My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The Fireman took me a while to get into, I’d say it was a book of two halves, except the first ‘half’ is much shorter than the second. I don’t want too much away about the second half, in the first half, Harper is a school nurse, just as a contagion called Dragonscale, is beginning to grip the US. Dragonscale appears on the skin and will eventually cause the victim to self combust. Society starts to crumble, there’s mass outbreaks of fire and Harper goes to work in a hospital, where the infected are quarantined. It’s at the hospital where she first briefly meets the enigmatic Fireman, who is one of those sexy, bit skinny Brit boys. Put it this way, things happen and Harper’s and the Fireman’s paths cross again.
I thought The Fireman was a really interesting take on an apocalyptic story, quite different from the normal vampire / zombie stuff that normally occurs at the apocalypse these days. Most of the time I liked how the story concentrated on just a small group of people, although there were times when I was desperate to know what else was going on in the wider world but Hill did manage to fit some information about this into the storyline, quite seamlessly.
I also liked how Hill used the story to look at how small groups of people handle power. And I also liked how The Fireman turned out to be a rather sweet love story and how the ‘hero’ needed rescuing just as many or perhaps more than he did the rescuing himself.
The Fireman was not my favourite Hill book (it’s still Horns) but it was pretty close!