reveal for story related reasons, but he does not find A. Grander VIII. He does however meet in this order Bram Stoker, Henry Irving, and Arthur Conan Doyle, who quotes Sherlock Holmes twice, a character whom he created! That would be like J. K. Rowling quoting Harry Potter!
I’m going to stop there so I don’t ruin too much of the book. While ALVH always had a slight undertone of comedy, TLAV is much more serious though it still has some comedy at times. While the actual prose is only above average in my opinion, the author’s clever use of knowledge gained in ALVH to obscure the truth of its sequels plot is ingenuous. Many historical characters appear throughout TLAV and Mr. Smith presents them as historically accurate as possible. Even I learned a few things about some of my favorite historical characters that I never knew before. TLAV also contains the narrative/antique feel of ALVH it also adds into the mix the assorted funny little facts about being a vampire that Mr. Smith made up, yet they are extremely practical at the same time. Along with the shear amount and complexity of the story The Last American Vampire is the second book of the dozens I have reviewed which I believe deserves a 5 star rating.