September 29, 2002
Book Review -- The Ferryman

The Ferryman
by Christopher Golden
paperback from Signet Horror 2002

Christopher Golden made a splash when he entered the writing scene with the publication of his Bram Stoker Award winning non-fiction book, "Cut!", and then the first of his amazingly different vampire novel, "Of Saints and Shadows". His fiction created a new vampire mythology that was unusual and a breath of fresh air. The second book came out. And then... it seemed like silence.

Thankfully, I knew better than that. Chris wasn't truly silent, still working hard, still writing (and publishing various work for hire novels). He was our guest of honor at Genericon in 1996, which gave us a chance to get to know him. And we were thrilled a few years later when we heard that the third vampire novel was coming out, to be followed soon by new horror novels.

I was excited as each book came out, and have loved every single one. "The Ferryman" is no exception.

The story centers around Janine, who nearly died when she lost her son due to severe complications from preeclampsia. I had to start the book twice -- the first time the tale of Janine's near death and the situation around it gave me the shivers as I remembered my own scale up the bloodpressure and down in platelets when Ryan was born. But when I came back to the book, starting again from the beginning, I found it to move very quickly.

Janine left David Bairstow when her first love came back -- she needed to know if she had a future with Spencer. But when she discovered she was pregnant, Spencer left her and she nearly died. Afterwards, her true friends, David and Annette, were there to help her.

But something isn't quite right. Janine is having dreams of her dead son suckling at her breast, and of a cold something who desires her. And David is being stalked, and threatened, by people long dead in his past. And when one of his ghosts shows up with a new name and falls in love with Annette, things can only go from bad to worse.

Jannine, Annette, and David must face that there is truth in the myths of the Ferryman, and that they must find the truth and a way to defeat it in order to survive.

The characters are wonderful -- real people, true people. Christopher doesn't make a big deal out of what people are -- they simply are themselves. Annette -- the lesbian who works for St. Matthews, sparring verbally with the priest. David, loving Janine and feeling guilt for the ghosts of his past. And the characters make the story, make it readable and enjoyable -- a real page turner.

Posted by Deb Atwood at September 29, 2002 08:44 PM | TrackBack
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