Posts Tagged ‘Joe Hill’

The Fireman

August 9, 2016 - 5:07 pm No Comments

Author: Joe Hill
Release date: 7th June 2016
Publisher: Gollancz
Page count: 768pp
Reviewer: Theresa Derwin

 

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As novel openers go, this one is a doozy, grabbing you from the outset.
School nurse Harper sees her first person burn, literally, in the flesh. She’d seen images on the news, knew about the virus, but this was right in front of her in the playground. In front of the children.
Visceral and grim, but written in a matter of fact tone that belies the stark nature of the content, ‘The Fireman’ is an emotional, scary, yet darkly humorous exploration of human nature and our reactions in extreme circumstances. When Harper gets back from school after treating forty kids in shock she’s greeted by her husband, who, like most of America, thinks it can’t happen to him. “I thought it was in filthy places no one wants to go …”
Like bird flu, Swine flu, the recent Ebola outbreak,  the majority of humanity in this world assume it won’t reach their perfect little bubble.
There is a definite post 9/11 sentiment to the novel; a growing fear, shocking footage on the TV, the dawning horror that yes, you could be next.
No one knew how the virus started, but the earlier symptoms were Dragonscale; a rash or bruise on the skin which would start to spread and meant it was in the contagious stage. And from there; spontaneous combustion.
When Harper volunteers at the local hospital working with victims waiting to die, her whole world will change when she meets ‘The Fireman’. Enigmatic, mysterious and passionate, the encounter with this stranger will impact her in ways she never imagined.
With religious undertones and a ‘lead’ who is both strong and determined in Harper, Hill delivers a post apocalyptic masterpiece.
What a way to burn!