Genre: Horror, Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Post- Apocalyptic
“There’s something horribly unfair about dying in the middle of a good story, before you have a chance to see how it all comes out. Of course, I suppose everyone ALWAYS dies in the middle of a good story, in a sense. Your own story. Or the story of your grandchildren. Death is a raw deal for narrative junkies.”
What a way to kickstart 2017, this was my 2nd Joe Hill novel and I am very impressed with his ability to take a certain genre and add a twist to it that just gives it a uniquely fresh take. He is truly remarkable and throughout the book, you could see where he drew inspiration from King’s epic Masterpiece The Stand (which I highly recommend you give it a try) but as I stated earlier it was so unique that it left me gasping.
“Your personality is not just a matter of what you know about yourself, but what others know about you. You are one person with your mother, and another with your lover, and yet another with your child. Those other people create you–finish you–as much as you create you. When you’re gone, the ones you’ve left behind get to keep the same part of you they always had.”
Hill is one author who isn’t afraid to tap into his weird side and just immerse himself in all the wonky parts of his brain, honestly, would like to sit down and just listen to him talk about literally anything for like 5 hours. I find him very cool and that is reflected in his writing, he is one very cool human.
The story is told from the perspective of nurse Harper Willows whose life and everyone on earth is literally going up in flames this is caused by a fungi infection called Dragon Scale that kind of makes human self-combust (I know shocking and terrifying) to top it all Nurse Willows turns up pregnant and trying to escape from his deranged husband who will do everything in his power to kill her. Harper then comes across a very unique human being who can manipulate Dragon Scale and use it as sort of a super power. That is the general plot point of the book but the world expands immensely as you flip the pages.
This book came from far the story about me acquiring was absolutely bonkers. After winning it in a Youtube Giveaway it took 3 months for me to actually get it and when I did I jumped right into the story and explored every aspect, every reference & all the ideas Hill put in the book for a month. I took this 700+ book slowly so as to stay in the world longer, even though the premise of the book is so scary but Hills ideologies and themes always resonate well with me. Similar to Horns (book review here) The over-arching theme of science verse religion is very much present in the book and we see how infected people interpret it in different ways. In some instances, infected people with the DragonScale sang in large groups and began to shine afterwards felt like they were high similar to the feeling of being filled with the holy spirit. As for the science part of it, pregnant women with Dragon Scale can’t affect their unborn and Hill explores why some people like The Fireman can manipulate it. It was fascinating stuff to see society try to rebuild itself both positively and negatively. The writing is excellent, I mean it kept me entertained for 700 pages, The characters were so witty and cool that the interaction between them felt genuine.
“Someone probably a lot smarter than me said hell is other people. I say you’re in hell when you don’t give to someone who needs, because you can’t bear to have less. What you are giving away then is your own soul.”
As with the genre of Post-Apocalyptic death is ever present and no character is safe since society is basically crumbled. Filled with tonnes of celebrity death references, the crash of google and just a whole lot of craziness this book is absolutely fantastic and Hill has yet again proven that The Apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree. I desperately need to explore more of his backlog 🙂
Have you already been burned by The Fireman? Tell me down in the comments…
So until next time stay Bookish 😉