Goblin Slayer, Vol. 1

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Goblin Slayer, Vol. 1 Book Cover Goblin Slayer, Vol. 1
Goblin Slayer
Kumo Kagyu
Yen On
December 20, 2016 (English); February 12, 2016 (Japanese)

A young priestess has formed her first adventuring party, but almost immediately they find themselves in distress. It's the Goblin Slayer who comes to their rescue--a man who's dedicated his life to the extermination of all goblins, by any means necessary. And when rumors of his feats begin to circulate, there's no telling who might come calling next...


Goblin Slayer is a very mixed bag. It is a “love it or hate it” series for the majority of readers out there. The range of reactions to the series mainly seems to do with audience expectations. If you are looking for something that is critical and serious with top-notch world building and character development, this is not necessarily for you. If you are looking for a combination of dark humor/shock value and humor, this can be a just-for-fun story. There are good and bad things about the book and how those factors rank, or whether you consider them good/bad yourself, will determine if this is a book for you.

Starting with the good, Goblin Slayer takes place in a genuine fantasy land. This is not a “trapped in a video game” scenario. By this point, everyone knows we have enough of those. The world here seems to run on D&D-type rules, with adventurers slaying monsters but not being too overpowered. People take quests, magic has limited uses per day, and so on. The other key takeaway is that this is not a “save the world” story. The stakes are rarely high, but they are personal. Goblin Slayer (the character) is driven by an unquenchable thirst for vengeance, not a sense of righteousness.

Now, for the bad bits. None of the characters have actual names. Everyone is referred to by whatever their role is. “Goblin Slayer”, “Priestess”, “Guild Girl”, etc. And their personalities pretty much match stereotypical fantasy roles for whatever character class they use. The other glaring issue is the writing. Saying the writing is bad is a bit of a stretch, but the author is no seasoned professional. It is a very basic style. If your interests lie in great works of literature, look elsewhere.


So, the last thing that must be addressed could be considered either good or bad. This one is really a matter of personal preference. And that is the extreme level of violence. Having watched the anime first, I knew what was coming in the book. The violence is not quite on the level of absolute extremes like Higurashi or Elfen Lied, but it comes close. It is dark, it is brutal, and it comes completely out of left field after the soft introduction. Some people are disgusted by it but for others that is the draw of Goblin Slayer. The decision there is up to you.

March 17, 2019


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11/22/63 Book Cover 11/22/63
Stephen King
Historical Fiction
November 8, 2011

Life can turn on a dime—or stumble into the extraordinary, as it does for Jake Epping, a high school English teacher in Lisbon Falls, Maine. While grading essays by his GED students, Jake reads a gruesome, enthralling piece penned by janitor Harry Dunning: fifty years ago, Harry somehow survived his father’s sledgehammer slaughter of his entire family. Jake is blown away...but an even more bizarre secret comes to light when Jake’s friend Al, owner of the local diner, enlists Jake to take over the mission that has become his obsession—to prevent the Kennedy assassination. How? By stepping through a portal in the diner’s storeroom, and into the era of Ike and Elvis, of big American cars, sock hops, and cigarette smoke... Finding himself in warmhearted Jodie, Texas, Jake begins a new life. But all turns in the road lead to a troubled loner named Lee Harvey Oswald. The course of history is about to be rewritten...and become heart-stoppingly suspenseful.


11/22/63 is one of Stephen King’s non-horror books, demonstrating his mastery of many genres. Like most of his novels, 11/22/63 is a long book. There are also references to some of King’s previous works, further building the shared universe where his stories take place. The premise of the book is simple: a time traveler attempts to stop JFK’s assassination. In and of itself, that summary sounds like it could be a simple short story. But there are rules to the time travel, namely that protagonist Jake Epping can only go back to a certain date, 5 years before the assassination happens. If he wants to save JFK, he will have to wait out that time. And a lot can happen to a man in 5 years.

Throughout 11/22/63, Jake’s mission to save JFK is more of a motivational device than anything else. At first, he figures he can just wait out the 5 years for the most part. But sitting and just waiting is hard for even a little while, let alone 5 years. A man has to do something in that time to keep himself busy. He has to live life. And life has a way of moving things and changing people. In some ways good and in others bad.

