Short DNF Reviews: The Fireman & Cure for the Common Universe

Title: The Fireman
Author: Joe Hill
Pages: 752 pages
Release Date: May 17th, 2016
Source: Hardback from Barnes & Noble
Genre: Horror, Science Fiction, Post-Apocalyptic
Rating: 3.5/5 stars
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.

Buy it now! 

DO YOU SEE THIS BOOK SYNOPSIS? The synopsis for this book is unnecessarily long. I'm pretty proud of myself considering I was halfway through the book when I finally decided that it was dragging and had to put it down. The synopsis promises the introduction of a new plague, a selfless main heroine and even a possible villain. 

One of my main concerns with this one was the length. No, I'm not bashing the book for being 752 pages long. For christ sake, Queen of Shadows by Sarah J Maas is not so far off! I was disappointed because the book didn't have to be that long. There were so many parts of the book that I felt just dragged the entire story along and didn't add anything but more words. I loved the whole idea behind the disease and how there was some beauty in the horror that it has brought upon humans. I wasn't seeing enough of it. I would have liked to know more of the spore's origins and its toll on the world. We got that it was causing wildfires and spreading to millions in a short amount of time, but I couldn't imagine the chaos as well as I wanted to. 

We get this extremely selfless and independent heroine that I enjoyed reading about! I would even go as far as saying she's one of my favorite female protagonists in a book. Her ability to get herself out of every horrible situation without being the damsel in distress, gahh, she was amazing. Joe Hill also successfully brought the horror to the table. I was more scared about how some people reacted to the plague rather than the plague itself. I could feel the fear emanating off of Harper when she found out she was infected. 

The beginning hooked me from the start. For the first 200 pages, I could not put this book down. Then, however, we drifted far from the plague, and I was just bored near page 450. I do have plans on picking this up again because, for the most part, I really enjoyed the writing and the storyline. I just wish the story were more condensed.

I WILL!!! 

Title: Cure for the Common Universe
Author: Christian McKay Heidicker
Pages: 320 pages
Release Date: June 14th, 2016
Source: ARC from Simon & Schuster
Genre: Gaming, Young Adult, Contemporary
Rating: 2.5/5 stars

Sixteen-year-old Jaxon is being committed to video game rehab.

ten minutes after he met a girl. A living, breathing girl named Serena, who not only laughed at his jokes but actually kinda sorta seemed excited when she agreed to go out with him.

Jaxon's first date. Ever.

In rehab, he can't blast his way through galaxies to reach her. He can't slash through armies to kiss her sweet lips. Instead, he has just four days to earn one million points by learning real-life skills. And he'll do whatever it takes—lie, cheat, steal, even learn how to cross-stitch—in order to make it to his date.

If all else fails, Jaxon will have to bare his soul to the other teens in treatment, confront his mother's absence, and maybe admit that it's more than video games that stand in the way of a real connection.

Prepare to be cured.

Buy it now!
** I received a copy to review from the publisher. This has not affected my review in any way **

The book goes as follows: Video games seem to have taken the world by storm. Teenagers are now being committed to video game rehab, in hopes that they will learn reality is better than living in the virtual world. Jaxon is among those that are brought into rehab by their unforgiving parents. However, Jaxon doesn't have time for rehab. He's just been asked out on date, which doesn't happen often! So he has four days to get out of rehab and make it to see Serena. FOUR DAYS!! 

The whole idea behind this book really intrigued me. My brother is a video game addict, to say the least, so it was easy for me to understand the quips and snarky remarks of the characters. 

I was so close to the end! I had less than 100 pages left of this book but I just couldn't do it. It was to the point where I didn't really care about what would happen next in the story that I decided to put it down and start somewhere new. Throughout the book, I was so keen on seeing Jaxon make it out of rehab in time for his date so when the thing that happened near the end of the book spontaneously occurred, I was a little ticked off.

The characters were a lovely bunch. From a heroin addict to an awkward, Chewbacca-imitating group leader, I couldn't help but love each character's quirky personalities. My favorite character had to be the kid named Soup. He was shy and easily manipulated by Jaxon, but I admired his hospitality and welcoming personality.

This one just wasn't for me. It's not to say that I didn't enjoy it at some parts because I did! This book was insanely hilarious and it's not every day that I come across a story about a character realizing more about him/herself. I've been having a really rough time picking what to read ever since I finished A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas. That book just ruined me, and I've been in a bad slump. I will be picking this back up in the future in hopes of finishing it and feeling satisfied!

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  1. The Fireman sounds so interesting and unique, at least according to the synopsis, but I understand how unnecessarily long books can make you want to gouge your eyes out (that is why I did not like The Goldfinch and its 750 pages). I have nothing against long books (like Harry Potter and Throne of Glass series) if they have a purpose, especially for fantasy books. If an author needs to build a whole new world with a huge cast of characters, then it is fine to have a longer book. But I hate it when authors drag out a story with descriptions and stuff so it seems to last forever.

    1. Exactly! Don't get me wrong. I like flowery writing but not to the point where it adds nothing to the main story. Thanks for reading Tessa!

  2. It's a pity you couldn't finish Cure for the Common Universe! Only 100 pages left! But then again, if you can't read a book - then you just can't - there's no point in forcing yourself to read it and being annoyed! At least there's a chance you'll finish reading it - I know that Maaas's writing can be so good, that yeah, everything is ruined for you for a while!
    Geraldine @ Corralling Books

    1. It's so frustrating when you've gotten through 80% of the book but just couldn't trudge on to finish the rest *sigh* YES Maas' writing can just not be compared to anything else and it's hard for other books to match the kind of feels I get when reading her books. Haha I don't want to say reading Maas books are a bad thing but sometimes I'm just so overwhelmed lol!


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