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The Fireman: A Novel Kindle Edition
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|Length: 771 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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Top customer reviews
The first half of this book starts out fantastic. We see the slow decline of mankind and experience it with the main character, Harper. I can't really think of any disease more terrifying than one that could cause you to spontaneously combust without any sort of warning. I liked Harper for the most part, but she was pretty generic. Kind of a cardboard cut out nurse.
Of course, at about the halfway point, we do meet the thing more terrifying than the disease that causes you to spontaneously combust, self preserving, panicked humans. I think Carol is the most terrifying, but there is also Jakob Grayson, the Marlboro Man, and a whole slew of others. A good horror story all around. The horror never seems to end for Harper and her friends.
By that I mean, this book never seems to end. Don't get me wrong, I don't object to books being long. In fact- I like long. I think my objection to the length of this book comes from a lack of focus or clear direction. First the antagonist is the dragon scale itself, then it's her husband, Jakob Grayson, then its group think and Carol Storey, then it's the Governor of Maine. I thought this book was over when I was at the 75% mark. It felt over. We reached a huge climax, overcame it, and moved on. It should have ended. I thought that other 25% was acknowledgements and book previews, etc., etc. as my kindle app so often tells me I'm only 75% finished when the book is actually done. I was ready for someone to put these characters out of their misery.
That being said- I did enjoy the story overall. I like the fireman character. I adored Nick. I felt bad about Mr. Truffles. That seemed unnecessary. The horror was real. I will definitely keep on with Joe Hill. I don't think the drawn out ending outweighed the good story telling here, but it wasn't NOS4A2. If you want to read Joe Hill and haven't checked out NOS4A2 yet- start with that one.
I LOVED THIS BOOK! I was lucky enough to get an Advanced Reading Copy of it but I have already pre-ordered a hardcover for my library. I actually might order two - one to keep in pristine condition on my library shelf and another that I already plan on re-reading over and over. And that, in itself, is rare. I read so many books that hardly ever do I re-read one.
My favorite genre of books is horror and even more appealing to me is the sub-genre of post-apocalyptic/dystopian books. So I knew I was probably going to like this tale.
Plus I've read Joe Hill's other books (except for his graphic novels) and I enjoyed them.
But this is a post-apocalyptic book that I loved as much as ANY I've ever read. And Joe Hill has taken a giant leap forward with his writing prowess.
- I loved the characters. Harper, the nurse who models herself off of Mary Poppins, and John, the Fireman, are my favorites but author Hill brings the whole incredible cast of characters to life on these pages - from the innocent to the maniacal. The most important "character" is Draco incendia trychophyton, or Dragonscale - wildly imaginative and deadly.
- Most of the story takes place in New Hampshire and I could visualize the settings clearly.
- The storyline - I'm not going into any detail on the story. Everyone that reads or listens to this book should experience it firsthand with no spoilers. Set aside a weekend or longer if you need it and immerse yourself in this world that Joe Hill has created.
This book has made it into my top 10 books of all time. So, if you couldn't tell, again - I LOVED THIS BOOK. I can't think of anything I didn't love about it.
Thank you to William Morrow Books through Edelweiss for sending me a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.
At 750 pages, The Fireman is a big book. Unfortunately, about 400 of those pages are spent slowly revealing that the camp is not as safe as it seems (something fairly obvious to the reader the moment our protagonist is welcomed into "The Bright.")
There are some interesting ideas and scenes here - for example, the "Cremation Crews" made up of uninfected men are scouring the blasted landscape looking to exterminate anyone infected with dragonscale, a deliciously tense ambulance heist sequence, and a wickedly dark reveal at the end of the novel - but unfortunately, just not enough seems to happen to justify this novel's length (a criticism ironically often lobbed at King's work). And the characters don't seem to grow and evolve as much as have backstory monologues at the appropriate times in the narrative.
Joe Hill is an awesome writer (his novel NOS4A2 is a seriously great and inventive horror novel), but The Fireman commits the cardinal sin of apocalyptic plague novels - it gets boring.
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