Jake spends his time in the past keeping an eye on Lee Harvey Oswald. But as he lives a new life in the late 50s/early 60s, he begins to meet new people. He builds relationships with the people around him, making friends and enemies alike. There is pain and there is joy, forcing Jake to make hard decisions on whether he should focus on himself or his mission. Ultimately, 11/22/63 becomes a story as much about Jake’s growth as a person as his history-changing mission.

This type of story is hard to review because of its length. It may be a long story, but the page count is not wasted. The book is detailed and a bit of a slow burn, but not overly so. By the end, it comfortably covers the roughly 5-year period of Jake’s mission. There are some bits at the beginning of the book taking place in the town of Derry, which will only fully make sense if you have read IT. While a number of King’s other books end awkwardly, that is not an issue in 11/22/63. By the last page, the story feels complete, and it’s a hell of a ride through America’s heartland and history the whole way there.

March 10, 2019

Alita: Battle Angel

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Poster for the movie "Alita: Battle Angel"

Alita: Battle Angel

An angel falls. A warrior rises.

20192 h 02 min

Alita: Battle Angel is based on a Japanese comic book (manga) series called Gunnm from the early 90s. There was also a 1-hour cartoon (anime) adaption around the same time. Now we get a live action adaptation by master of cinema James Cameron. With Cameron at the wheel, you know a movie is going to be good. Mostly (but in fairness, everyone has to start somewhere).

The key takeaway from Alita is that it is just a good movie. Nothing in the film feels objectively bad. Alita herself is a balanced character with a real personality. She is a young girl learning new things in a world that is alien to her. At the same time, she is a total badass who can put everyone else in the room on the floor. Throughout the story, there is pain as well as joy. She makes friends and finds love but also finds enemies who want to destroy her for what she is, regardless of who she is. By the end of the film, she is far from the person she was at the beginning.

This being a James Cameron film, it probably goes without saying the special effects are amazing. Cameron proved that CGI is one of his main things back with Avatar, and that has not changed. The fight sequences are incredible and none of them are shoehorned in. Even the city just as the background is an amazing visual setting, giving audiences the sense of a real living, breathing city.

The plot in the movie is nothing too crazy. There are no major twists or shocks as the story develops. But there does not really need to be. In the end, this is not some kind of high stakes save-the-world scenario. The story is ultimately about Alita; about her finding who she was before and who she is now. This is an origin story.

The movie itself follows one of the big rules for a potentially great movie: leave the audience wanting more. This is clearly part of a much, much bigger story. We have only seen a small piece of a big universe with this film. Having not read the original manga, I cannot say off-hand how much of the original story is covered in the film adaption. However, the original story from the 90s was followed up by two sequel series. The latter of which is still ongoing. If Alita: Battle Angel gets a sequel, which seems plausible with the box office results, there is a lot more source material to pull from.

March 3, 2019

The Trench (MEG #2)

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The Trench Book Cover The Trench
Steve Alten
July 28, 1999

In this thrilling sequel to Steve Alten's sci-fi thriller, MEG: Deep Terror, paleobiologist and Megaladon expert Jonas Taylor must face his deepest fears in order to save his job, his family, and himself.

Four years after the incident at the Mariana Trench that unleashed a pregnant Megaladon, Jonas Taylor now houses her one surviving offspring at the Tanaka Institute. Deep in debt, Taylor has turned to an eccentric billionaire to help keep the institute afloat, but it doesn't come without a price. Drawn into a web of deceit and lies, plagued by nightmares of his own death, Taylor must once again face frightening monsters of unimaginable power. Only this time, it's not just the sharks he has to watch out for.


The Trench picks up 4 years after the end of MEG. In that time, the surviving baby megalodon from the first book has grown to rival her mother. Trapped in the artificial lagoon of the Tanaka Institute, she has become an 8th wonder of the world. That being said, keeping a large thought-to-be-extinct creature captive as a habit of not going well. All the while there are evil, greedy rich people attempting to manipulate the situation to their own ends. And like the first book, this all kicks off in the style of a SyFy Channel original film.

