The Fireman by Joe Hill

Review published on June 25, 2017.

I thought the idea behind The Fireman was good: a deadly spore spreading across the world setting people on fire, but I was a bit disappointed that I didn’t get the end of the world fear coming through the pages.

The character of Harper interested me enough to keep me reading. She has an obsession with Mary Poppins and a crazy husband. When she finds out that she is pregnant and infected with the dragonscale, she aims to survive long enough to give birth. Now, I couldn’t decide whether she was stupid or selfish at this stage. Even though there was a chance that the baby wouldn’t be infected, I couldn’t understand why you would want to bring a life into a world that is burning around you.

Enter The Fireman, who rescues Harper from the clutches of her crazy husband and takes her to Camp Wyndham, where she meets other infected survivors. This is where I lost interest as it was all a bit too much peace, love and harmony for me, sitting round the campfire singing kum ba yah. Of course, put a crowd of people together and the harmony doesn’t last long as they jostle for position to be the alpha male, or female. My interest was piqued again as the camp started to implode and new allegiances were formed, and I tried to work out who Harper could trust.

The Fireman himself is a great character and I would have liked to have learned more about him, although I think that is part of his mystery. The Fireman is definitely a rollercoaster read as it has more than its fair share of ups and downs but, for me, it didn’t quite live up to the hype.

Michelle Ryles 4/4

The Fireman by Joe Hill
Gollancz 9780575130739 pbk May 2017

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