Renato Jones was born into privilege, died because of that privilege, and was reborn again through that privilege, and now he spends his time betweenRenato Jones was born into privilege, died because of that privilege, and was reborn again through that privilege, and now he spends his time between being one of the ONES, the top 1% wealthiest people in the world, and the Freelancer, making sure that the ONES still know their place in the world. Making definite nods to Frank Miller (I'm not familiar with Andrews work, so I don't know if his artistic and writing styles are usually this influenced by Miller, but it is quite clear in this book), this first volume of Renato Jones is a hyper-stylized, hyper-violent, hyper-sensational free for all that seems eerily prescient of today's political atmosphere. The book is cleverly constructed, with fake ads throughout that mock the ridiculous over the top nature of the super rich in the book. Personally, I'm thoroughly intrigued to see where Andrews is going to take this series so will be following along for sure. ...more
Serial killers in a Twin Peaks-esque setting, with a little Stephen King on the side. Definitely an interesting take on serial killers, and I'm intrigSerial killers in a Twin Peaks-esque setting, with a little Stephen King on the side. Definitely an interesting take on serial killers, and I'm intrigued enough to see where the mystery will lead. The art felt a little slapdash in the beginning, but by the end Henderson seemed to get into his groove. ...more
I'm not quite sure how to review Joe Hill's The Fireman. On the one hand, I found the book compelling enough to basic**spoiler alert** Spoiler Alert!!
I'm not quite sure how to review Joe Hill's The Fireman. On the one hand, I found the book compelling enough to basically read it in two sittings. On the other hand, when all was said and done, I don't actually think that it is very good, which surprised me. Being titled The Fireman, I expected more from the actual Fireman, but I'm pretty sure the book wouldn't have sold as well had it been titled The Pregnant Nurse, because that's who the book is really about.
Harper Grayson née Willowes is trying to find her way in a world that has been ravaged by a new plague called Draco Incendia Trychophyton, otherwise known as Dragonscale. When infected, the human body presents the contagion as bands of black and gold markings on the skin, and eventually the sick will spontaneously combust. Harper was a nurse at a hospital and eventually contracts the disease. At the same time, she becomes pregnant and her partner, Jakob, goes mad thinking she spread it to him as well.
After Jakob tries to kill Harper and she is rescued by the Fireman, she is brought to Camp Wyndham where a small congregation has come together and has found a way to keep from burning by entering what is called the Bright. Being a nurse, she is taken on as the ad hoc doctor for the camp.* While everything at Camp Wyndham appears perfect at first, eventually it all predictably falls apart, as secrets are kept, items and food are stolen, and a religious fervor begins to take over the group. Harper, with a small number of other infected, decides that it is time to escape Camp Wyndham, but before they can do that, things go even more wrong, and in the end, it's Harper, the Fireman, and three others who manage to escape to make their way north to Martha Quinn's island, a sanctuary for those who are infected.**
This is all a very simplistic breakdown of the story, as the book is over 700 pages, so there are many nuances in the story that I've glazed over. There should be quite a bit in this book that I should like, and I did enjoy some of it, but many sections ran on for way too long for my liking. I grew wary throughout the second act of the book while Harper is trying to deal with the religious fervor in the camp. It was all just a bit too predictable for me; I had it figured who was behind everything far before the reveal. And the Fireman's numerous flashback expositions during this section felt a little forced, and every time we came across one, I couldn't help to think, "Of course we need a flashback right now. Because, exposition."
During the third act of the book, I couldn't help but think that Hill was trying to create his own condensed version of The Road by way of his dad.*** Again, this section just drug on for way too long as they are chased by Harpers's ex, and then forced to walk for miles and miles, and I get why it did as he was creating a false sense of security, but I knew something was up by the time they got to the processing center for Martha Quinn's island. And did I mention that Harper is very pregnant through this entire ordeal?
The title character, the Fireman, takes a backseat to the action for most of the time, or is just the plot device to help Harper achieve her goals. And is also the necessary love interest. Because, it's a woman, so she needs to fall in love with someone. I felt the Fireman should have been a little more enigmatic, more a force of nature than a wise-cracking Brit.
Yet, through all that I didn't like about the book, Hill writes with an urgency that makes the book practically unputdownable, which is where I'm having a hard time not liking the book. I couldn't wait to see how everything played out, yet the entire time I was vaguely bored with the whole thing. It just seemed like Hill was using way too many too familiar tropes and in the end, the book didn't feel all that original.
* Now, I'm not a nurse and I could be very wrong about this, but it seemed that Harper's medical knowledge appeared to be a bit more involved than a nurse's would be. Please feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.
** Yes, that Martha Quinn. No shit.
*** I'm sorry, but this time, I really felt that Hill was channeling his dad in this book. I try not to make that comparison between the two, but this book felt too much like something his dad would have written. And no, I would not compare it to The Stand.
I received a free digital ARC from Edelweiss for a fair and honest review....more
This slim little volume pulls you in so many different directions (Is it a sex industry expose? Ghost story? Mystery? Psychological thriller? SomethinThis slim little volume pulls you in so many different directions (Is it a sex industry expose? Ghost story? Mystery? Psychological thriller? Something all together different?) and leaves you wondering exactly what is happening or who is telling the truth that I'm still not sure if I have the answer to what's going on. This is my first experience reading Gillian Flynn, and if she is this good in just 64 pages, I can't imagine how great she'll be with a full length novel.
My best advice is to just go ahead and read it. Fan of a good ghost story? You'll like it. Enjoy a twisty psychological thriller? You'll like it. Can't get enough of an unreliable narrator? You'll like it. So, just read it. Meanwhile, I'm heading to the bookstore to pick up one of Gillian Flynn's novels. Hell, I'll probably just pick them all up. I'm sold....more