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A Chemical Fire

3.54  ·  Rating details ·  78 Ratings  ·  19 Reviews
In just one night, the world is taken by fire.

The story unfolds through the eyes of John Cotard, a science teacher who drugs his life away after a car accident turns him onto prescription painkillers. He allows first his job then his marriage to crumble, lost in a haze of chemicals.

When a mysterious fire sweeps over the Earth, wiping out human-kind and leaving behind zombi
Kindle Edition, 257 pages
Published December 11th 2010 (first published May 2nd 2010)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Please do not read past 'then, one night, the world ends' from the book blurb, if you plan on reading this book, ever. The less you know, the more you will enjoy.

Now, I plan to spout off about my feelings, since there will be no spoilers in this review. Nothing even close. Hell, I'm not mentioning anything about the plot or even using the nifty spoiler formatting because I do not want to tempt anyone. I gather a person can uncover enough about the book by seeing which shelves I've stuck it on,
Brian Martinez
Jul 25, 2010 added it  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of apocalyptic fiction
Shelves: wrote-it
I'm fairly partial to this book against my better judgment.
Wow, this was really good. Really good. It's about John, a former high school science teacher and husband turned junkie, living in a world that somehow burned up. At least all the people did, except for John and three others and these survivors turn out to all be linked to each other. They make their way across the country, searching out food and drugs and weapons. They also have to deal with the zombie-like Victims of whatever happened to turn all people to piles of ash. The story is told in th ...more
Mar 12, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a very strange post-apocalypse novel. It really isn't a zombie novel although zombie-like creatures are abundant. I say that because it is not the zombies that drive the tale but the event that destroys the world and the relationship of the four survivors to it...and each other. Anything else would be a spoiler so let's just say this weird horror tale doesn't always go where you think it will go. At first I was a bit annoyed at the unlikable characters that inhabit the plot. However it t ...more
Andy Phillips
I've read a lot of zombie books, but this one made me pay attention from the start. It's not the usual story we've seen hundreds of times before and the writing style is interesting.

The main character, John, is a teacher who has basically lost everything through drug addiction, as explained in the opening part of the book. For reasons that are not made clear (frustratingly) he survives a sort of flash fire that kills pretty much everyone else on Earth and causes mass destruction. The dead victim
Matthew Bromley
Gah, when I first started reading this and through most of the book I was ready to give this book such a good review. I related well with the main character, John, as I have previously had my own problems with opiates. It embodies the sadness of the addiction perfectly. Any addict would be happy to be the last one left on Earth simply because of all the opportunities to steal (not really stealing since everyone is gone) pills from pharmacies, hospitals, and even peoples homes. When I say happy- ...more
Dec 31, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read it again. The first time left me too raw to review... Here we go....Martinez knows how to tell a story with twisted characters and a gripping plot. I devoured this book in one tasty morsel and then again over a week or so.

In this debut novel characters are build like the author is a neurotic genius scientist creating humans out of wet clay, nano tech and everybody's garbage then breathing life into them in a way that you feel like you're going to wake up and find them standing over your b
Jul 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
I was hoping this novel would be really good, and it was. The story is fast-paced and the plot is unique, the perfect combination for an interesting read. The characters were hard for me to identify with (I am a teenager, not a junkie, drug dealer, anorexic/bulimic, or survivalist), but the purpose of having four low characters comes clear at the end and makes putting up with them well worth it. By about the middle of the book, I was getting tired of the continual journey through post-apocalypti ...more
David Schwan
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nicole Amburgey
Jan 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've read a lot of zombie/apocalyptic/dystopian fiction and I have to say this one was right up there with 'Day by Day Armageddon' by J.L. Bourne, one of my favorites. The story follows John, a character who you love to hate, and his quick fall into addiction and his waking up in a world destroyed by fire. Along the way, he meets three other people who have been spared by the fire and the novel follows them as they struggle to survive. The book comes with quite a surprising twist at the end whic ...more
Brandy Hunt
Jan 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a very thought provoking book. I can't give it the review it deserves without spoiling the entire book. I will say that it has a completely different take on zombies, if you can call the Victims zombies. However, the idea that hell is other people is tested with the corollary that sometimes it is what you know about other people.

I would read this again, and probably will so I can give a better review on my own blog
Feb 09, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book in about a day and a half, a ripping good read. The story of a misfit junky after an Apocalyptic event, and the people he is linked to before and after the fire. I didn't know whether to love or hate them, rooting for them to the end in their zombie drug filled violent neurotic world! A grear story of hope and salvation as well, for even the lowliest of the people on Earth.
Anthony Natoli
Dec 19, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Truly a phenomenal book for the apocalyptic enthusiast. I was blown away by where this story went and needed to sit there for an hour and just think about what just happened to me. The book is top quality and I highly recommend it.
Aug 29, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a strange story. There were parts that I loved but overall the story didn't grab me like The Mountain and the City. Reminded me somewhat of Neil Gaiman (The Ocean at the End of the Lake)with the dark fairy tale type story. Only this was much darker.
Feb 17, 2015 added it
No bs

I enjoyed the fast writing style.. no bullshit added. Raw and gritty. I literally couldn't put it down. The characters are twisted but somehow still likable. The story started off like a normal junkie novel be by then end was so much more! Very original idea.
Jun 22, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wow. This book has everything. And now I know what it's like to be a junkie without ever taking any drugs. Great stuff.
Jun 08, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: No one
Shelves: gave-up-on

TRIGGER WARNINGS: BIG trigger warning on substance use/addiction; homophobia, violent content, ableism (intellectual disability)

Very disappointing.
Helena Sheibler
Mar 01, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent book. Very fucked up. Very surreal. I don't usually go for surreal but this was a good ride.
Feb 02, 2011 marked it as interesting-possibilities  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Cheryl by: First Reads
Fiction-apocalypse, sounds like an interesting and entertaining read.

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Brian Martinez is a writer of Science Fiction, Horror, or what some call more generally Dark Fiction. He was born and raised on Long Island, New York where he attended Long Island University and met his wife, Natalia.

Riding the boom of self-publishing, Martinez released his apocalyptic A Chemical Fire to a reception of strong reviews. He followed it up with Kissing You is Like Trying to Punch a G
More about Brian Martinez...

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