The Fireman takes us to a version of our world that is burning. Literally. A mysterious disease, known as dragonscale due to the markings it creates on the body, is causing mass spontaneous combustion. With the sheer number of people catching fire, almost everything else seems to be going up in flames too, including civilization. Into this setting we meet Harper, an uncompromisingly positive nurse with a fondness for Julie Andrews. Harper is amazing. She’s a charming mix of innocence, courage, and intelligence. Experiencing the world through her point of view is a delight.
The story is a slow burn, building the intensity as the disasters mount. The world is well-realized and the dragonscale fascination, but throughout it’s the characters and the prose that shine. The novel telegraphs each of the disasters and betrayals beautifully, letting you stress as the tension builds without spoiling the moment when it finally arrives. I've seen some reviews complain the ending of this book is too predictable. I've been thinking about this and disagree. It is true the ending could be predicted a long way in advance, but that's true of every major event in the book. The Fireman isn't about unpredictable twists. It's about the inexorable tension of knowing what is coming, but not exactly how events will play out — it's about the journey and the characters. In that context, I feel the ending fit perfectly with the rest of the book and was satisfied.
If you enjoy dystopian / apocalyptic fiction, you should absolutely read The Fireman.
- Audible Audiobook
- Listening Length: 22 hours and 19 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Orion Publishing Group
- Audible.com.au Release Date: 17 May 2016
- Whispersync for Voice: Ready
- Language: English, English
- ASIN: B01BAXV16W
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 8,325 in Audible (See Top 100 in Audible)