cover image The Last American Vampire

The Last American Vampire

Seth Grahame-Smith. Grand Central, $27 (416p) ISBN 978-1-4555-0212-7

Grahame-Smith follows 2010’s Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter with another often fun, occasionally frustrating secret history. Lincoln’s companion Henry Sturges once lived in Roanoke, and was turned into a vampire after most of the colonists (including his pregnant wife) were slaughtered. Shortly after Lincoln’s assassination, Sturges is drawn into political intrigue when a mysterious European vampire named Grander seems to declare war on the U.S. vampires. As Sturges investigates Grander over the years, he encounters celebrities on both sides of the Atlantic, including Arthur Conan Doyle, Teddy Roosevelt, and John D. Rockefeller. Grahame-Smith clearly has fun mixing vampire mythology and politics into some well-researched history, and readers will forgive the occasional overused trope or bit of excessive cinematic theatricality, as when Sturges blows smoke through the nostrils of a decapitated head. There are some nice twists—one spoiled by the previous book, unfortunately—and fans of supernatural fights and gory killings will find plenty to enjoy. (Jan.)