Monday, April 04, 2016

The Fireman

I was lucky enough to get a review copy of Joe Hill's next novel, The Fireman,  from the publisher. It's set in an apocalyptic world, where an infectious fungus causes people to spontaneously combust. The main character is an infected and pregnant nurse who is aided by a fireman with the ability to control fire. The nurse escapes from a psychotic husband to a campground full of infected people who have learned how to avoid combustion by group singalongs.

The the book drags quite bit. It's obvious that the camp is only going to be a temporary solution. The infected are surrounded by people who would kill them if they were discovered. The camp's leader seems to be turning into a religious fanatic. Anyone who doesn't fit is ostracized. It's blatantly obvious after a couple of chapters that things are going to fall apart there, but we still spend about half the book in the camp before the hero sets out on a quest to find a new refuge in Martha Quinn's Island.

Frankly I don't think this is Hill's best work. The novel suffers from a bit of bloat, and would have been much better if the camp scenes had been trimmed a bit. That said, it was still enjoyable if predictable read.