Kate Mulgrew (Narrator)
Audiobook: Duration: 22:19:36
Published May 17th, 2016 by HarperAudio
From the award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of NOS4A2 and Heart-Shaped Box comes a chilling novel about a worldwide pandemic of spontaneous combustion that threatens to reduce civilization to ashes and a band of improbable heroes who battle to save it, led by one powerful and enigmatic man known as the Fireman.
The fireman is coming. Stay cool.
No one knows exactly when it began or where it originated. A terrifying new plague is spreading like wildfire across the country, striking cities one by one: Boston, Detroit, Seattle. The doctors call it Draco Incendia Trychophyton. To everyone else it's Dragonscale, a highly contagious, deadly spore that marks its hosts with beautiful black and gold marks across their bodies—before causing them to burst into flames. Millions are infected; blazes erupt everywhere. There is no antidote. No one is safe.
Harper Grayson, a compassionate, dedicated nurse as pragmatic as Mary Poppins, treated hundreds of infected patients before her hospital burned to the ground. Now she's discovered the telltale gold-flecked marks on her skin. When the outbreak first began, she and her husband, Jakob, had made a pact: they would take matters into their own hands if they became infected. To Jakob's dismay, Harper wants to live—at least until the fetus she is carrying comes to term. At the hospital, she witnessed infected mothers give birth to healthy babies and believes hers will be fine too. . . if she can live long enough to deliver the child.
Convinced that his do-gooding wife has made him sick, Jakob becomes unhinged, and eventually abandons her as their placid New England community collapses in terror. The chaos gives rise to ruthless Cremation Squads—armed, self-appointed posses roaming the streets and woods to exterminate those who they believe carry the spore. But Harper isn't as alone as she fears: a mysterious and compelling stranger she briefly met at the hospital, a man in a dirty yellow fire fighter's jacket, carrying a hooked iron bar, straddles the abyss between insanity and death. Known as The Fireman, he strolls the ruins of New Hampshire, a madman afflicted with Dragonscale who has learned to control the fire within himself, using it as a shield to protect the hunted . . . and as a weapon to avenge the wronged.
In the desperate season to come, as the world burns out of control, Harper must learn the Fireman's secrets before her life—and that of her unborn child—goes up in smoke.
Harper is a young nurse who discovers that she has contracted Dragonscale, a disease which first manifests as gold flecked marks on the skin and eventually the infected people burst into flames and burn to death. Harper and her husband, Jakob, have talked about ending their lives together rather than burning to death like those infected. When she discovers that she is pregnant, she no longer wants to end her life or that of her unborn child. But, Jakob has other plans for Harper. He turns a little nutty, becomes obsessed with trying not to contract Dragonscale, while trying to murder Harper.
John Rookwood, the mysterious man dressed as a fireman, leads Harper to a hidden community of infected people who have found a way to survive the disease. This place is called Camp Wyndham and the members of the camp, The Bright, are able to live with Dragonscale and have come together as a support group. Along the way John must protect Harper and the camp from the Cremation Squads, a vigilante group that start murdering the infected. John can control his Dragonscale and could do some amazing things with it.
I listened to the audiobook version of The Fireman, the narrator Kate Mulgrew was fantastic. I found myself very interested in the story, that is until Harper arrived at Camp Wyndham. From then on, it went downhill, the time she spent at the camp became slow and boring. There were some interesting camp members that were introduced, and I did appreciate the relationship that Harper grew with some of them. Then it was time to leave camp, it picked up again until the end. I listened to this book for 22 hours and I felt cheated with ending regarding John. Because of that ending, it will be awhile before I listen/read another book by Joe Hill.