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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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The burning man who opens the story is on fire because of an epidemic of spores called Dragonscale which infect humans through touch, marking their skin with graphic tattoos of gold and black that can catch fire and kill the human host. This is just about the most bizarre 'end-of-the-world-virus' I've ever come across in a novel, and thankfully, in real life. There's no question that Joe has read his father's book The Stand, and while both are about a virus that is wiping out mankind, and while similarities continue, it's mostly because it's logical good writing.
While Harper is working at the local hospital trying to comfort and aid the victims of Dragonscale, a man dressed as a fireman comes in holding a little boy, near death, in his arms. The Fireman demands that the boy be taken care of, but he's told to wait in line. The Fireman insists by way of a vicious looking tool, and without the interference of Harper, violence would have ensued. When Harper insists that the boy has a ruptured appendix and can't wait, the Fireman is grateful and leaves before anything more can happen.
Harper uses every precaution while working in the hospital, but ends up contracted the dread disease weeks after she learns she's pregnant, her world falls apart starting with her husband, Jakob. Jakob is a struggling writer and has been working on one book for years, a book he forbids his life to read. When Jakob blames his wife for his illness, making her realize what kind of man he really is, Harper finally reads the book and finds out that her husband is not exactly who she thought he was, and that he was arrogant enough to put it all in his novel.
This is a long book, like The Stand, but one that you won't soon forget. It was fascinating to see how the characters reacted to their fears which is what rounds out a character for me. Joe Hill allows his characters all the good and evil of real people which makes this book so readable. I just had to know what was going to happen to the characters I'd come to know and love, and sometimes despise. A good book to get lost in.
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.