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Fireproof by Gerard Brennan
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Fireproof

by Gerard Brennan

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The publisher's notes on the book peaked my interest. I love urban fantasy, dark humor and stories about Belfast. I watch the BBC America series "Being Human" and loved "Of Blood and Honey (A Book of the Fey and the Fallen") by Stina Leicht. The newsletter from the publisher said they were looking for early readers so I sent them a note telling them I read a lot of urban fantasy and science fiction but not horror. Don't send me any horror.
I didn't find any humor in this book. To me, putting someone in a bathtub and hammering their arms to the walls is just gruesome. The book might be for people who enjoyed "Kill Bill" and other bloody, gory movies. I found it repulsive. ( )
  glitrbug | Mar 30, 2013 |
I was lucky enough to get a copy of this from the publisher.
Does that mean I’m expected to praise it to the hilt?
No, I doubt it.

I will start by saying I’m an inexperienced book reviewer, though I do tend to rely a lot on what other people say about books before purchasing most of the time. I find it to difficult to determine how much of the story to discuss without giving away too much of the plot and how the finale unfolds. (Spoiler alert!)

Previously, I’ve found myself re-hashing the synopsis on the back of the cover, and what’s the point in doing that? If the book has piqued someone’s interest then typically they will have picked it up in store, or read the same information on the author or publisher’s website.

I suppose my reviews will contain a lot of box-ticking,

Salient points then,

Did I enjoy it, was I entertained? Yes, yes

Would I read more from the author? Yes

Did it drag? No

Was it un-put-down-able? No

Did I laugh or cry, or feel some empathy or connection to the characters? Yes

Would I want to read more about them in the future? Hmmm....maybe

Would I recommend it to others? Yes

Was it memorable, will it haunt me or stay with me? No

Will I find myself thinking about it in the next week or two? No

Did I feel like I’d wasted xxx number of hours from my life that I will never get back? No

Would I re-read it again at some point in the future? No

Would I want my money back? No, irrespective of the fact I didn’t pay for it.

On the scoreboard then probably .........7.5 out of 12, which seems low considering that I really enjoyed it. Some of the plus points above must carry more weight than some of those that scored negatively.

Overall then - 4 out 5.

Well worth a look if you have a sense of humour, don’t take religion too seriously, and enjoy fine writing that isn’t preachy or pretentious......literature it ain’t.

https://col2910.blogspot.co.uk/2012/09/gerard-brennan-fireproof_6.html ( )
  col2910 | Jan 11, 2013 |
Irish author Gerard Brennan’s FIREPROOF is described as “equal parts crime fiction, dark urban fantasy and black comedy.” Not having read any of Brennan’s previous work – though his WEE ROCKETS seems to have garnered a lot of critical attention – I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I know that Brennan is mainly known as a writer of gritty crime fiction, and there’s certainly plenty of that here. But this is also a darkly comedic supernatural horror novel.

Mild plot spoilers follow.

Mike Rocks was not an altogether bad guy – he’s extremely funny and charismatic after all – but he did some bad things when he was alive. Now that he’s dead he’s found himself in Hell and being tormented by demons. Mike’s a quick-talking kind of guy and he works a deal with Satan for a chance to get out of Hell: all he has to do is create a mass movement on Earth that will make Satan popular. No problem, right? Mike’s not quite sure how he’ll manage to pull that off, but he figures he might as well give it his best shot. He does, however, also have some unfinished business to take care of. Now that he’s back on the mean streets of modern-day Belfast, he wants to get revenge on the thugs who killed him. Along the way, Mike meets a girl named Cathy who falls for him. She’s got some issues of her own, though: while she’s a sweet social worker, she also wants to become a contract killer. Mike founds the True Church of Satan on Earth, enlisting an unlikely blend of street thugs, goth kids, and various rebels and thrillseekers. He’s got to keep his infernal master happy while pursuing his own agenda, and maybe – just maybe – finding a way to not have to return to Hell.

Characterization is clearly one of Brennan’s strengths, and the demons we encounter (Lucifer, Cerebus the multi-headed hellhound of mythological fame, an especially annoying imp, etc.) are all especially entertaining. I should note that there’s plenty of violence in FIREPROOF – this certainly isn’t just a humor-filled look at the afterlife – including some scenes of fairly gruesome torture. Fans of crime fiction and horror won’t be disappointed on that score. But this isn’t an unrelentingly dark novel; there’s plenty of room for humor, and yes, redemption as well. It’s got a quick-moving, humorous plot that I could easily see filmed as a dark comedy along the lines of Little Nicky or Bedazzled.

FIREPROOF fills an odd niche: it’s got brutal violence, street criminals and low lives, overt supernatural happenings, and dark comedy. I don’t know that I can name a single other book that’s got all that. I enjoyed FIREPROOF. The plot zips right along, the characters are interesting, the dialogue fast and natural-sounding. Recommended for those who like some comedy with their horror/crime thrillers.

Review copyright 2012 J. Andrew Byers ( )
  bibliorex | Dec 24, 2012 |
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