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Galveston (Resurrection Man #3)

3.8  ·  Rating Details ·  641 Ratings  ·  36 Reviews
The island of Galveston had been baptized twice--once by water in the fall of 1900 and again by magic during Mardi Gras in 2004. Creatures were born of survivors' joy and sufferers' pain: scorpions the size of dogs, the crying clown, the widow who ate her victims. Galveston forever would be divided between reality and a city locked in an endless Mardi Gras.
Paperback, 464 pages
Published March 26th 2002 by Ace (first published February 28th 2000)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,222)
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Jun 26, 2013 Terry rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People that love great writing and fantasy
This may be Sean Stewart's best novel, though I have to admit that it is not quite my favourite. Here we see Stewart displaying full mastery of his prose, his characterization, and his depiction of a fully realized magical world. Be warned though, neither the characters, nor the world presented, are always pleasant to behold.

We follow the story of Josh Cane, a young man with a chip on his shoulder due to the constrained circumstances of his life that are the result of his father's loss of a piv
Feb 26, 2008 Michael rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Michael by: Krystyn
Shelves: slipstream
What a great book - the best of 2008 so far.

The basic idea: Galveston, Texas experiences a magical disaster and is cut off from the rest of the world. The city itself is divided into the mundane and real, and the never-ending twilight world of Mardi Gras.

Stewart illustrates his ideas so vividly throughout the novel; I would call his illustrative skill his greatest strength. There's so much going on, and so many facets - poker, apocalypse, Southern Gothic, gentle magic, and the flawed characters.
Aug 28, 2009 Anya rated it it was ok
Wow, what a ponderous and lethargic fantasy novel. I liked the set-up: in the early 21st century, Galveston, Texas is inundated by a flood--but it's a flood of magic, not of water. This magical Flood kills many of the city's inhabitants and also decimates its infrastructure, rendering lots of 20th-century technology useless. So the town has moved on from then as a split community: the "real" Galveston, where various factions of people struggle to make the best of their suddenly-primitive situati ...more
Jan 26, 2009 Wealhtheow rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: think galactic
Shelves: fantasy
In 2004, waves of magic engulf the world and pull it into madness. In Galveston, Texas, two women hold back the flood of magic. With the help of the Mardi Gras Krewes and Momus, a trickster god, Jane and Odessa quarantine the magic into a never-ending carnival; anyone who demonstrates magic is killed or sent there. A generation later, Jane is dying and her only child, Sloane, bargains with Momus so she won't have to watch her mother die. But of course, there is a loophole--and Sloane is caught u ...more
Sam Musher
It took awhile to get going for me, and I found the poker metaphor heavy-handed (about half the references to playing your hand could have been edited out and I still would have felt like, ok, I get it), but I'm very glad I read it. It's the novel version of my beloved A Paradise Built in Hell: The Extraordinary Communities That Arise in Disaster, in which a post-apocalyptic world mostly sucks it up and imperfectly bands together to make the most functional community they can manage, in the way ...more
Mar 14, 2011 Melanti rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2011, apocalyptic
This is such a wonderful book.

Part of me saying this is that the book is local. That's unusual for Houston. While some novels may be set in Houston, it's a nebulous Houston that can be substituted for any moderately large city out there, except that they have people wearing cowboy hats and boots, so it's obvious the authors have never been here for any length of time.

