Title/Author: I Travel by Night by Robert McCammon.
Publisher: Subterranean Press.
Favorite character: Anne Kingsley.
Favorite Quote: "The night was his territory, his world, his blessing."
Synopsis: For Lawson, the horrors that stalked the Civil War battlefield at Shiloh were more than just those of war. After being forcibly given the gift of undeath by the mysterious vampire queen LaRouge, Lawson chose to cling to what remained of his humanity and fought his way free of the Dark Societys clutches. In the decades since, he has roamed late nineteenth-century America, doing what good he can as he travels by night, combating evils mundane and supernatural, and always seeking the key to regaining a mortal life.
That key lies with his maker, and now Lawson hopes to find LaRouge at the heart of a Louisiana swamp with the aid of a haunted priest and an unexpected ally. In the tornado-wracked ghost town of Nocturne, Lawson must face down monstrous enemies, the rising sun, and his own nature. ~Goodreads.com
My Thoughts: So, yay. Robert McCammon's newest Horror read! I Travel by Night has it all, a struggling hero, a damsel in distress, vampires, thrill, chills and an awesome gun totin' heroine. This story went by fairly fast with no long, dawn out expositions or explanations. One or two flashbacks, some reflection and mostly action.
Trevor Lawson, the main character is a reluctant vampire who hopes to literally find his way back to humanity. He has moral issues with the creature he's become, and it drives Lawson and the plot. He struggles with what he is turning into and what he craves while trying to hold onto himself. In a way, he is adhering to the philosophy that it's what you do with your life instead of letting circumstances overcome him.
There is a bit of vampire lore, enough to give you a taste and become intrigued. I loved the cool names for the vampire society and the town that is lost in the swamp. The vampires are quite creepy and nasty. I found myself in that room alongside Lawson at the climax of the story, surrounded by them and wondering what would happen. The plot has some twists that I did not see coming
The main settings of New Orleans and a swamp in the Bayou are rich and detailed and McCammon paints a vivid picture of the setting during the 1800s. I love the significance of the title and while I don't want to ruin it for you, it gave a wonderful detail that lent itself well to the feel of the Western genre. Images of Bonanza comes to mind. I can see characters in this book in that show, with that production quality. The clothes, the settings, the action even the music.
I did like this book, a lot, but had some conflicting feelings for the main character Lawson. I didn't feel as huge a connection to the main character that I'm used to with McCammon stories. (Maybe it's because I read it right after another McCammon book and feel as if I know the main character of that series, Matthew Corbett, so well). But on the other hand, this feeling also lent itself well to the "mysterious stranger" that he embodied. The character I love is Anne "Remington" Kingsley, a trick shooter who arrives on the scene to assist Lawson. I loved her courage and tenacity not to mention her resourcefulness.
I do hope that Lawson prevails in the coming stories. I would like to see him getting what he wants, his humanity and maybe he and Anne can have a happily ever after.
All in all: A fun and creepy addition to the Vampire Genre.