Reviews of books traditionally from the Fantasy genre, not Romance, and some science fiction.
This is a book I read when I was young and had never heard of George R.R. Martin, long before Game of Thrones. The funny thing is that although I could remember really liking it, I couldn't actually remember much about it except that it was about vampires on a Mississippi steamboat.
So, a second reading was in order and I'm glad I did!
Martin can really do suspense. I wonder how many of his earlier books are treasures still waiting to be rediscovered? His characters flow with their own individuality and the plotting is well paced.
There are two main storylines in this which come together around halfway through the book. One is about a bloodmaster, a leader vampire, and the situation on his plantation where the slaves are noticing things to an extent that it's becoming dangerous. The other is about, well, someone who seems a little mysterious, odd and reclusive and the reader will immediately suspect of being a vampire, but it's a little more complicated than that. It gets fully explained in context of the story.
Naturally there has to be a clash between these two strong characters, and the real hero of the book, the steamboat captain, is right in the middle of it all. The story is multi-layered and full of surprises and as anyone who reads Martin will know, there is no guarantee of a happy ending. One of the great things about this author is that you never know quite what to expect.
The story holds attention all through and is hard to put down. I highly recommend it.