3/5 Stars The Fireman by Joe Hill



Scrappymags 3-word review: good movie fodder

Joe Hill is an incredible writer, but this was not his best work. It was good, but merely good. It’s like this – we all know he’s a Kelly Clarkson, but this book he performed like Sanjaya.  I say this with a look of chagrin because I adore his work. (Inside I’m all DAMN IT! DAMN IT! DAMN IT!)damn

First the good – the premise/plot is amazing AND GENERALLY I enjoyed the book as it contains action and intrigue, some nice twists and I love Hill’s laid-back style of writing infected with humor and subtle literary nuances. It’s also a helluva good storyline and has the potential to be a fantastic movie. The plot it enthralling (if shaky) and advances at varying paces, but generally it’s a swift, steady read. I loved the character development of The Fireman, his back story, his motivations etc. as well as some of the other characters, both good or bad. I would have loved even more!

BUT…It felt like Hill was struggling to write this and couldn’t decide where to go, so it’s like a choose-your-own-adventure but he chooses for you and then goes “Crap. Now what?” and just keeps writing. chooseownThat led to feelings of being disjointed throughout. Like someone else wrote bits and pieces of the book. Like there were cracks and fissures that were left in disrepair.

One example is a small part where the main character is supposed to be in hiding yet is shooting flaming arrows through the air. Um… Not so sneaky there? Not too worried about being spotted? Another issue is that the sassy hero Harper is really… Dumb at times. dumbI hate dumb unless, well, the character is supposed to be dumb. In some instances she’s professional, normal, then she’s swearing like a sailor and seems to be a different person. And to top it off she’s a nurse, drinking while pregnant in one scene. She’s always so “nurse” focused and dedicated to her job but doesn’t show much concern for her baby. There’s a disconnect between what the author seems to want his character to be and how she is written. My word for Harper? A wreck. wreck

But again, because the story is unique, I recommend the read but think close readers will be irked by some of these issues.

Would LOVE to hear what other readers thought!

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