First off, any good monster story has to have a fair amount of time dedicated to the monster. The Meg herself is not a malicious creature. She is an animal driven by instinct, nothing more and nothing less. But she is also an invasive species that could cause catastrophic damage outside of her natural habitat. This time around, however, the Meg is not the only monster lurking beneath the sea.

Following 4 years of lawsuits after the first Meg rampage, the Tanaka Institute fell on hard times. Until the eccentric billionaire Benedict Singer came along. And as we all know, “eccentric” is a synonym used to replace “crazy” when talking about rich people. While Singer is a stereotypical villain, from having a god complex to speaking Latin because it makes him feel smart, his wealth makes him truly dangerous. Accompanying him is Celeste, Singer’s arm candy who is more venomous than any viper. The pair makes dangerous foes that show true monsters often spring from humanity rather than the depths of the sea.

Like the Meg, this is by no means a serious book. If you like cheesy Sharknado-esque monster movies, you will enjoy The Trench. There is a big monster, made-up science, characters who behave kind of like real people, and other classic B-movie tropes. Water monsters are always scary since man is out of his natural element in the sea. And people are still scared of sharks over 40 years after Jaws came out. With stories like The Trench still being released semi-regularly today, that is unlikely to change anytime soon.

February 24, 2019

The Ghost Brigades (Old Man’s War #2)

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The Ghost Brigades Book Cover The Ghost Brigades
Old Man's War
John Scalzi
Tor Books
May 1, 2007

The Ghost Brigades are the Special Forces of the Colonial Defense Forces, elite troops created from the DNA of the dead and turned into the perfect soldiers for the CDF's toughest operations. They’re young, they’re fast and strong, and they’re totally without normal human qualms.

The universe is a dangerous place for humanity—and it's about to become far more dangerous. Three races that humans have clashed with before have allied to halt our expansion into space. Their linchpin: the turncoat military scientist Charles Boutin, who knows the CDF’s biggest military secrets. To prevail, the CDF must find out why Boutin did what he did.

Jared Dirac is the only human who can provide answers -- a superhuman hybrid, created from Boutin's DNA, Jared’s brain should be able to access Boutin's electronic memories. But when the memory transplant appears to fail, Jared is given to the Ghost Brigades.

At first, Jared is a perfect soldier, but as Boutin’s memories slowly surface, Jared begins to intuit the reason’s for Boutin’s betrayal. As Jared desperately hunts for his "father," he must also come to grips with his own choices. Time is running out: The alliance is preparing its offensive, and some of them plan worse things than humanity’s mere military defeat…


The Ghost Brigades departs a bit from Old Man’s War, being the rare series that switches main characters between books. Whereas the first book was a narrow, Starship Trooper-esque novel, The Ghost Brigades starts to expand the world building. We get to see humans and aliens do much more than shooting at each other this time around. Politics both inside and outside human culture start coming into play. It becomes more apparent here that things are not as simple as “humans good, aliens bad”. This is like the Rogue One equivalent to the series, where we see the good guys doing some definitely unethical things in order to win.

New protagonist Jared Dirac is fairly different from John Perry in the first book, but still a fantastic character. Being able to showcase an equally good story using someone with a very different personality really showcases Scalzi’s writing ability. For reasons that would contain spoilers, Dirac starts out with an almost childlike personality. And is immediately thrust into the life of a special forces soldier. He picks up traits from his brothers-in-arms, but his core personality persists throughout the story. It adds a unique nature vs. nurture aspect to Dirac and to the story as a whole.

The first book highlighted that essentially all aliens (and humans) are in a constant, all-out war. Habitable planets are extremely rare (which itself is rare for a series like this) and everyone fights for real estate. But here we start to see that there is some trade and some aliens are willing to make alliances. Not forever, but long enough to crush a common enemy. And humanity has been successful enough in its conquests to make many, many enemies. At the same time, though, old hostilities and habits can make “allies” quick to turn on each other.

What really sets The Ghost Brigades (and Old Man’s War) apart is that it is pure, military sci-fi. There are hardcore action sequences, but there is also humor. Politics play a part and so do the everyday lives of characters who know they are cogs in the machine. Scalzi manages to write all of this around a host of interesting characters, some new and others returning from the first book. All the while, he keeps things focused without turning the book into a space opera or some other sub-genre. Not to say space operas and other genres are bad, but keeping that rare focusing is a large part of what elevates The Ghost Brigades from good to great.

