Putting a unique spin on the apocalypse, Joe Hill’s The Fireman brings about what feels like the end of days with fire.
We are twinned with Harper, a young girl who helps out at her local hospital during the outbreak of ‘dragonscale’, which can cause the infected to burst into flames at any time.
Harper contracts the disease and thus begins a series of events, including her becoming pregnant, which drive the story in unexpected directions.
The Fireman himself is almost a peripheral figure in the story, which works well and helps brings almost a mythos to him in the early chapters before he is suitably fleshed out.
This feels like how the Walking Dead, at its best, focussed on the apocalypse as Harper discovers a camp for dragonscale survivors, which quickly becomes a nest of vipers, with personality clashes more of a threat than the scale itself.
Hill does well to write a wealth of characters that we can relate to and although The Fireman is a large book (750 pages), it’s short and snappy chapter style is similiar to Hill’s NOS4A2, another mammoth that kept readers engrossed with its punchy format.
Its a testament to the story, that when the finale does come, it feels like we want to see more from these characters.
Hill is certainly proving himself an adept writer of horror fiction without the shadow of his father looming over him.
The Fireman is available now on Amazon Kindle and Paperback.