Fevre Dream by GRRMartin

Posted On 1 November 2014

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Fevre Dream’s is one of my October reads although the review is November!  This was one of my Halloween reads and it’s just an excellent story, well written and with a fresh take on the vampire legend.

The story revolves around a partnership formed between two unlikely characters.  Abner Marsh is a steamboat captain.  His luck has recently suffered something of a dry patch resulting in him now only owning one steamship – and a fairly old one at that.  Joshua York is the strange character who offers Abner a partnership and appeals to his ambitious side by making promises to build the finest steamship sailing the waters.  Joshua relishes his privacy.  He keeps strange hours.  He has pale skin and almost white blond hair.  He has a grace and beauty to his movements which belie the power and menace that lurks beneath the thin veneer of civility that he has cultivated.  If you can’t guess from the description – Joshua is a vampire.  Of course Abner is not aware of this when they put out on their maiden voyage aboard the Fevre Dream but over a period of time, strange disappearances, the hours that Joshua keeps and the strange company – basically something doesn’t quite add up.

Alongside this we are introduced to a different group of characters.  More vampires led by a powerful and unhinged individual called Damon Julian.  This is when Abner and Joshua’s dreams are going to turn more into nightmares.  I won’t go further into the plot.  Suffice it to say that both Joshua and Abner have their own vision of the future and Damon Julian is about to stamp all over both their dreams.

The writing is excellent.  If you’re no stranger to Martin then you’ll know he isn’t stingy when it comes to detail.  He literally brings this era to life on the page.  He’s a conjuror.  I could visualise the places, the people, the steamboat.  I could almost taste the food!

The people – you just can’t help really liking Abner – and Joshua for that matter.  Although Abner was the outstanding character for me.  And, as much as you like these two you’ll equally dislike Damon and his little ‘helper’ and very appropriately named Sour Billy.  These are two downright nasty characters and are a perfect example of ‘evil’ both in the form of vampire and human, just as Joshua and Abner display the more temperate side.  Are vampires evil?  Or are some of them evil – just as some humans are evil?

Place – I suppose comparisons to Rice’s vampire series are a little inevitable given the setting and period.  Martin manages though to create a wonderfully atmospheric deep south riddled with fevers, superstition and slavery.  On top of which he takes a sideways glance at these issues when comparing the actions of vampires and the actions of humans.  He takes a look at the double standards and morally ambiguous attitudes and yet manages to make this food for thought rather than preaching at the reader.

I have no criticisms for this book whatsoever.  It’s wonderfully written and downright creepy in places.  The ending is simply excellent.  I think the only proviso I would add is that this is not a fast paced novel.  It doesn’t just dive in with bodies, blood and viscera.  I suppose you could call this the ‘thinking person’s’ vampire story.  It certainly brings a whole new concept to the myth of the vampire which dispels certain beliefs whilst reinforcing others but in an almost believable way if you can credit that!

An excellent read and a little surprising that it hasn’t enjoyed more acclaim.

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18 Responses to “Fevre Dream by GRRMartin”

  1. October round up and RIP summary! | Lynn's Book Blog

    […] Fevre Dream by GRRMartin […]

  2. brideofthebookgod

    I read this on the recommendation of my husband and I’m so glad I did, I thought it was great.

    • lynnsbooks

      Yeah, I really liked it – I thought the concept behind the vampires was really original.
      Lynn 😀

  3. jdbookworm

    Wow, you really enjoyed this one! *goes to find copy*

    • lynnsbooks

      Yes, I did. I liked the idea behind the vampires.
      Lynn 😀

  4. Genki Jason

    I didn’t really like it when I read it. I didn’t like the characters or the story and so when the whole Game of Thrones thing hit I totally ignored it. Perhaps I should read it again.

    • lynnsbooks

      No. Its probably not for everyone and i recognise that totally. He is a bit wordy after all. I did limethe concept that he came up with for vampires though. Very original.

    • lynnsbooks

      Well, I have only read the first book in the Game of Thrones series but I did think it was good. I do think GRRM is very wordy – he’s a bit like the Dickens of modern times!
      Lynn 😀

  5. Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

    You know, I’ve only read A Song of Ice and Fire when it comes to GRRM, and haven’t given this much attention because past reviews I’ve seen haven’t been good. But maybe I was just talking to the wrong people, because ever since I started book blogging, my fellow bloggers I trust all have only great things to say about this!

    • lynnsbooks

      I won’t deny that it feels like a long book in terms of the actual content, but I think that’s his style. I do really like his vampire idea though. Very original.
      Lynn 😀

  6. lipsyy

    I read that one before I even knew who GRRM was. I liked it, but didn’t love it. I find his writing style quite hard to get into and hold my interest. Glad you liked it though, it’s a good story!

    • lynnsbooks

      I can totally see what you mean and I don’t think he’s for everyone. I kind of think of him in my mind as the Dicken’s of our era. Like, why use one sentence to say something when you can use two chapters! But I don’t mind that particular style although it sometimes can try the patience.
      Lynn 😀

  7. Lisa (@TenaciousReader)

    So glad you enjoyed this one!! And agree, the end was amazing 🙂 It was so nice and interesting to see how GRRM could end a story.

    • lynnsbooks

      Yeah, there was a little bit of a ‘sag’ in the middle – but the ending – wow!
      I loved the idea for vampires.
      Lynn 😀

  8. jessicabookworm

    I have been looking forward to your thoughts on this book. I really like the sound of it. For now though I better get on with reading the epic A Song of Ice and Fire series 🙂

    • lynnsbooks

      Absolutely! If you like his style though you’ll probably enjoy Fevre Dream. It’s a slow building book. The concept for the existence of vampires is fascinating and the ending is really excellent.
      Lynn 😀

  9. The immortality of the immortals. | Lynn's Book Blog

    […] other reads were Fevre Dream by GRRMartin – which whilst I recognise may not be for everyone, as it is undoubtedly rather […]

  10. ‘But why is the rum gone?…?’ |

    […] Fevre Dream by GRRMartin – Abner Marsh is a steamboat captain who dreams of building the finest steamship to sail the waters.  He enters into a partnership with Joshua York but once they finally embark on their travels the nature of Joshua and his real intentions for the boat start to become apparent and his true nature is revealed. […]

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