February 17, 2019

Man of War (Eric Steele #1)

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Man of War Book Cover Man of War
Eric Steele
Sean Parnell
William Morrow
September 11, 2018

Eric Steele is the best of the best—an Alpha—an elite clandestine operative assigned to a US intelligence unit known simply as the "Program." A superbly trained Special Forces soldier who served several tours fighting radical Islamic militants in Afghanistan, Steele now operates under the radar, using a deadly combination of espionage and brute strength to root out his enemies and neutralize them.

But when a man from Steele’s past attacks a military convoy and steals a nuclear weapon, Steele and his superiors at the White House are blindsided. Moving from Washington, DC, to the Middle East, Europe, and Africa, Steele must use his considerable skills to hunt this rogue agent, a former brother-in-arms who might have been a friend, and find the WMD before it can reach the United States—and the world is forever changed.


Man of War is an exciting action-thriller and phenomenal debut for Sean Parnell. Featuring protagonist Eric Steele, Man of War holds the same level of being crazy but not entirely unbelievable as stories like Jason Bourne and John Wick. Steele is a badass among badasses in a secret government program called the Program. The Program is a typical action story secret organization; a black ops group that goes in and kills bad guys. No politics, no red tape. They simply take out targets. Which works out well until they are betrayed by one of their own, Steele’s mentor.

Parnell has written another book about his own military experience, but Man of War is his first work of fiction. Steele and other military characters are written in a way only someone with firsthand experience could manage. Thrillers like this are filled with tropes, Man of War being no exception, but Parnell’s writing stands out with how his characters act. The way Steele walks, talks, and behaves all comes off as very real. He is in every way a soldier, as he lives and breathes. And as much as his skills are essential, it makes things harder as he faces off against a former brother-in-arms.

The story also stands out because Steele is not invincible. He is very good at what he does, the best of the best, but is still a man. Even with the training and resources at his disposal, he is just one man. Things can potentially go south due to factors outside his control. Steele is not the sort of protagonist who will go into a fight outnumbered and walk away clean. The fight will be dirty, and he may not come out unscathed. It added a depth of realism in a genre filled with Mary Sue supermen.

Along with the military action, the story also features a political element. Readers see various high-level government officials working against each other. The good guys focused on the safety of the nation and the bad guys focused on their own personal gain. Pieces of the sub-plot felt off, with its conclusion a little rushed, but it provided a good secondary antagonist. All in all, Man of War was a whirlwind of action and suspense drizzled with good pacing and great characterization.

February 10, 2019

Overlord, Vol. 9: The Caster of Destruction

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Overlord, Vol. 9: The Caster of Destruction Book Cover Overlord, Vol. 9: The Caster of Destruction
Kugane Maruyama
Yen On
January 22, 2019 (English); June 29, 2015 (Japanese)

The annual war between the kingdom and the empire almost always ends in little more than a staring contest. This year, the Fresh Blood Emperor's visit to Nazarick will change everything. Ainz himself has joined the fray, which is a dark omen of the coming storm. The arrival of the absolute ruler of Nazarick means only horror and death await those who stand on what will become the most hellish battlefield anyone has seen in living memory...!


The Caster of Destruction picks up shortly after the end of The Invaders of the Great Tomb. Some details from the side stories in the previous book are relevant here, but it primarily continues the main story. Among Overlord fans who keep up with the original Japanese versions of the book, Vol. 9 is largely considered to be the best. The battle between the Kingdom and the Empire mentioned in previous novels takes place here in epic, fantasy proportions. That being said, there are a few faults in here that have more to do with translation quality than plot/characters.

Like the previous books, The Caster of Destruction is split into several parts. Each part shows different character perspectives and acts like a mini-story within the main story. The beginning is a bit slow as it builds up to the battle but speeds up as the war approaches. It does feel like as this series goes longer, we start to see more of the same. People underestimate Ainz and co. for <insert reason> and bad things happen to them. Many sections are from the POVs of these characters. It gets a little stale building up characters who readers know are likely to be slaughtered.

