Fevre Dream by George R.R. Martin
Abner Marsh is a large, ugly, dedicated riverboat captain. His career is on the brink of ruin when ice crushes all but one of his fleet of steamboats. Trying to keep his company afloat (pun intended) with one old boat he is on the brink of disaster when he is sought out a rich man, Joshua York, who wants to form a partnership. York will supply the funds to make the biggest, fastest and most opulent steamboat to ever sail the Mississippi and Marsh will just need to co-captain and teach York all about life on the river and piloting a riverboat. Of course all things that seem too good to be true are, and Marsh learns more than he ever wanted to know about York and his kind.
In 1982 the whole concept of looking at vampires in a way that didn’t follow in Dracula’s footsteps was unique, now it’s something that every vampire book seems to do: put their own twist on the legend. Martin did that over thirty years ago and I had to keep reminding myself of that. This wasn’t just another vampire book; this was a standalone and a standout at the time.
The friendship that forms between York and Marsh is an interesting one to watch develop. It makes you think neither ever had a really good friend. And the lengths each will go for the other is heartwarming, especially considering the rather curmudgeonly personality of Marsh.
Pick up this book if you are really fond of vampire legends, or life on the Mississippi in the mid-1800s or if you are needing your Martin fix while waiting for the next volume in the Game of Thrones series.