Title: Fevre Dream
Author: George R. R. Martin
Genre: History / Fantasy
Rating: 4 out of 5 steamboats
George R. R. Martin tells us a tale of vampires inhabiting the area around the Mississippi river in the mid-1800's. Fevre Dream is inhabited by colorful sailors, captains, and undead. As you might have read in my First Impressions, riverdog Abner Marsh and mysterious Joshua York team up to captain a brand new riverboat. Marsh is occupied with the fame and fortune that comes along with being the fastest, while the pale York has shady ulterior motives. As the novel progresses, we learn the true nature of York's plans, the likes of which will change Abner's life forever.
One of the best parts about Fevre Dream is Abner Marsh's progression from an ignorant captain to a caring friend and partner. He begins this journey as a man possessed by avarice and envy, always trying to be the best captain on the river. Meeting and befriending Joshua York, however, forces him to rethink what matters most in a man's life.
Another main point of the book is the mystery of Joshua York and his true intentions aboard the Fevre Dream. While Abner Marsh is in the dark for most of the first half of the book, the reader figures out the stranger's somewhat obvious secret within the first few chapters. Because of this, it felt to me like Martin draws out this plot point a bit too long, and it loses a bit of it's edge.
Fevre Dream takes place in a colorful pre Civil War backdrop, and the writing style and plot points fit perfectly into this setting. The only thing that I regret about this story is that Martin overstates his main message at some points: Slavery is as much of an injustice as vampirism. It's not that I don't enjoy a moral to my story, but when it is too clearly stated, I feel as though the author is on a soapbox.
With that said, Fevre Dream is still a great novel about faith, redemption, and overcoming insurmountable odds. With all of the novels being published these days about vampires, Fevre Dream remains a breath of fresh air in the genre.
4 out of 5 steamboats!