Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB at Books And A Beat.
My Teaser for this week is from
by Joe Hill
My teaser from page 94 in the eBook ARC.
“What I am is a man with a dangerously ill child and a heavy iron bar. If someone doesn’t take the one, they’re going to get the other.”
Read on if you want to know more.
With the popularity of the apocalyptic and dystopian genres, it’s got to be hard for authors to come up with something unique to bring the world to a screeching halt.
Joe Hill does a bang up job with his Dragonscale. People become infected with the spore, their skin becomes covered in gold and black scale like stripes. They spontaneously burst into flames and are reduced to ashes. Anything or anyone near them is quickly consumed in the flames and the world burns.
It’s almost as if Mother Nature has come up with an efficient way to cleanse herself of some pesky fleas, namely, us humans. Sure, a lot gets burnt up, but there’s no mess, no rotting corpses, just piles of ashes. Burning a forest is often done to clear away the underbrush and promote new growth.
The story begins with Harper. She’s one of those people that light up the room when they enter. A kind and caring nurse. A sweet and doting wife. She becomes infected and her husband, the man she looks up to, can no longer hide what he really is. A loser. A coward. A bully.
When Harper learns she’s pregnant and refuses to go along with their suicide pact, Jakob goes off the deep end. He joins a group calling themselves the Cremation Squad, and Harper is high on his list for eradication.
When Harper runs for her life and hooks up with the Fireman, John Rook, and goes to Camp Wyndham, things get real interesting. I love reading about group dynamics. You put a bunch of people together, their lives in danger, and all kinds of stuff happen. The ones you thought would be stand up turn out to be the worst. The meek ones turn out to be strong.
The camp seems like a safe haven. I know better. It reeked ‘cult.’ Remember what happened with the crazy religious lady in Stephen King’s movie, The Mist, when they’re all trapped in the store? Or what about the real scenario with Jim Jones. One thing you need to do is sleep with one eye open and don’t drink the Kool-Aid no matter how good it sounds.
The horror is slow building. It creeps up a little bit at a time as the world falls apart. You need to find someone you can trust. But can you truly trust anyone? People change, and not always for the good. Hope is hard to sustain. The best laid plans fall apart.
This is quite a long book, but I didn’t realize it until after I was finished. It was that good. The story flowed that easily. And I could easily have read more. With any luck, I will. The author wraps up this story but leaves it open with the characters. There’s so much more that could be told.
My thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for a copy to enjoy and review.
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.
I’ve been trying hard to resist requesting any more books from Netgalley for a bit. I couldn’t pass this one up. Been wanting to try one of Joe Hill’s story and this one was right up my alley.
How about you? Got a tease? Tell me!
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