Sunday, 25 May 2014

Fevre Dream, by George RR Martin (Gollancz)

This is my first George RR Martin review but by no means the first of his novels that I've read – yes, I'm a big fan of the A Song of Ice and Fire series, but we'll come back to that another time.

Fevre Dream came into my possession via the Wench, who was given it as a present by the Friend of the Wench in recognition of her love (more of an obsession) of the Twilight series. It came with a message along the lines that 'this is a real vampire book', and I can't really disagree.

Published a decade before A Game of Thrones, Fevre Dream provides an early showcase of Martin's ability to create a believable world in which fantastic events occur. There is a pervading sense of secrecy and suspicion, and that the tale takes place in and around the Mississippi River rather than a 'fantasy' universe creates a mood where everyone and everything should be distrusted.

In steamship captain Abner Marsh we have a lead character who ignores his better instincts for too long – and then, when he finally puts things together, comes to regret doing so as he joins a mission that grows ever more dangerous and encounters foes he is unable to overcome.

With its parallels between vampires and slavery – the vampires are trying to ‘free’ themselves from their addiction to blood thirst and hunting humans – Fevre Dream combines an exploration of the long passed way of steamboat life with a riveting reinterpretation of vampire lore, not to mention plenty of thrills and disturbing scenes. Indeed, many of the latter come close to horror, a genre of which I’m not a huge fan, so it’s testament to how enjoyable I found Fevre Dream that this was never an issue.

So, rating time:

Fevre Dream, by George RR Martin (Gollancz) - 7/10

Next up: Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Acting (But Were Afraid To Ask, Dear), by West End Producer (Nick Hern Books)

  • Click here for the full list of books so far, and their rating.

    1. I had forgotten how harsh your marking was. I read the review and expected at least an eight. Then again, maybe it's just how I mark too high...