I Travel by Night marks Robert McCammon's triumphant return to the sort of flamboyant, go-for-broke horror fiction that has earned him an international reputation and a legion of devoted fans. The terrors of the Dark Society, the gothic sensibilities of old New Orleans, and the tortured existence of the unforgettable vampire adventurer Trevor Lawson all combine into a heady brew that will thrill McCammon s loyal readers and earn him new ones as well.
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 Society's 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. Readers will not want to miss this thrilling new dark novella from a master storyteller.
Southern gothicist and paranormal historian McCammon (Gone South; The Wolf's Hour) combines the two genres in this fun, fast novella. As Confederate soldier Trevor Lawson lay wounded at Shiloh, the vampire queen LaRouge turned him. Struggling to hang on to his fading humanity, he hunts his maker while taking on the odd jobs that his talents make him uniquely suited for. But the vampires of the Dark Society have decided that Lawson must be brought back into the fold or destroyed, setting a trap for him with a beautiful woman as bait. Meanwhile, Lawson negotiates the assistance of an unlikely markswoman and a vengeful priest. An explosive confrontation with the Dark Society in a bayou ghost town opens the door to more stories of Lawson and his companions, deftly sketching the wider world's parameters without shortchanging personal conflicts.
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This truly was an absolute pleasure to read. I have read many of McCammon's earlier works, there is no question the man can write, but this is the first I have read of him since he came out of virtual obscurity and returned to his craft. I can say for McCammon, writing must truly be like riding a bike, he came right back to it in glorious form!
This is a novella so mind the page count if that is an issue before you purchase; I would also say that I believe this novella is a beginning, there will be more to come.
Larson is a true treat, vampires are, well vampires, but the who and they why is often what makes a great vampire and Larson has it all, a man who has been a husband, a father, a soldier in the Civil War and a gunslinger, he is an interesting character, you like being inside his head, you like learning more about him, you are there and present and enjoying every morsel McCammon delivers. Larson is a tortured man trying to cling to the last part of his humanity, hunting the Dark Society in search of his former self. His journey is part of the brilliance of this story, I found him more hero than heathen.
Secondly, you are there in the wild, New Orleans, in the time of gun-slinging, prostitution and small dust bowl towns lit only by candlelight; he teleports you there in only the way a true writer can.
I won't muddy this review by giving away the plot but I will tell you that there is a story here, even in it's short form it has a clear beginning and albeit open, an end. Ann Kingsley was a wonderful addition. I am anxiously awaiting their next novel and I can only hope it's a much longer one.