Author: Joe Hill
Publisher: William Morrow
Genre: Horror, Science Fiction
Release Date: May 17th 2016
First of all, can we all just celebrate the fact that I managed to finish a 700+ page book? I have a pretty short attention span and I tend to get bored very easily. If I stay with the same book for too long, I start to eagerly anticipate the moment that i will be finished so that I can move on to reading my next novel. I usually avoid long novels as I simply struggle to finish them. The Fireman was a completely different experience for me.
This book, and its audiobook counterpart, are both one of the longest books I have ever read/listened to. This was pretty intimidating, but I must say that it felt like one of the shortest. I’m not sure if listening to the audiobook, helped in terms of how fast I was able to fly through this novel, but I do know that The Fireman was definitely entertaining. I mean, Kate Mulgrew narrated it for crying out loud! It was really fast paced for a book of its size while it explored a new form look at “the apocalypse” and how it has effected humanity.
The Fireman follows a woman named Harper who is working as a nurse as a new plague called Draco Incendia Trychophyton, or better known as Dragon Scale, has begun to overtake the Earth. Harper then realizes that she is pregnant and while at first she is completely overcome with happiness, she soon realizes that she has also contracted Dragon Scale. Those who have the Dragon Scale virus are treated as lepers and are often killed senselessly in order to keep the virus from spreading. Harper must now try her best to survive so that she can give birth to her child. She eventually meets a man named John, also known as The Fireman, who offers to take her to a safe camp for those with Dragon Scale.
I remember when I had first heard about The Fireman and when I had first read the synopsis. I thought it was absolutely intriguing and I knew that I needed to read it the moment it was released. I had read a few of Joe Hill’s other works (Horns & The Locke & Key Graphic Novel Series) and I must say I really enjoy his writing. I had extremely high hopes for The Fireman and I must say that my expectations were met.
The cast of characters within The Fireman was quite large, but they were all quite distinguishable from one another. I loved Harper and her pure need to help people. Even while pregnant, she is selfless. John, a.k.a. The Fireman, was just the right amount of mysterious. He could do things that the others couldn’t. He had control over the Dragon Scale and you can’t help but wonder why he is able to control it the way that he can. When Harper first meets John, it is through a young child named Nick who is deaf. I absolutely loved the inclusion of Nick in this novel and he quickly became one of my favourite characters. On top of these three characters, we meet many more throughout the novel, but especially while Harper has taken refuge at the safe camp for those with Dragon Scale. Each of these characters plays an important part in the world of The Fireman, and each of them were memorable in their own right.
On top of these characters, we also meet a slew of vile and disgusting inhumane characters. Although there were plenty of likable and relatable characters, we are also introduced to countless villains and pure evil. While these characters were in no way inspirational or likable, Joe Hill did a fantastic job in making me completely despise them.
I felt as though the beginning and ending of the story were extremely fast paced, action packed and memorable, but little bits within the middle tended to drag. I felt the same way while reading Horns unfortunately. It felt as though there was a few moments that were slightly unnecessary and could have been cut. Sometimes less is more! However, that is literally my one and only complaint about The Fireman.
Joe Hill has slowly become one of my favourite writers and I am honestly very eager to read the rest of his works. I already have NOS4A2 waiting for me on Audible! The Fireman, and its entire 768 pages, is definitely worth reading, especially if you want to read a new and refreshing take on the dystopian/apocalypse genre!