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The Fireman

by Joe Hill

When the world starts igniting and burning, Nurse Harper Grayson, tries to remain calm, helpful, and cheery, embodying her heroine Mary Poppins but as the virus that causes people to spontaneously combust gets closer she finds herself on a quest to find safety, a possible cure, the fantastical truth about the bacteria and a new family. A bit long but highly readable and although not as tense or gruesome as expected it was still enjoyable.

Extract

It was thirty feet above the road and still dropping when the bolt of flame opened wings to reveal the blazing, monstrous bird within. The heat deformed the air around it - Harper saw it through a blur of tears. At the sight, she was struck through with wonder, with terror. ... It was twenty-four feet across from burning wing tip to burning wing tip. Its open beak was large enough to swallow a child. Feathers of blue and green flame, yards long, rippled from its tail. It made no sound at all, aside from a rushing roar that reminded Harper of a train passing through a subway tunnel.
Time snagged in place. The bird hovered less than a dozen feet above the road. ... Every window on the street reflected the bonfire light of the Phoenix.
Then it was moving - and so was Harper.

Parallels

The Genius Plague by David Walton
The Stand by Stephen King
The Happening - the film
 

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