Book Cover
Title Fevre Dream
Series ---
Author George R. R. Martin
Cover Art Barron Storey
Publisher Bantam Books - 2004
First Printing ---
Category Horror
Warnings None

Main Characters

Joshua York, Capt. Abner Marsh, Damon Julian

Main Elements Vampires

When struggling riverboat captain Abner March receives an offer of partnership from a wealthy aristocrat, he suspects something's amiss. But when he meets the spectrally pale, steely-eyed Joshua York, he is certain. For York doesn't care that the icy winter of 1857 has wiped out all but one of Marsh's dilapidated fleet. Nor does he care that he won't earn back his investment in a decade. York has his own reasons for wanting to travel the powerful Mississippi. And they are to be none of Marsh's concern - no matter how bizarre, arbitrary, or capricious his actions may prove.

Marsh means to turn down York's offer. It is too full of secrets that spell danger. But the promise of both gold and a grand new boat that could make history crushes his resolve - coupled with the terrible force of York's mesmerizing gaze. Not until the maiden voyage of his new side wheeler Fevre Dream will Marsh realize he had joined a mission both sinister and noble - a mission filled with blood and darkness, yet also with hope and life, to make a new beginning between the humans of the day and the inhuman people of the night.

Set in an era when slaves are bought and sold like cattle and gamblers crowd the French Quarter of New Orleans, here is the haunting tale of a vampire's quest to free his race from its bloodthirsty heritage, and of a corrupt and depraved blood-master about to unleash a reign of terror on the humans of the Mississippi basin.

I can't decide if I like this book or not. At times I'm drawn right into the story, and others I have to almost force myself to keep reading. The pacing is very odd, one gets the feeling that the climax comes about a third of the way through the book.

But of course it doesn't end there, it just sort of drags on for another third without much of anything happening. Twelve years pass with Captain Marsh watching the world change without him being able to be a part of it. Kind of depressing. However, though this was the part that really brings down the reader's mood, I think this is its redeeming feature as well. One sympathizes with Marsh watching that which he loves first change and then cease to exist completely. This happens to all of us as we look back upon our childhood, perhaps returning to a place we hadn't been in years only to find it has been demolished and replaced by a shopping mall.

And then we make it to the third and final part of the novel, where we do indeed encounter a second climax and the tale ends. As it turns out, the parts of the book one generally would not like were the parts I like best. The good guys sometimes die in vain, the bad sometimes prevails, and dreams are not always attained. And of course the setting is unique, taking place on a riverboat

So do I recommend this book? Yes, I do, if only to meet Captain Marsh. He may be human but his personality was stronger than the the physical strength of any vampire lurking along the banks of the Mississippi.

Posted: April 2006


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