This book, though, is absolutely anchored here. It mentions local landmarks often. And while the book is understandable without th
Apr 20, 2013 John rated it really liked it
Shelves: booksilike
I'm starting to love Sean Stewart's work--it's heartfelt and human, even as it deals in magic, mystery, speculation, and madness. Being from Texas, I especially love the works that are set here (Galveston, Perfect Circle, Mockingbird), but I've just started reading one of his Canadian novels (The Night Watch) and so far enjoying it almost as much, although the locations and cultural references aren't as familiar. Galveston may be my favorite so far, though--it's a sad novel, in many ways, but al ...more
Feb 22, 2008 Kirsten rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-pre-12-07, own
A highly original, gritty fantasy. In the year 2004, there was a Flood -- not of water, but of magic, which has destroyed most of civilization and left twisted magical beings in its wake. The Flood hit Galveston, TX in the middle of the Mardi Gras celebration, but thanks to the work of the witch woman Odessa, the island survived. Now, half the island struggles to survive with failing technology and ever-decreasing supplies of modern medicine, eking subsistence out of the sea. In the other half o ...more
Sep 16, 2011 Carol rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy-sci-fi
This fine work of magical realism is set in a fictional near future Galveston, TX. In this version of the world, magic started to seep into the world, and, in 2004, overflowed in and event referred to as The Flood. Ghosts became commonplace and palpable, some people mutated into fantastical beasts, some people gained magical powers, and all sort of miracles and metaphysical phenomena began manifesting. The authorities of Galveston have been able to hold the magic at bay for a couple of decades, ...more
Jan 15, 2012 Sunil rated it really liked it
Shelves: own, 2008
I hadn't realized that the book takes place in the same universe as his previous books Resurrection Man and Night Watch, which I hadn't read. The books are about different characters in different places at different times, but they all deal with the same central conceit: magic in the real world. For Galveston, the key event is the Flood of 2004, when magic suddenly seeped into the world entire. In the resulting cataclysm, Galveston Island was cut off from a civilization now bereft of technology. ...more
Chris Branch
Mar 10, 2012 Chris Branch rated it really liked it
I rated this book 8/10 back when I first read it in '04, and I remembered it being fantastic and intense, but somehow couldn't remember the ending. So, after a re-read, my rating stands (translated to Goodreads' more limited 4/5), but I can see why I didn't remember the ending. Up until about three quarters of the way through, I was prepared to give it a 9 or a 10. Most of the book is indeed fantastic, in the sense of being a great read as well as a near perfect example of contemporary fantasy. ...more
J Chad
Mar 19, 2015 J Chad rated it liked it
An enjoyable book that I picked up only because I'm an intermittent Galvestonian. I enjoyed the island references and the mostly-correct island geography. The story was sufficiently interesting to keep me turning pages.
Apr 29, 2016 Lara rated it liked it
A really excellent the-magic-came-back apocalypse, right up there with Stephen Boyett's Ariel. And now I have the whimsical desire to visit Galveston despite the risk of hurricanes, mosquitoes, and tricky minor deities.
May 21, 2010 Justus rated it liked it
Shelves: literature
Haunting little book. I'm a fan of the alternate contemporary reality type of books. Note that this is not a two parallel universe (ala Neverwhere) but a alternate future where magic rules the world while the survivors cling to what's left of industrialized civilization that they can. Well thought through and an entertaining read. I was a third of the way through last night and just burned through the rest of the book. Does start a little slow but once it gets moving it really goes. Of course, a ...more
Oct 22, 2009 Janet rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, novels
I didn't enjoy this as much as Stewart's "Passion Play" -- but I still became engrossed by his vision of a gritty, grimly-determined Galveston in the wake of the return of magic to the world. This magic is chaotic, dangerous, often grotesque; and it's held at bay through the merciless exiling of any citizen who begins to show signs of being touched by it.

The main characters, Sloane Gardner and Josh Cane, are each brought to confrontations with themselves, their family histories, their society, m
Apr 17, 2016 Marilyn rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this fantasy novel. It provided a surprising amount of true history embedded in its magic-wrapped pages.
Tade Thompson
Sep 03, 2014 Tade Thompson rated it liked it
This book starts off well and held my interest all the way to the end, but not consistently. In fact I felt I had to force myself to finish the last quarter.
The characters of Josh, Sloane and Ham were interesting enough and the plot was serviceable, but I feel the book didn't quite hit the spot.
Jun 21, 2011 Tina added it
Shelves: unfinished
ETA: Life's too short to read stuff that sounds like terrible fan-fic.

This has generally gotten good reviews, and I'm only about 70 pages in, but damn, right now it's only my hatred of abandoning books keeping me going. That's not entirely true; I really like the premise, but so far the execution sucks. It's self-indulgent, racist, sexist, and trying too hard. Also, I think if I have to read one more description of the main character's boobs (I'm sorry, "breasts"), I'm going to throw the book ac
Jun 03, 2010 Rusty rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Galveston experiences the effects of magic during Mardi Gras, 2004. Creatures are born of survivors' happiness and sufferers' pain - dog-sized scorpions, a crying clown, and a widow who eats her victims. Part of the city is locked into a never-ending Mardi Gras. The heroine is Sloan Gardner who comes to the city to see her stepfather, Momus, and finds herself locked into the Mardi Gras, victim of a twisted prank by him. Meanwhile, what happens to the people on the other side can never be changed ...more
Kristi Thompson
Mar 13, 2009 Kristi Thompson rated it really liked it
Excellent novel, I liked it much more than the Night Watch. Play the hand you're dealt. The poker bits reminded me a bit like that Tim Powers. Is poker inherently fantastical?

