Author: Joe Hill
Published by: William Morrow
Publication Date: May 17, 2016
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.
Holy book hangover! Let’s just get it out of the way right now: I freaking love The Fireman!
This is 760+ pages that I never wanted to end! It didn’t even feel that long because I was so completely immersed; transported to this crazy messed-up world. People all over the world are contracting a disease dubbed Dragonscale that causes them to spontaneously combust. The world is literally burning.
The Fireman is such a fascinating, exciting and fun tale. And chilling, I can’t forget that. The true horror in this book isn’t the fact that people are burning, it’s the way part of humanity reacts. There’s always going to be those people, you know the sick assholes that need to destroy what they fear and don’t understand. It’s sad and infuriating, but there was also so much hope and perseverance.
What a fantastic ensemble of characters! The story is told from Harper’s perspective, and she’s possibly perfect in every way. Okay, not really, but pretty damn close. Her love for Mary Poppins definitely shines through in her personality, which is very much needed in the world she’s living in now. She’s kind, witty, and has a cheery disposition (couldn’t resist). All true, but she’s also brave and certainly has grit. Oh, and she’s pregnant. Yeah, talk about timing. I absolutely adored her and the other characters, there’s so much depth to them.
Seriously, this is such a compelling story that takes us through an array of emotions. Plus, there’s quite a bit of wit and humor throughout the book, and I often found myself laughing out loud. It was just all so perfectly put together.
So let me reiterate: I love The Fireman! I already want to read it again. This is a top read for sure.