Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Review: Fevre Dream
Vampires on the great Mississippi River, who’d have thunk? George R.R. Martin, of course. Martin is a genius. He's able to take a genre in this instance Vampire Horror and reimagine it in a completely fresh and compelling way. Much like he did with his werewolf novella The Skin Trade Martin takes the vampire mythos and completely shatters it and then begins piecing it back together. That's all I want to say on that front as seeing how Martin twists the Vampire lore around is a huge part of the fun with this novel and I don't want to detract from your experience.
The novel is what we've come to expect from Martin as its littered with intriguing central characters with a plethora of supporting characters to bolster the story. The story focuses on our main protaginist; Abner Marsh the ugly, honorable, overweight Riverboatmen who's fallen on hard times. Then three main supporting characters: The mysterious, light skinned Joshua York. The enigmatic plantation owner and vampire Damon Julian. And lastly the riverboat herself the Fevre Dream.
From the beginning Martin hooks you as you can't help but enjoy the character of Abner Marsh. He's gruff and he's a straight shooter. He'll tell you what he thinks whether you want to hear it or not. He has a very interesting perspective and as I read the novel it was much like reading the Tyrion sections from ASoIaF. I couldn't wait to see what would happen to the character. How was Abner Marsh going to handle this situation or what would he say when confronted by a beautiful vampress. Abner Marsh is simply a phenominal character and then you have a host of supporting characters that are equally as fleshed out.
The characterization that Martin gives each person that inhabit his world is outstanding. A couple paragraph's of dialogue lend so much personality to characters you become totally immersed in the world that Martin has created.Martin must have done a great deal of research on Riverboats and the Mississippi River as the inner workings of the Riverboat felt realistic. Not only was there great detail about how a river boat functions, but the piloting, securing loads in various ports, the woodyards along the river where riverboats would stop to get more wood all contributed to the sense of immersion I felt as I read the story. Martin made me feel as if I was traveling on the Fevre Dream as we made our way down the Mississippi.
Never was there a dull moment where I had to slog through a portion of the story it flowed; like the Mississippi River unrestrained and free. This is truly a fantastic novel and its made me want to do more research on riverboats as I'm fascinated by the entire subject now.
Get your hands on a copy of this novel.