From the award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of NOS4A2
and Heart-Shaped Box comes a chilling novel about a worldwide pandemic
of spontaneous combustion that threatens to reduce civilization to ashes
and a band of improbable heroes who battle to save it, led by one
powerful and enigmatic man known as the Fireman.
The fireman is coming. Stay cool.
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
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."