Hello and Assalamualaikum. Needless to say again I was busy with work delaying yet another review post so without further ado let us dig in!
Title: Fevre Dream
Author: George R. R. Martin
Overall rating: 4.75/5
“When struggling riverboat captain Abner Marsh receives an offer of partnership from a wealthy aristocrat, he suspects something’s amiss. But when he meets the hauntingly pale, steely-eyed Joshua York, he is certain. For York doesn’t care that the icy winter of 1857 has wiped out all but one of Marsh’s dilapidated fleet. Nor does he care that he won’t earn back his investment in a decade. York has his own reasons for wanting to traverse the powerful Mississippi. And they are to be none of Marsh’s concern—no matter how bizarre, arbitrary, or capricious his actions may prove.
Marsh meant to turn down York’s offer. It was too full of secrets that spelled danger. But the promise of both gold and a grand new boat that could make history crushed his resolve—coupled with the terrible force of York’s mesmerizing gaze. Not until the maiden voyage of his new sidewheeler Fevre Dream would Marsh realize he had joined a mission both more sinister, and perhaps more noble, than his most fantastic nightmare…and mankind’s most impossible dream.
Here is the spellbinding tale of a vampire’s quest to unite his race with humanity, of a garrulous riverman’s dream of immortality, and of the undying legends of the steamboat era and a majestic, ancient river.”
When I first bought this book I was a bit skeptical due to the book cover being less than enticing but because the author is so famous and I have read the Game of Thrones’ book (just the one book… I couldn’t bring myself to read the whole series due to the fact I am not good in handling emotions when characters I like dies)I gave it a go. Needless to say I was not disappointed at all! I loved this book!
First and foremost the thing that I liked about the book is the pacing, it wasn’t a fast paced book where everything from start to end occurred within weeks or even days of each other. The span of the plot from start to finish was 13 years whereas the majority of its action and important plot scenes occurred within 7 months. This allows the reader to really grasp and appreciate the writing quality.
Other than the pacing, I also liked how the plot and characters were written. The plot was written somewhat realistically where the hero aka Marsh was confined by whatever was available to him. This reads true when we in the book towards the end Marsh had to give up the search for his Fevre Dream due to the lack of funds and him just getting older and also when he and York went to face Damon Julian. Marsh definitely realized that he who was already pushing 60 was in no way a match for Damon Julian but he knew he had to give saving his Fevre Dream one last shot before dying so he can die relatively in peace (even though if he was going to be eaten by vampires it would be resting in pieces). Also, the plot was written in a way that when the duo, York and Marsh, finally defeated Damon Julian in a more permanent manner the victory was bittersweet as a lot of people died along the way. Another thing that I really liked was the fact that the victory was bittersweet, it was not like Marsh and York gung-ho-ed their way in killed Damon Julian and that was that. Both Marsh and York gave up a lot in their struggle against Damon Julian. Marsh I terms of money and time spent searching for the Fevre Dream and York in terms of mental subjugation by Damon Julian where he previously thought himself to be the ‘Pale King’ come to free his people. Losing to Damon Julian must have been a very hard slap to the face.
Now, coming to my favorite part to discuss. The characters. I loved how the author wrote all of the characters even that of Damon Julian. Bookworm Sean on Goodreads stated that he didn’t like that Damon Julian was a pointless bad guy (although I do agree on his point that Marsh is uncannily similar to the physical characteristics of George R. R. Martin, I thought it was just me that had this realization) but I disagree with him on this point. You have to keep in mind that Damon Julian has lived for a very long time, he possibly had already existed ever since the stone age. So for me he just lost interest in even trying to conquer or do anything because in my mind I think he did do it once or twice and it always ends up the same because let’s be frank humanity does not exactly learn from the past and try to be better in the future. So in the end Damon Julian is just existing because he lost the thrill to live especially since he regards humans to be cattle. It must be dreadful to live for so long amongst cattle.
Other than that, I enjoy reading characters that have flaws in them and they are not innately awesome or have their shit together because if they are perfect I cannot relate to them. For instance, Marsh is physically ugly and he damn straight knows it instead of trying to be something he isn’t like Sour Billy wanting to be a vampire, he instead pours all of his energy, love, sweat, blood and tears into the one thing he knows and that is being a steamboat-man and also the creation of his Fevre Dream and then we have York. York seemed to have his shit relatively together but then reality slapped him across the face when he lost everything to Damon Julian which I have to say I did enjoy with relish. As much as I liked York, I felt like he thought too highly of himself and needed to realize that not everybody will agree with him on his ideals. Some people, vampire or not, just want to see the world burn just for the f*ck of it.
Before I forget (I almost did actually), I really like how George explained the existenceof vampires by stating that they are just a different species than us humans. I loved how he explained that whilst they are essentially immortal and have other powers that humans lack they in turn lack the urge to copulate and their females are very rarely fertile. So this neutralizes and counters their natural born powers against us. Where they have super powers, we humans obtain our power by sheer numbers and population.
To conclude this review of sorts (I kind of blabbered most of the time), I would seriously recommend this book to whoever that would just like an entertaining read with some substance. They need not have a love for steamships and such to enjoy this book. Overall the rating I give this book can be observed below:
- Plot: 4/5 (I wanted to know what happened to Yorks’ child)
- Characters: 5/5
- Writing: 5/5
- Pacing: 5/5
- Overall: 4.75/5