Friday, December 21, 2018

Review - The Fireman by Joe Hill @joe_hill

The Fireman by Joe Hill
Narrated by Kate Mulgrew
Publisher: William Morrow / HarperAudio
Publication Date: May 17, 2016
Date Read: December 14, 2018
Length:  752 pages / 22 hours 19 minutes
Source: Edelweiss / Hoopla
★★★★☆
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.
My Review

This was good.  Really good.  I have had this book for years but for some reason, I never got around to reading it.  I should not have waited so long because this book is fantastic. I was hooked by this story right away and there was never a dull moment.  I listened to this book every spare moment that I could find and really enjoyed the experience.

I probably read this book's summary back when it was released but I went into this book with no idea what it was about.  Based on the title, I thought it was about a fireman.  There is a fireman in the book but this story is really about a whole lot more than that.  This story follows Harper, a nurse, as the world tries to deal with the new outbreak everyone is calling Dragonscale.  People with Dragonscale seem to spontaneously burst into flames killing themselves and endangering those around them. 

I do enjoy a good end of the world story and I appreciated the fact that this one is a little different than anything I have read before.  The Dragonscale is dangerous and people are scared and some are taking things into their own hands.  When Harper is infected, she must fight for her life and ends up finding her way to a community filled with others like her.  She doesn't do it alone though.  She has help from the fireman. 

This book took me on quite the journey.  At the start, I was really curious about this new illness and was kind of mesmerized by how it was described.  I loved seeing how the world was dealing with the situation at the hospital and in the world.  I understood Harper's need to survive and keep going.  The community she found was fantastic until it wasn't.  I found the community's changing dynamics to be very well done.  There was plenty of action and things that really couldn't be explained that kept the story really interesting. 

Kate Mulgrew did a fantastic job with the narration of this book.  She was able to handle a large cast of characters incredibly well.  Each character had a very distinctive voice and I felt a lot of emotion in her reading.  She has a very pleasant voice and I thought that she read the story at a perfect pace.  I found this book easy to listen to for hours at a time.  I think that her performance increased my enjoyment of the novel.

I would recommend this book to others.  This was an epic story filled with great characters and a lot of excitement.  I am so glad that I finally decided to pick this one up and cannot wait to read more of Joe Hill's work.

I received a digital review copy of this book from William Morrow via Edelweiss and borrowed a copy of the audiobook from my local library via Hoopla.
About the Author

Joe Hill is the New York Times bestselling author of Horns and Heart-Shaped Box, and the prize-winning story collection 20th Century Ghosts. He is also the Eisner-award winning writer of an ongoing comic book series, Locke & Key.

30 comments:

  1. The Fireman looks to be an intense dystopia story and I am excited to read it from the synopsis and your review. The title had me imagining it would be a romantic story!

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    1. I really had no idead what to expect so it was a rather nice surprise.

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  2. I have been hearing so much about Joe Hill. I am adding this to my wishlist.

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    1. I have read two of his books in just the past couple of months and really enjoyed them both. I hope you enjoy this one if you get the chance to read it, Nadene!

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  3. I enjoyed Heart Shaped Box and I do have this one but the size of the book puts me right off at the moment!

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    1. It is a longer book but I feel like I still was able to get through it quickly. I can read 1,000 pages in a couple of days if it is really good or I can take a week to read 300 pages when it isn't so good. I try not to let length put me off but I know it does at times.

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  4. I can't believe I've not read this but I have a bad aversion to it. When Cass and Booker T got in a fight several years ago, this book was on the table and ended up on the floor and I'm sure there is traces of Booker T's blood on it (TMI I'm sure). I don't know if I'll ever be able to pick it up. Maybe I should read it and put the whole incident behind me for once and for all huh?

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    1. I totally understand, Barb! I remember how traumatic that was and I must tell you that your story is the reason that two of my dogs are put in a crate whenever we leave the house. They don't mind their crate and I know that they are safe.

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  5. I liked this one. Several of my friends didn't and that made me most curious to read it. I wonder if the audible would be even better.

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    1. Kate Mulgrew does such a great job with the narration that I do feel it added to the overall experience.

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  6. Yay! I’m glad it was good and exciting. I swear I’ll read a Joe Hill book someday. They sound like books I’d love. Great review!

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

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    1. I hope you do get the chance to read some of Joe Hill's work soon, AJ!

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  7. I heard great things about the author and the books but I still need to try

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    1. I am enjoying his work lately. I hope you get the chance to read him soon.

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  8. Oh that does sound different and one that I would enjoy.

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  9. I need to check if my library has it!

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    1. I do recommend going with the audiobook if you get the chance!

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  10. oh this looks to be unique and fascinating. I hope I can get to it sometime. Great review! Anne - Books of My Heart

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    1. I thought it was a really well told story, Anne. The narration was really top notch as well.

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  11. This is the second Joe Hill review I've read recently and I'm so intrigued with his stories. They are extremely original.
    "To Jakob’s dismay, Harper wants to live" - excuse you? I'm assuming if one person got infected they would kill themselves? Idk.
    I'm deeply horrified with this disease. Last year I burned my hands with boiling water and have never felt something more terrifying and excruciating. The inside of my hands felt like they were literally on fire. However, this seems too cool to pass up. It's also a book I think my brother would love. I might give it as a gift for him on his birthday or next Christmas.

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    1. Ouch! I hope your hands are better. Joe Hill did a really great job with this one and I think it would make a great gift.

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  12. At first I was always getting Joe Hill mixed up with Justin Cronin, and I have no clue why, ha ha. Then I found out Hill was the son of Stephen King... mind blown. I have had this on my Looks Interesting shelf on Goodreads for a long time. Now that I know Hoopla has the audio, thanks for the heads up, I might jump on it this next tear. Thanks for sharing your review. 👍✨

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    1. Hoopla has most of Hill's work and I plan to take avantage of it!

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  13. Yay for reading books on your backlist and getting to them and enjoying them! You have been reading quite a bit of Joe Hill lately as well ;)

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    1. I have read two of his books just recently. I am having a great time with his work.

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  14. Awesome review!! I really enjoyed this one as well! I've actually loved everything I've read by Joe Hill so far! :) I just finished a reread of NOS4A2. I highly recommend that one if you haven't read it yet! :)

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    1. I actually just read NOS4A2 about a month ago. Glad you enjoyed your re-read of it!

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  15. I loved this book too. I wasn't sure that I would when I first saw it, but it blew me away. It is my second favorite Joe Hill book (it will be really hard to beat NOS4A2).

    Melanie @ Hot Listens & Books of My Heart

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    1. I actually liked this one a bit more than NOS4A2 but they were both excellent and I loved Kate Mulgrew's narration on both.

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