But when the slaughter actually commences, audiences will not be left bored. This is another installment in the series that hammers in a key point: Ainz is the bad guy. He may have been human once, but he is now literally a heartless monster. As the story goes on and more time passes, he seems to lose more and more of his former humanity. What he does, or orders others to do, to people continues to be horrific while he feels nothing. He is not without mercy, but his definition of ‘mercy’ is not exactly the dictionary definition.


One thing very irksome in The Caster of Destruction was a translation error. In this book, Nazarick becomes a country and Ainz gains a title as king. The country is called the Sorcerer Kingdom with Ainz known as the Sorcerer King. For whatever reason, the translation changed his title to King of Darkness and the nation to the Kingdom of Darkness. Which seems to be the most generic villain title in any work of fiction, ever. Considering the Overlord anime, which covered the events of this book last fall, successfully translated the Sorcerer King title correctly, I do not know what happened there. Granted it was still good to read this book given the budget issues the show had during season 3, but the mistranslation felt the book feeling somewhat incomplete.

February 3, 2019

Hell Comes to Frogtown

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Poster for the movie "Hell Comes to Frogtown"

Hell Comes to Frogtown

A new breed of enemy has taken over the world... Sam Hell has come to take it back.

19881 h 28 min

'Hell' is the name of the hero of the story. He's a prisoner of the women who now run the USA after a nuclear/biological war. Results of the war are that mutants have evolved, and the human race is in danger of extinction due to infertility. Hell is given the task of helping in the rescue of a group of fertile women from the harem of the mutant leader (resembling a frog). Hell cannot escape since he has a bomb attached to his private parts which will detonate if he strays more than a few hundred yards from his guard.

Director Donald G. Jackson, R.J. Kizer
Runtime 1 h 28 min
Release Date 1 January 1988
Movie Media DVD
Movie Status Available
Movie Rating Good

Hell Comes to Frogtown is an example of a film coming just shy of being an 80s cult classic B-movie. So, this is a post-apocalypse (nuclear war) story. The radiation has created a bunch of mutants and left the majority of human survivors infertile. The main character, Hell, signs on with the corporation controlling what remains of humanity to avoid prison/a death sentence. Since his reproductive abilities are now their property, they fit him with some metal chastity underwear that doubles as a bomb. And then send him, a woman soldier, and a sexy scientist to rescue fertile females who were captured by mutants.

If anything, that summary grossly understates how ridiculous the movie is. For the era and the budget, the special effects were pretty decent in this movie. The mutant costumes were somewhere in-between the cantina scene in the original Star Wars and monsters from Power Rangers. By no means a special effects masterpiece, but perfect for Hell Comes to Frogtown being what it is. The set seemed to be going for a Mad Max vibe but with the budget of a 60s television show. A cheap one. Without adjusting for inflation since then.

The acting is roughly on par with the costumes and set. The actors were clearly trying, but they were fully aware of what kind of movie they were in. By the point this movie was made, there had been a lot of post-apocalypse films. Mad Max, Escape from New York, Night of the Comet…the list goes on and on. Hell Comes to Frogtown was clearly meant to parody these other films in a lot of ways (particularly Mad Max).

As cheesy as it all was, the film falls a little short of the “so bad its good” mark. The film was bad and hilarious, but those scales tipped a bit more towards “bad” than “good”. It ultimately fails to obtain that equilibrium, or tip the scales more in the other direction, to be a true cult classic. Is Hell Comes to Frogtown a funny parody? Yes. But it is no Spaceballs. If you love old MST3K worthy B-movies, then this is a film for you. Otherwise, stick with the dedicated cult classics.

January 27, 2019

The Fall of Dragons (The Traitor Son Cycle #5)

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The Fall of Dragons Book Cover The Fall of Dragons
The Traitor Son Cycle
Miles Cameron
October 19, 2017

The blood-thirsty, epic Traitor Son Cycle comes to its gripping conclusion in this fifth and final book.

In the climax of the Traitor Son Cycle, the allied armies of the Wild and the Kingdoms of men and women must face Ash for control of the gates to the hermetical universe, and for control of their own destinies. But exhaustion, treachery and time may all prove deadlier enemies.

