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Fevre Dream (Fantasy Masterworks 13) Paperback – 28 Aug 2008
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Vampires and the deep south, from the author of A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE, now filmed as A GAME OF THRONES
Abner Marsh has had his dearest wish come true - he has built the Fevre Dream, the finest steamship ever to sail the Mississippi. Abner hopes to race the boat some day, but his partner is making it hard for him to realise his ambition. Joshua York put up the money for the Fevre Dream, but now rumours have started about the company he keeps, his odd eating habits and strange hours. As the Dream sails the great river, it leaves in its wake one too many dark tales, until Abner is forced to face down the man who helped to make his dreams become reality.See all Product description
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So glad to find it on Amazon. It was like reading from new all over again, one of those 'can't put down' books. Strong characters, intense, moving story. So well written. Lots of lovely detail about the world of river life and paddle steamers too, you sort of imagine you're there amongst them all (hoping you don't bump into the 'you know whats'). Don't normally read vampire lit. any more. Seen the films, been there, done that etc. This was altogether different and very clever. Felt real loss when I'd finished it.
Is now patiently waiting in my bedside table drawer - till next time!
George RR Martin had a winner with this one. Fully Recommend
Steamboat captain Abner Marsh has become business partners with the gentlemanly Joshua York, who pays for the construction of the ultimate steamboat. But strange deaths along the Mississippi lead Abner to suspect that something isn't quite kosher with Joshua, until Joshua reveals the truth about himself -- he and his friends are vampires, who are working to free his race from their bloodlust.
However, the evil bloodmaster Damon Julian wants to keep the vampires as-is, since it allows him greater power over his brethren. He's even got a Gollumesque human serving him before long. Abner's attempts to help his friend lead to disaster, and it will be many years before the two friends have a chance at killing Damon again...
Martin is one of the few authors who actually bothers to come up with an origin story for his vampires, rather than just having these pale bloodsucking people be... there. Without revealing too much, he weaves a haunting explanation for the biological, spiritual and cultural differences between humans and vampires, and sets them up as a brother race to homo sapiens (instead of undead corpses). It's awesome.
Martin's writing is gritty, dark and sometimes grotesque (a vampire using a BABY as food), and even at the best of times he fills it with the grimy atmosphere of a working-class man living on the Mississippi. The only real problem is the timeskip, which jolts us several years into the future and is kind of disorienting, but that's a relatively small problem.
And the entire plot revolves around two very powerful characters, who share a powerful friendship based on trust and a desire to help the vampire species. Joshua is the usual charming gentlemanly vampire, but he's elevated by his powerful desire to save his species from their enslavement to bloodlust and/or Damon Julian. And Abner is a totally unstereotypical vampire-novel character -- he is ugly, a grizzled military man, and even as a sick old man he kicks butt.
"Fevre Dream" is a visceral, gritty vampire novel that takes the time to explore the bloodsuckers' past, and comes up with a pretty brilliant plot in the present as well. A must-read for vampire fans who like it bloody and dark.
I thought this was truly excellent. I loved the setting and the descriptions evoked such a strong feeling for the era that I stopped reading several times to research the towns, the boats, the river and even the food. Abner Marsh's meals were astounding but they suited him to the ground.
This is up there with the best vampire books. It may even be the best, I'm not sure, I'll have to ponder that a while.
This is one that will stay in the memory for a long time.
The story of Abner Marsh and his partner Joshua York trundeling down to New Orleans was fantastic......you will have to read the book to find out what happened. Enjoy!