William Morrow | May 2016 | 768 pgs
Source: Publisher

I have to confess I'm not really a chunkster reader. Thick volumes intimidate me in general. Imagine how many good books I might have missed given this silly mentality, but I have heard so many good things about The Fireman and plus I have the ARC and the Fireman Readalong as motivations, I figured it was time to read it. 

Now as much as I hate to admit it, I have mixed reactions about The Fireman. I suppose I shall start with the things I liked about the story. For starters, I think the idea of a new plague - Dragonscale (or Draco incendia trychophyton, to be exact) is brilliant. Dragonscale is a highly contagious and deadly spore that tattoo its hosts with black and gold marks across their bodies before causing them to burst into flames. I liked the uniqueness of this theme and most of all, our protagonist, Harper Grayson, who is both brave and remarkable not only in her profession (as a nurse) but also her own righteous self too. I also thought that the opening was very intriguing and introduce readers to the scary world the author has created. Then, there are issues about humanity and survival, which I felt is the core of this story and thought-provoking in many ways. 

Now a few things which I didn't like and/or baffled me: While I liked the idea of this new disease and the scary world, the plot seemed to come to a halt towards the middle of the book. This is where it was focused on too many dialogues with little actions and at times I found myself distracted, which also had me skimmed through some pages. There are also a cast of characters here whom Harper would befriend with given the circumstances, and though some of them aren't likeable, they do contribute some highlights to the story. And finally, there is the Fireman, a mysterious and compelling character based on the title though I didn't understand why this story is focused more on Harper than him, until I got to the end and wondered if that was it. And that ending. To be fair, I think I may have expected too much from this story (or perhaps it is the chunkster issue, which is my bad) and given the glowing reviews I have seen around, it appears that I am in the minority. That said, The Fireman has a refreshing theme unlike others and I will continue to check out Joe Hill's future releases. 

10 Responses
  1. Anonymous Says:

    Hmm... I have this on my kindle but wasn't in the mood to read. I am not a fan of horror of gory thrillers, but I liked the idea of the plot and I do read dystopian-world stories sometimes. I read on someone else's blog that they loved the beginning but then it started to stall.

    I think I'll read it, but not right away and only when I'm in the mood. I don't mind chunksters at all because I try not to put myself on any kind of schedule when reading.

  2. Lark Says:

    I'm often intimidated by really thick books, too. Sometimes I just don't have the attention span for 500+ pages; and sometimes a book that long needs some serious editing. :)

  3. Melody Says:

    Rita - I don't think this is a horror novel in that aspect. The horror in this book is more of the subject and the human behaviours.

    I think the story has great potential but a bit too long in my opinion. Some parts drag and not to mention with little actions.

  4. Melody Says:

    Lark - 500+ pages seems to be the max to me. I didn't really mind about the thickness of this book initially because the blurb sounds so good to me. Nevertheless, I'm glad to read it even though it was a disappointment to me.

  5. Marce Says:

    I don't do chunksters either and approx 500 pages is definitely my max. As you said I may be missing out but I can't commit to the same book for that long.

    I have enjoyed 2 of his books so far.

  6. Melody Says:

    Marce - I enjoyed The Heart-shaped Box and that's the only book I've read by Joe Hill. I hope his next book will be better.

  7. jenclair Says:

    I love chunksters, but have had doubts about The Fireman. Guess I may have to actually try it to see! Or not. :)

  8. Melody Says:

    Jenclair - I'll be curious of your thoughts if you do read it, Jenclair.

  9. Iliana Says:

    Oh Melody, I'm with you on chunksters. I think my problem is that I keep thinking I could have read several books in the time it takes me to read one chunkster :)

    I really enjoyed his book Heart Shaped Box and some of his short stories but this one didn't call to me as much. Maybe I'll check it out one day though.

  10. Melody Says:

    Iliana - Yes, I've the same thinking too! :) I hope you'll enjoy it more than me if you do read it, Iliana.

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