Dragonscale! It's a disease, a plague really, that etches one's skin with what looks like black hieroglyphics. Unfortunately, at some point the hieroglyphs light up and burst into flame and when they do, it's all over for you. If you happen to be standing next to anything flammable, it all over for that, (or them), too.
The world as we know it falls apart due to the 'scale, and people react much as you think they would. Picture how Donald Trump would react to people bursting into flame and how he would deal with those infected, in an effort to quell the disease.That's exactly what happens here. Hatred and fear of infection takes over and leads to even more deaths-most of which were unnecessary.
I'm a big fan of Joe Hill and when I heard about this book, I went about making it my life's mission to get an advance copy and I'm so glad I did. The Fireman is, in my opinion, his best book yet. The characters are the most developed we've seen from him so far, which makes it difficult to witness the trials Hill puts them through.
Mr. Hill excels at writing extremely strong women and Harper is no exception. She is a nurse who willingly helps treat those with the 'scale, while many in the medical field, and her own husband, want to run headlong in the opposite direction. Turns out Harper's husband is nothing like what she thought he was, and when she, herself, becomes infected, he makes it out to be her fault, and his true self is finally revealed. Fighting the disease, fighting her husband, trying to fight against the spread of the 'scale, Harper is a true hero and she owns this story.
Populated with other strong characters, both good and bad, this story reflects an imagination with a broad scope and a penchant for suffering. Although, at times Hill's prose rambles, I never found myself bored or losing interest; only becoming more agitated, worried and excited about what was going to come next. Would Harper make it through this? What about the plucky survivors, both good and evil? What about her horrible husband? You'll have to read this book to find out!
The Fireman was an epic tale, populated with characters you love and hate, highlighting what's both good and bad in society today. Somehow, though, I came out of the experience with a sense of hope and also a sense of excitement regarding what Joe Hill will do next.
Highly recommended for fans of post- apocalyptic tales and fans of Joe Hill!
*Thanks to the publisher and Edelweiss for providing a free e-ARC of The Fireman in exchange for an honest review. This is it!*