Since I’m currently still waiting for the next Game of Thrones book to come out, I had put a few of George R. R. Martin’s other works on my tremendous to read list to see if they might be any good. As Fevre Dream was a vampire novel I figured it might get the juices flowing, and it didn’t suck (Mwahahahaha!). I guess others found it interesting too, as it was nominated for the World Fantasy Award and the Locus Poll Award in 1983, almost a decade and a half before Game of Thrones appeared in bookstores.
Set on the Fevre river in the 1850’s, (which is the previous name of the Galena River, a smaller river that flows down to the Mississippi for all you history/geography buffs) Fevre Dream introduces us to the ugly, yet lovable, Abner Marsh, a steamboat Captain who’s down on his luck, and Josh York, the mysterious stranger who wants to be his partner.
Like the rivers these boats run on, this story swept me away, and as I’ve come to expect from his more recent books, Mr. Martin has no qualms about serving up some violent nastiness from the less angelic of his cast of characters. You may think that vampires and running water wouldn’t mix, but it all flows nicely while adding in some new (can I say that if the book was published 20 years ago?) twists to the genre.
All in all, I would say I liked the book, but if I could change one thing it would be what I consider overuse of the “n” word. I can see how some authors like to use it as a point of authenticity of the times or for the characters, particularly when trying to make us hate the bad guys, but I find it annoying to read as part of the narration instead of just character dialog (and honestly, it bugs me to read it there too). A sprinkle would have sufficed over the spray we got, and it definitely lost points and interrupted my enjoyment of the storyline because of it.
So, this wasn’t a perfect book, but the characters and story were good, and it kept the pace up enough so that putting it down was challenging. If you are looking for something a bit more pictorial, you can also pick it up as a graphic novel which was adapted by author Daniel Abraham.
Does this book have bite? Is it sweet or does it suck? Are you up for the challenge of finding out? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Happy reading! 🙂