Vampires on Steamboats during the heyday of the Steamboat Era! Hoorah!
That preeeetty much sums up Martin's Fevre Dream. The one notable exception to that theme is that the Vampires in this story aren't of the typical variety - they've a bit of a similar feel to Brust's Agyar. Alternative and interesting, though still with some ties to canon.
Anyway, the story is so-so, the characters are... pretty good, and the narrative style is nice enough. I think if you wanted to write an english paper, you could fabricate some metaphors or deeper meanings to the story. Sadly, all of the mediocrity means that the book was a bit of a chore to finish. I wouldn't really recommend it, even to hardcore fans of Martin's work. Stick to the Fire and Ice stuff.