Plot Summary: 19th century Southern U.S. Fantasy plot weaving in threads of Slavery, Steamboats, Vampires, Friendship. Can't say much or will give something away.
Main Characters: Abner Marsh- a physically ugly man with a strong sense of honor, friendship, loyalty, kindness. Joshua York- a vampire who dreams of peace between humans and vampires. The character of both men is CENTRAL to the plot and is what made me love the book so much.
Best About the Book: The writing! The descriptions, even while long at times, were necessary to making this book come alive. The reader can SEE everything that is happening and has such a sense of each character. The characters themselves feel REAL. I honestly cared deeply for both Abner and Joshua. The painful unfolding of events kept me turning pages. I don't cry during books. Ever. Except during this one. Twice.
Worst About the Book: A little slow at times because of very descriptive writing, but I found the tradeoff to be worth it. If George R.R. Martin had skimped on the details (both character and setting) I would NOT have gotten so involved in this story.
Summary: Absolutely worth a credit. I read this from the library and have it on my w/l so I can own it and read it over again. Slowly. This book really sucked me in, it came alive for me and I know I will NEVER forget Abner or Joshua. Beautiful book.
According to Martin's web site, this is his "favorite of my early novels."
Although it doesn't share the scope, breadth or flavor of 'A Song of Ice and Fire,' I have to say that I'd highly recommend this entertaining vampire story.
I'm surprised it hasn't been optioned for a movie - I kept 'seeing' it on film while I was reading it.
The first vampire scene reminded me of Anne Rice, but probably only because vampires in a decadent, Southern, 19th century setting have become associated with her writing. The rest of the story did not seen like something she would have written.
The main character is the down-on-his-luck, fat, ugly, crusty - but honorable and eminently likable riverman Abner Marsh. When he receives an offer from a mysterious and suave character who offers to bail out his bankrupt steamboat company - on the condition that he not ask any awkward questions - it's a deal to which he can't say no.
However, after his new partner and his friends are on board - but don't appear on deck in broad daylight - and the ship's ports of call along the Mississippi seem to oddly correspond to sites of unsolved murders in the newspapers... Marsh can no longer refrain from asking questions...
This is an excellent vampire tale, far removed from the glut of vampire novels out there today (especially those poorly-written ones aimed at the YA audience that have created legions of crazed females). The writing here is atmospheric and the characters are complex. Abner Marsh and Joshua York are unforgettable. This is a horror novel, but is also so much more: a novel about the true nature of humanity. Good luck finding a copy - I'm keeping mine!
A decent vampire tale, set on steamboats in the days of yore, on the Missississississississippi.
I think most of us have brooded over the question of whether, given the opportunity to finally rid the world of vampires, we would really want to do it. Sure, most of us ask ourselves the question, but never come to an answer. There are so many good arguments on both sides. Is it better just to rid the world of blood-feasting ghouls, or can we forge a friendship that appreciates our cultural differences? Maybe we have a lot to learn from vampires; on the other hand, they harvest us by night and flee daylight, as they are abominations against nature.
Finally there's a book brave enough to take a stand on the issue. I won't say what decision he makes, but Abner Marsh, steamboat captain, is the guy who gets to make it. In my estimation, humankind couldn't have a better guy when the question of what to do about hemovore Americans finally comes to the fore.
Vampires have feelings too. This enjoyable book tells the story a riverboat captain and his relationship with evil vampires and vampires who happen to be good guys. An excellent read.