Book Reviews

Book Review: The Fireman, Joe Hill

After speeding through my first two books of the year at an alarming speed, I forced myself to read the longest book on my list next to slow myself down. The Fireman by Joe Hill definitely qualifies as long with a whopping 747 pages long. I guess this would be the part where I smugly tell you all about Joe Hill and how he’s the son of the legendary author Stephen King, but err, I only found that fact out myself after already finishing The Fireman.

Sigh…just when I thought I knew what I was talking about when it came to movies, I’m a hopeless novice all over again!

joe-hill-the-fireman-book-review

Let me tell you about the book, I can manage that much. The Fireman is the story of a worldwide pandemic of spontaneous combustion (called Draco Incendia Trychophyton) that is threatening to wipe out civilization. The symptoms are easy enough to spot, because an infected person has intricate, black and gold markings on their skin, nicknamed Dragonscale. There is no known cure for the issue, and attempts to look after the infected are leading to entire hospitals and cities being burnt to the ground.

Harper started out as a school nurse but when everything started going south, she moved to work at her local hospital to help as many of the infected as she could. When Harper herself becomes infected with Dragonscale, her husband Jakob is horiffied. The two of them had a pact to end their lives together if they were both to become infected, but when Harper realises she is pregnant, she choses to live instead. This sends Jakob crazy (literally) and Harper is forced to flee for her life.

giphy-2

She’s rescued by Captain America and Tony the Tiger (I’m only half-joking) who lead her to The Fireman, a man named John who is also infected, but not only can he control the spore, he can use it in a multitude of ways. To tell you how would be ruining the story. The Fireman leads Harper to a camp full of others like her, infected people who have learnt to keep the Dragonscale under control.

I’m not going to lie, this was tough to read. Firstly, I was well out of my depth. I don’t watch horror movies, and I’ve never read a horror novel, so it took me a while to get used to. Thankfully, my overactive imagination didn’t give me nightmares, but The Fireman would be a grim movie! It’s a long book, like I said, but it struggles with pacing issues. One day I would burn through (pun intended) several chapters without noticing the time, another it felt like every line I read was a chore.

giphy-3

Ultimately, it was worth it in the end. A long book means spending a lot of time with the main characters, and I really grew to love them. Except Jakob, who is possibly the world’s biggest douche bag. There are plenty of surprising twists and turns along the way, and never for a second did I ever think I knew how it would end.

If you have the time to spare, I would definitely recommend giving The Fireman a read. I think I heard that the rights have been sold to 21st Century Fox. I hope they’ll put it on the big screen soon! I think it would make a fantastic TV Series to be perfectly honest, but that’s just me!

Going Off Topic · Random Posts

Going off Topic (#1) Thank You, Oscars Thoughts & Looking Forward

going-off-topic-banner

Welcome to the start of a series of posts where I diverge even further off topic than I normally do! On my old blog Flick Chicks I got into the habit of putting together a monthly round-up post of general goings on, but it was also a great chance to share some link love for the bloggers I spoke to regularly, and that’s kind of how this series came to be.

Firstly though, I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who follows Often Off Topic, to everyone who leaves me a comment, and to everyone who reads my posts. This blog has just passed it’s 1 month birthday, and it’s been a wild ride! Some of you might have followed me here from Flick Chicks, a blog a ran with a close friend of mine for nearly 3 years! Whilst I’m forever optimistic that Flick Chicks will make it’s return, my efforts are here for now.

It’s been a nerve-wracking experience, starting over again. I was prepared for a beginning just like before, spending a good couple of months before anyone really noticed I was here, but so many of you have stuck with me, which has been incredible. It’s hard sometimes, checking in on my stats and seeing my latest post has 20 views rather than the 200 it would have pulled on my old blog, but it takes time to build that up again, and I’m 100% ready for that. I’m just overwhelmed to be honest that this little corner of the internet is as active as it is! So thank you, from the bottom of my heart 🙂

jingle-all-the-way-thank-you

Moving swiftly on…to the Oscars! Whilst I only really got into Awards Season in 2013, I’ve tried every year to make an effort to watch at least all of the Best Picture nominated movies. So far, I haven’t done it, there’s always been 1 movie that I just couldn’t bring myself to sit through. 2017 is my year though! Here’s how I’m doing:

Arrival: Reviewed on Flick Chicks here
Fences: Reviewed here
Hacksaw Ridge: Hoping to see this week!
Hell or High Water: Reviewed here
Hidden Figures: Watched on the weekend, review coming soon
La La Land: Reviewed here
Lion: Hoping to watch soon
Manchester by the Sea:Watched on the weekend, review coming soon
Moonlight: Reviewed here

That’s right, I have just 2 left to see! Who knows, I might even be able to tick off the Best Actress and Actor movies too.

giphy

So, what else is going on? I’ve finished another book, The Fireman by Joe Hill. It was a looooong read, but worth it in the end. I think it just had some pacing issues. I should have a proper review of it posted sometime this week. I’ve now started Bloodline by Claudia Gray. It’s a Star Wars novel set in the years before The Force Awakens. I wasn’t expecting it to be so political (I should have known better) but it’s picking up a bit now.

In my personal life, my husband and I are going through the process of buying a home together! We’ve been renting our current home for 3 years now and are finally in a position to buy. It’s exciting of course, but stressful. I’m hoping the move won’t impact the blog too much, but we’ll be without internet for a few weeks, so I may have to type up my posts at home and use my work’s WiFi to get them posted!

giphy-1

Finally, I wanted to share some of my favourite posts by other bloggers. Give them a read, and if you aren’t following them already, you should be!

I can always rely on Brittani at Rambling Film to cover the Awards Ceremonies I don’t get to watch. Here’s her post on the 2017 Screen Actors Guild Winners.

For weekly Ed Harris appreciation, look no further than Sati’s Rambling Friday series. I hope she reviews The Handmaiden soon, I can’t wait to watch it for myself.

Natasha at Life of This City Girl posts 10 things she loves about 10 Things I Hate About You, a 90’s classic I haven’t seen in YEARS.

As if any of us need an excuse to talk about Disney songs, Drew at Drew’s Movie Reviews together with Bex at Film Music Central have put together their own Disney Mix Tapes. Drew has been kind enough to let me tag along, so look out for my mix tape this week!

M.Brown at Two Dollar Cinema appreciates a good car honking by Ryan Gosling just as much as I do in his review of La La Land.

The amazingly talented Ruth at FlixChatter has held her first script writing session!