Debbie's World of Books
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Review: The Fireman by Joe Hill

December 19th, 2016 by Debbie's World of Books

The Fireman by Joe Hill

Source: Borrowed from the library

Publication date: May 17, 2016

Publisher: William Morrow

Rating: ★★★☆☆

About the Book:

The fireman is coming. Stay cool.

No one knows exactly when it began or where it originated. A terrifying new plague is spreading like wildfire across the country, striking cities one by one: Boston, Detroit, Seattle. The doctors call it Draco Incendia Trychophyton. To everyone else it’s Dragonscale, a highly contagious, deadly spore that marks its hosts with beautiful black and gold marks across their bodies—before causing them to burst into flames. Millions are infected; blazes erupt everywhere. There is no antidote. No one is safe.

Harper Grayson, a compassionate, dedicated nurse as pragmatic as Mary Poppins, treated hundreds of infected patients before her hospital burned to the ground. Now she’s discovered the telltale gold-flecked marks on her skin. When the outbreak first began, she and her husband, Jakob, had made a pact: they would take matters into their own hands if they became infected. To Jakob’s dismay, Harper wants to live—at least until the fetus she is carrying comes to term. At the hospital, she witnessed infected mothers give birth to healthy babies and believes hers will be fine too. . . if she can live long enough to deliver the child.

Convinced that his do-gooding wife has made him sick, Jakob becomes unhinged, and eventually abandons her as their placid New England community collapses in terror. The chaos gives rise to ruthless Cremation Squads—armed, self-appointed posses roaming the streets and woods to exterminate those who they believe carry the spore. But Harper isn’t as alone as she fears: a mysterious and compelling stranger she briefly met at the hospital, a man in a dirty yellow fire fighter’s jacket, carrying a hooked iron bar, straddles the abyss between insanity and death. Known as The Fireman, he strolls the ruins of New Hampshire, a madman afflicted with Dragonscale who has learned to control the fire within himself, using it as a shield to protect the hunted . . . and as a weapon to avenge the wronged.

In the desperate season to come, as the world burns out of control, Harper must learn the Fireman’s secrets before her life—and that of her unborn child—goes up in smoke.

My Thoughts:

I heard a lot of good things about Nos4A2 so when I saw that this book by the same author sitting on my library’s New Books shelf I snapped it up. I have mixed feelings about it and while I can’t say I loved it, I also didn’t hate it. It was a solid 3-3.5 star read to me.

I never came to ever really like the character, the Fireman. I thought maybe he was going to grow on me as the book went on but nope. I admired him for helping the child, Nick, and then looking after Harper since she helped them out but other than that he was mostly bland with a few servings of being a jerk tossed in. That said despite the title, most of the story revolved around Harper and she was an interesting character. She occasionally did some obviously stupid things which irked me at times but other than that I felt I could sympathize with her plight.

The premise was fascinating though. With all the talk about crazy experiments various governments are doing to develop the ultimate weapon it had me thinking maybe that’s where this virus started. I can only imagine the sort of panic something like this would cause and it makes you wonder how would you react in the same situation. The book did drag at times but at the same time I didn’t want to stop reading because I wanted to find out what happened in the end. What really make this a meh book for me despite reading it in just 3 sittings was the ending. I felt like I invested over 700 pages of reading and wanted an end that wowed me but it was really a let down. I was disappointed that there wasn’t more because I saw the ending coming and thought there would be some sort of twist but there wasn’t.

Find It Online:

Amazon | B&N | Goodreads

Posted in 3 Star Books, Books, Thriller/Suspense

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