There's something very great and disturbing in the way that magic is presented as wonderful, strange and bizarrely beautiful, everything magic was ever meant or thought to be, and yet, and because of that, horrifying and completely inimical to the modern human.
Jun 20, 2007 Cindywho rated it liked it
Shelves: dark, fantasy-sf
This one is set in the same world-premise as Stewart's Resurrection Man and The Night Watch. Magic swept into the world like a hurricane in 2004 and humans in Galveston have been trying to ward it off for nearly a generation as the remnants of civilization crumble. The fantasy was darker than I've been in the mood for, but the narrative was extremely compelling - it wouldn't let me go.
Dec 29, 2009 Matt rated it it was amazing
Galveston started a bit slow but I am glad I stuck with it. It was very original, creative and intelligent. Sean Stewart gives an interesting spin on magic and makes profound statements on the effects of natural disasters on human behavior. His characters are wonderfully complex and well-realized. I highly recommend this book.
Mar 29, 2008 Carolyn rated it it was amazing
Magical. This story draws you into another world, one where magic has laid waste to their world and left them close to madness. The description of the tension within the characters and their experiences is raw and unrelenting. I truly couldn't put this book down.
Jul 01, 2007 Yoon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sff
Brilliant if bleak novel of Galveston after a second flood--this one stripping away technology's leavings and installing a Masque, among other forms of magic. It is, as one of the characters says, about civilization--what people do in spite of hardship.
Dec 14, 2012 Paul rated it really liked it
I am not usually a fan of futuristic/fantasy novels. However this one captivated me. It had just the right amount of historical accuracy blended withfantasy/science fiction along with some excellent characters and dual story lines. Really enjoyed the read!
Dec 30, 2011 Jennifer rated it it was ok
The best way to describe this book: the plot was flimsy. Definitely needed more...something. I was more entertained by yelling "I've been there!" out loud when the text mentioned a familiar place (I live on Galveston Island) than by the actual story.
Aug 07, 2012 Beth rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: books-i-own
I found this book at one of those 'book sale" stores, and it was one of the best purchases I ever made. Sean Stewart's unique brand of magic captivates right from the start. This book is pure gold, a great introduction to Sean Stewart's writing.
Dec 09, 2008 Olivia rated it it was amazing
Here is a book written about my old stomping grounds, brought to life along with the Galveston of History, occupying the same space and time. A rich detailed magical realism based on the truth of Galveston's enthralling and haunted past.
Apr 08, 2009 Deborah rated it it was ok
Recommended to Deborah by: Ziggy
Had a hard time relating to characters. As a result, had a difficult time getting into the story. Once into the story, lost interest by Part 3.

So sorry Ziggy! I tried for months.
Feb 05, 2009 Amanda rated it really liked it
I loved it. The atmosphere of surreality was at the same time perfectly logical, the characterization was sharp as a knife, and the writing was clean and crisp.
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

Sean Stewart (born June 2, 1965) is a U.S.-Canadian science fiction and fantasy author.

Born in Lubbock, Texas, Sean Stewart moved to Edmonton, Alberta, Canada in 1968. After stints in Houston, Texas, Vancouver, British Columbia, Irvine, California and Monterey, California,
More about Sean Stewart...

Other Books in the Series

Resurrection Man (3 books)
  • Resurrection Man (Resurrection Man, #1)
  • The Night Watch (Resurrection Man, #2)

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“He noticed Miss Bettie was wearing a watch, a steel Rolex with diamond chips. "What time is it?" he asked. Miss Bettie glanced at him and laughed. "You do seem to have difficulty remembering, don't you? Well, then, I shall tell you. It's now, Joshua Cane. Always and only now.” 2 likes
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