In Alba, Queen Desiderata struggles to rebuild her kingdom wrecked by a year of civil war, even as the Autumn battles are fought in the west. In the Terra Antica, The Red Knight attempts to force his unwilling allies to finish the Necromancer instead of each other.

But as the last battle nears, The Red Knight makes a horrifying discovery...all of this fighting may have happened before.


The Fall of Dragons marks the end of the Traitor Son Cycle. The story picks up immediately where A Plague of Swords left off; no time skip this time around. Miles Cameron has long since found his footing with this series and written it as a true epic. The first book feels somewhat standalone, but the others all segway into each other marvelously. On structuring, the Traitor Son Cycle is a bit like The Lord of the Rings. Each book is more of Part I through Part V than standalone novels. The series could be read like one giant volume that was only split up because the publisher insisted.

Miles Cameron, as a historical scholar, knows what he is talking about when it comes to a medieval setting. The function of politics in those times, the use of different weapons by soldiers, the way armies maneuvered around each other, and other relevant factors all come into play throughout the series. On top of that, he manages to artfully weave fantastical creatures and magic into the real-world elements. All the while it produces this incredible story that focuses as strongly on the characters as people as on the events reshaping them and the world they live in.

There is so much happening throughout this book. Armies are engaged in a war spanning the world and POVs jump between the various conflicts throughout. Cameron seems to have polished this part of his writing a bit as the series progressed. Some chapters are short, others are long; some events need more detail than others. By the end very little is unresolved; the sub-plots are wrapped up as neatly as the main conflict. And all throughout, everything feels real. People die, friend and foe alike, as the war rages towards its end.

Compared to the other books, particularly A Plague of Swords, The Fall of Dragons feels a bit rushed. There is little time for the characters to stand around and talk in this final segment. If they are not fighting, they are catching their breath between battles. And despite the sheer level of everything happening, it is made very clear that this is a small piece of a much larger story. Wars of this scale have happened before. If the survivors and their descendants are not careful, it will happen again. Yet despite this sense of a greater history, the story in no way feels incomplete. While this is a small chapter of the world’s history, it is The Red Knight’s story. And just as his story started with the actions of others, who is to say what new stories will evolve from his legacy?

January 20, 2019

The Fireman

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The Fireman Book Cover The Fireman
Joe Hill
William Morrow
May 17, 2016

The fireman is coming. Stay cool.

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.


The Fireman was more of a 3.5 star book but managed to hold my attention through its lengthy page count. Enough that the half star deserves to be rounded up instead of down. That being said, the book is a bit of a mixed bag. Some things are good, others are bad. On the whole, the good does outweigh the bad. The extent to which that is the case (if it is) will vary from reader to reader.

This is a sort of post-apocalypse story. A fair amount of time passes over the course of The Fireman, carrying the story from the start of the disaster to its aftermath. It is not so extreme that humanity is facing its end, but modern society certainly changes forever. That being said, the book only highlights the big picture of how things are changing from time to time. The main characters are fairly isolated for most of the story, giving things sort of a Walking Dead vibe. But the level of devastation is more on the level of the Black Plague than a true apocalypse. Compared to life before everything is terrible now, but the human race is not completely doomed.

As far as real-world comparatives go, The Fireman is probably more similar to The Stand than any other book. Both books involve a new super-disease that runs rampant and devastates society. In the aftermath, the survivors largely find themselves in one of two camps that are ultimately set against each other. The body count from the disease is not quite as high in The Fireman, but its effects are still similar. Another common factor is the fact that both books are fairly slow.

If The Fireman had one weakness, it is that is was a slow burn. This is not a story that skips around between major events. Those moments of danger are certainly more intense, but just as much page space is given to the characters living their new lives as well. There are some time skips here and there, but the story features as many slice-of-life sections as anything else. It would be a little extreme to call this a bad choice. But parts of the book just crawl. To the point where readers feel a little thankful when something bigger starts happening again. For people who love horror/thriller, The Fireman is a recommended read. For people who do not care for longer stories, not so much.

January 13, 2019