From Goodreads: 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 (sic).
This author was new to me. I had never heard of him before. Initially I was attracted to the book because of its colour and then the blurb of the book really drew me in. I was fascinated by the story of a deadly disease called dragonscale and how it affected people. After reading the book I researched the author and discovered that Joe Hill is Stephen King’s son. I was glad that I found this out afterwards rather than before I read it otherwise I may have not even picked it up. Why? Because I’m not a Stephen King fan. However, I never regretted reading it – far from it. It is classed as a horror book but I wouldn’t class it that way. I have read some horrific books even though they weren’t horror books. This book had some horrific scenes in it but not enough for me to class it as horror. This is part of why I’m not a fan of Stephen King because his horror books are really horrific.
The book, whilst long, had short chapters which flowed easily from to the other even across books (it was divided up into books). It was very easy to read and the style of writing made you feel as though you were right there with the characters. The characters are many and varied. From the beginning of the book we are introduced to Harper Grayson who is a nurse at a local hospital. She is married to Jakob who turns out to be a psychopath driven to kill her and their unborn child. This desire in Jakob was driven by his fear that Harper had infected him and their child with dragonscale because she contracted the disease herself.
We are then introduced to many other characters in quick succession but this didn’t leave the reader feeling as though they were drowning in a massive array of characters. This aided the book’s smooth, consistent, and quick flow.
In order to really appreciate this book you need to read it for yourself. I loved it and would recommend it to any one who likes this sort of book. I think after some time has elapsed I would probably try reading this book again which is not something I do often with books unless it’s really good.
Recommend for: Adults, those who are Stephen King fans, and lovers of horror
Star rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