Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Book Review | The Fireman by Joe Hill

The Fireman was released in paperback today so I decided this would be the perfect time to do some catch up and finally post a review for it.

The Fireman is a horror novel from Joe Hill.


From the award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of NOS4A2 and Heart-Shaped Box comes a chilling novel about a worldwide pandemic of spontaneous combustion that threatens to reduce civilization to ashes and a band of improbable heroes who battle to save it, led by one powerful and enigmatic man known as the Fireman.

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.

Why did I read The Fireman?

Joe Hill. After NOS4A2, I'm a fan for life.

The Strengths

Joe Hill. Joe Hill inherited some hella good genes. There is a lot of Stephen King in Joe Hill and that's a great thing.

The Fireman is original and a lot of it has stuck with me even though it's been months since I read it.

Dragonscale - the virus - is more than just a cool premise. I thought "OK, this is one of those times I'm just going to have to go along with the imagination of the King family", but it went and got all science-y on me which made me love it even more.

The Weaknesses

You won't hear me say this very often, but The Fireman was too long. I love me a chunky read, and I really love a chunky read from Joe Hill, but I felt like The Fireman was chunky for chunky's sake. It didn't need to be that long and that ultimately hindered my enjoyment of the book.

Would I recommend The Fireman to others?

Yes! The Fireman was one of my favorite reads last year.

8/10: Great Read

Review copy provided by publisher

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14 comments:

  1. I agree that it was too long. Some sections went on and on and on but I still loved it :) I'm glad I listened to it on audio, it would've hogged up two months of my reading time!

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    1. Yeah, it could have been edited down for sure.

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  2. Got a hardback for Christmas because I knew I'd have to have it for my collection. Hope to read it in February. I still need to read NOS4A2 but I did fall in live with Heart Shaped Box years ago!

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    1. Ugh. I need to do the same!! I have a hardback of Heart-Shaped Box and NOS4A2. That's the bad thing about getting ebook arcs. It's easy for me to put off the collecting part. You really do need to read NOS4A2. It's one of my absolute favorites.

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  3. I completely agree with you about the issue with length... there were many parts that could have been cut or shortened and it would have only improved this story. And do you think he'll write a follow-up or will it remain a standalone? I'm undecided. But King and Hill need to write more books together... the world would be a better place. :)

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    1. I was assuming it would remain a standalone, but you never really know, do you? I really need to read the graphic novels he did after NOS4A2. You know, I'm thinking yes, they need to write all the things together! But I hated In the Tall Grass. LOL.

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  4. Funny that you should mention the chunkiness. I really want to read this one but think it looks a bit long.

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    1. It really is. You could do the audio, though, so you don't get bogged down. Kate Mulgrew is amazing!

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  5. I agree with Jenny; I have to work up to reading chunksters...and often find myself putting them aside for slightly shorter reads. :)

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    1. Yeah, I do the same! I can get stuck in a book for a long time if the timing isn't right.

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  6. I enjoyed this - it was my first by Joe Hill and it's impressive - but, yes, it is quite long and a bit daunting!
    Lynn :D

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    1. His other books are great, too. I think NOS4A2 is the only other chunky book, but I loved every bit of it. It didn't need to be culled down like this one could have been.

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  7. Loved this book! I just finished it two weeks ago. I also read N0S4A2 and devoured it. Great review!
    Rebecca @ The Portsmouth Review
    Follow me on Bloglovin'

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    1. Thanks, Rebecca! Joe Hill is definitely a must read for me.

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