Book Review: The Fireman by Joe Hill

The Fireman - Joe Hill

I read The Fireman with Beth @ Bibliobeth, and I can confirm we both loved this book! It was my second Hill read, a completely different story to NOS 4R2, but equally as brilliant.


Nobody knew where the virus came from. FOX News said it had been set loose by ISIS, using spores that had been invented by the Russians in the 1980s. MSNBC said sources indicated it might’ve been created by engineers at Halliburton and stolen by culty Christian types fixated on the Book of Revelation. CNN reported both sides. And while every TV station debated the cause, the world burnt.

Pregnant school nurse, HARPER GRAYSON, has seen lots of people burn on TV, but the first person she saw burn for real was in the playground behind her school. But when she realises she has become infected, she is determined to find a way to survive – at least long enough to see her child born. No matter what is left of the world for them to live in.

With the epic scope of THE PASSAGE and the emotional impact of THE ROAD, this is one woman’s story of survival at the end of the world.


When a book is seven hundred pages long, don’t take it lightly when I say, I enjoyed every single page! Set in apocalyptic America, The Fireman may just be the best pandemic novel I have ever read. A spore known as Dragonscale is causing the world to burn, there is no cure, and Harper has one mission, to survive.

The beginning of this novel, the first 100 pages or so, is what I like to call the scene setting, it puts the world as it is now in context, introduces you to key characters and has you wondering how on earth they are going to survive. Hill writes in such an engaging manner, you’re immediately invested in the plot, and this investment remains until the very last page. So much so, that I didn’t mind the limited information about how the rest of the world is being affected by Dragonscale. As the story progresses, the fight for survival intensifies, especially when Harper believes she’s found safety in what can only be described as a cult-like community. But with most cults, cracks start forming and the play for power consumes.

The characters in this novel, both good and bad, are brilliant, they invoke such emotion; such strong character creation that brings Hill’s imagination to life. You’re able to visualise what you’re reading, such is the believability in Hill’s story. Tension is ever present because, at any moment, a character you love could burst into flames. And there were a few characters I was hoping would ignite in a painful blaze, such as Harper’s husband, Jakob, urgh – what a detestable man! What Hill has mastered here is something I believe some authors struggle with, and that is to give young children leading roles in their novel, and the strength of their characters match that of the adults – that’s not to say they’re all likeable, but that this novel has no weak link. And when you read this novel, just remember I said it first: Nick is amazing!

The Fireman isn’t without its surprises either, several twists along the way, showed just how talented Hill is, I never saw them coming, not one, but I nodded my head in approval each and every time. And let me not forget to mention, the wonderful humour that is laced throughout this novel.

“Just because you’ve read a couple of John Grisham novels doesn’t make you a Supreme Court justice.”

From the laugh out loud moments to the sadder, more tender, moments, and ultra-interesting plot, The Fireman is gripping, imaginative, entertaining and emotional in all the right places – an all-consuming read. Don’t be surprised if you see it feature in my top ten books read in 2018.

This book is available to buy from: Amazon UK / Book Depository

23 thoughts on “Book Review: The Fireman by Joe Hill

    1. Thanks! I haven’t read Horns but I’ve heard NOS4R2 and The Fireman are his best two, so I’m inclined to think you’ll enjoy this one too. Have you read any of his others, I’m thinking to read Heart-Shaped box next 🤔

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Awesome review from an awesome blogger and buddy reader! (Yes YOU!) And urrrrrgh Jakob, he’ll definitely be featuring in my review, you know how much I hated him!! Can’t wait for Eleanor now.

    Liked by 1 person

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