The Fireman by Joe Hill

Posted May 15, 2016 | 49 Comments

The Fireman by Joe HillThe Fireman
Author: Joe Hill
Published by: William Morrow
Publication Date: May 17, 2016
Format: eARC
Pages: 768
Source: Publisher

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.


49 responses to “The Fireman by Joe Hill

    • Christy

      I read Horns and Heart Shaped Box when they first released, so it has been quite awhile since I’ve read anything by him. This was definitely my favorite, though.

    • Christy

      Once I start, I can’t stop. lol. No, I haven’t, but I will soon. I read Horns and Heart Shaped Box many years ago and loved them too. But this was my favorite of the 3 I’ve read.

  1. Can I just say that I saw the 768 pages and thought “omigosh!” And then I read your first sentence! lol Okay, from your review I’m thinking this is a tome that I’d be willing to sit awhile with. It’s certainly an interesting premise and sounds very well done. Plus, I want to meet this Harper and her “spoonful of sugar” ways. 😉

    Bookworm Brandee recently posted: Review ~ Nowhere Ranch ~ Heidi Cullinan
    • Christy

      Haha – it did even feel like it was that long. It’s definitely worth the try, Brandee, so read it! 😀

  2. That is one LONG book but sounds so fantastic!!! I bet it is sooooo good on audio!! And who is the Fireman?!?!?! Gotta love those books that feel long… 🙂

    • Christy

      It’s long, but worth every page. Idk, about the audio. I haven’t listened to a sample, but if it’s a good narrator, then yeah, I’m sure it’s really good

  3. I’ve been wanting to read Joe Hill and I’ve heard raves about this one. Your review definitely has me excited to start reading it myself even though that 760+ page thing is intimidating! I love that it didn’t feel like it was that long. Definitely a sign of a book that hooks you and doesn’t let go!

  4. OMG 760+ pages! That’s really awesome that the book was so great though all throughout. I love books that explore the human psyche and this just sounds amazing. The characters all sound excellent too! I’m going to look into this one even though I hate you a little because … 760 pages!
    Lovely review! 🙂

  5. You had me by the first two lines of your review Christy. A plague that leaves people with Dragon like scales before they burst into flames? Oh sign me the hell up for this! It sounds bloody incredibly. I love epic reads as long and they’re immersive and boy do I need this book in my life. I WANT I WANT! Brilliant review hun, loved it! <3

    • Christy

      I hope you read it, Kelly. They call it dragonscales, but they make designs on the skin. It’s both terrifying and cool.

  6. Huh, I haven’t read this guy and to be honest the title wouldn’t have grabbed me, but I like the sound of it. Spontaneous combustion and people burning up! Sounds freaky, and it’s a chunker too but those are good sometimes. 🙂 Adding to TBR…

    Greg recently posted: Let's Talk About Maps
  7. Whew 760+ pages, that’s a lot, but it must’ve been a good one if you didn’t want it to end. And what a weird and unique plot lien with the dragonscale. And yes it can be devastating to see how human react in some situations and I can see why the true horror would be in there. The main character sounds like a good one and like she brings some sunshine in the dark world she lives in. Great review!

  8. Based off your review I had to add this to my wish list. I actually almost bought it but I had to remember that I want to listen to Heart Shaped Box (I think that’s what it’s called) first. Great review!

    Leona recently posted: Brawler by Scott Hildreth
  9. Ali

    I had previously read the blurb about this and thought it sounded freaking cool – and now your review makes me want to read it even more. THAT’S IT. I’m going over to GR right now and adding it to my TBR (and what goes on my TBR gets read. PERIOD.)!

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