Wednesday 4 December 2019


The Fireman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a book I've been meaning to read for a while, and I'm really glad I finally did.

Harper is a school nurse when the world starts burning. A mysterious spore everyone calls Dragonscale starts infecting people and civilization slowly crumbles. After the schools are closed, she spends months trying to help the infected in a local hospital.

Until even that burns to the ground.

When she gets home, Harper discovers the dreaded condition has found her too. Being infected highlights how shitty her marriage really is, and leads her to a group of survivors who might be able to help her save the most important thing in her life. Or might end up being her damnation...

Wow. Seriously, wow.

What an awesome book!

I was intrigued as soon as I started. I liked Harper instantly, disliked her husband, and as soon as the Fireman entered the scene I couldn't wait to find out more about him.

The pacing in this book is great. While on one hand, it's a total slow burn (pardon the pun) because the end of the world comes gradually, when fire starts engulfing everything and everyone things move pretty swiftly.

It's a fast-paced story, yet nothing is rushed.

There are quite a few characters and they're all weird, wonderful and awful in their own way. But I liked that we see things unfold from Harper's third-person POV because she was a great narrator. She has quite a bit of conflict going on: a crazy ex, a new society to adapt to, an unborn baby to think about, and a man who intrigues her. There's a lot to unpack, but her kindness and determination to do the right thing never fades. No matter how bad it gets, she never sways.

Harper is one of many strong women in this book. Renée is awesome and brave. Allie is stubborn and brave.

This is quite a chunky book, but I couldn't put it down. I was hooked from the start and the tension kept me on the edge of my seat all the way through. The stakes kept getting higher and everyone goes through hell.

I liked that although the Fireman was quite skilled in his use of the Dragonscale, and totally mysterious, he's not a superhero. He's an average man and it takes time for him to recover. He was charming and funny and annoying all at once.

There's not a dull moment in this insane story.

The Fireman is an unpredictable and totally addictive story about the end of the world. It's an original and unique twist to the post-apocalyptic genre full of interesting characters that surprised me every step of the way.

It's unpredictable, surprising, full of adventure and is riveting until the very last word. And contains some really cool references to other books, music and pop culture.

Oh, I thought the hive-mind mentality commentary on social media, wrapped up in a great story was very clever, too. How the sense of belonging can deepen connections, but can also be corrupted. Actually, this doesn't just apply to social media. I've seen it happen in so many other situations. People are capable of destroying anything that's good. 😒

Well, there's only one last thing to say: I wonder how long the Dire Straits Romeo and Juliet song is going to be playing inside my head...?

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