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Author Topic: Fevre Dream - Spoiler Free Book Club Review  (Read 3113 times)

Offline Arry

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Fevre Dream - Spoiler Free Book Club Review
« on: January 19, 2013, 01:44:23 PM »
I know a number of people have finished this already, so I am going to start this thread awhile incase anyone wants to post their thoughts while they are fresh. Just a reminder, this is not a thread for discussion. It is meant to be a reference for people who have not yet read the book. They can come read this thread to see what our book club thought of Fevre Dream so they can see if they want to add it to their TBR list :)

For me, I really enjoyed this book. It has a considerably different feel to it than ASoIaF and there were members that were not fans of ASoIaF that really enjoyed this one. I loved getting a chance to see how Martin finishes a story and felt he did a superb job of it. Martin's prose, imagery and ability to set tone and atmosphere is just amazing. It was a slow paced book, even during the 'action', but a story doesn't have to be fast to be intriguing and wonderfully done. I feel Fevre Dream is a perfect example supporting that.

My only real negative is that there was not a single character that I cared about as much as many of his characters in ASoIaF. Perhaps that is not so much a fault of this book, but a strength of ASoIaF that I was disappointed to not see in this as well.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2013, 04:34:59 PM by Arry »
“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only once.”
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Offline dispassionatemind

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Re: Spoiler Free Thoughts/Impressions/Recommendations
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2013, 02:05:28 PM »
I have to agree, Arry.  The characters just didn't grab me the way I expected them too but as I mentioned in another post somewhere, I found it very interesting to see how Martin was developing his characters way back.  For me, he's one author that really gets how to make fictional people human by introducing complex motives for their actions, and not deciding what a character should be and sticking with it forever.  They are fluid and always changing, and I found that to be missing in this book.

That being said, the atmosphere of the book was fantastic.  Well-researched, obviously, but not in an "in-your-face" sort of way.  Every time I picked up the book it was like going into a slower, darker world, and I loved that.  Again, the plot moved slowly, and sometimes I don't mind this, but personally I think I would have liked there to be a bit more meat to it.  The inevitable comparison to Westeros is that this book moved in a very linear fashion, and had only one or two main story lines to follow, where Westeros has a great many.  I would argue that for this type of story, a simple plot works, but as a reader, I prefer more. 

Overall an enjoyable read, but it's not likely one that I will go back to (and I do re-read a fair bit). 
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Offline DiscoGobbo

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Re: Spoiler Free Thoughts/Impressions/Recommendations
« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2013, 06:13:53 PM »
As a fan of ASoIF, the main value of Fevre Dream for me was seeing G.R.R. Martin's writing at a much earlier stage of his career. When you see the origins of an artist's style it can add a better perspective on their later work. You can appreciate where they improved, and see the areas where they were always good. In GRRM's case, Fevre Dream shows that he's always been an ace at crafting setting and atmosphere, especially when melding a historical basis with more fantastic elements in a convincing way. 

The flip side of that is seeing weaknesses and how far they've come. As has been said, the characters in Fevre Dream (with the exception of Marsh) are on the shallow side. You can sense that GRRM was trying to add depth to the broader cast, but sacrificed or gave up on that in favor of his strengths.

For someone who doesn't care overmuch for vampire fiction (like me), this book is good for a lark or reading outside of your comfort zone.
For fans of ASoIF, I'd recommend giving Fevre Dream a whirl if you want some more GRRM in the agonizing periods between books 5 and 6 (or 6 and 7...or 7 and 8)
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Offline Idlewilder

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Re: Spoiler Free Thoughts/Impressions/Recommendations
« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2013, 03:56:55 PM »
Here's my spoiler-free review of Fevre Dream that went up on the main Fantasy Faction site -

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