The Fireman explores a world that is being besieged by a highly contagious deadly spore. Nicknamed Dragonscale, those that are affected are identified by the black and gold markings the spore creates across their bodies. All will ultimately combust into flames, a fate that comes to all who contract Dragonscale. Joe Hill tells the story of Harper, a dedicated nurse who whilst pregnant contracts Dragonscale. Refusing to give up Harper encounters a mysterious man named The Fireman.
As most people are aware, Joe Hill is Stephen Kings’ son. King has written many a number of apocalyptic tales. But this is Joe Hills’ first stab at this particular genre. Having enjoyed previous Joe Hill novels I was greatly anticipating The Fireman, in fact I pre-ordered the book as I was so excited to get my hands on it.
Apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction is the genre where my most favourite books sit (The Stand by Stephen King and The Passage by Justin Cronin), and it is a genre that I am well read in. So how did The Fireman stack up against these heavyweights?
So the main premise of this book is around the Dragonscale spore. This itself reminds me greatly of another book, the amazing Lanark- by Alasdair Gray. Lanark is a highly recommended read, but interestingly there is s disease in that eventually turns the sufferers into dragons. Every time Joe Hill writes about Dragonscale I think about Lanark. However I really enjoyed the whole premise of Dragonscale in The Fireman. It is such an interesting apocalyptic twist.
The Fireman examines both the best and worse of humanity. In some ways a comparison can be drawn to the Stand. But The Fireman feels all too human rather than supernatural.
I have enjoyed earlier Joe Hill novels, but with The Fireman he really has upped his game. In some respects he has demonstrated that he will be a worthy contender to his fathers’ throne. All we need is for him to become more prolific! I’m really sad to have finished this book. 5 stars!
Where to buy The Fireman
****Disclaimer – I purchased this book with my own money. This is my honest review****Tags: fireman, Joe Hill