I remember someone telling me about a book but I can't remember who it was to ask them the name, so I'm hoping someone could identify it.

It's a relatively recent book, since they bought it last month from the "bestseller" section in a mainstream bookshop. I'm pretty sure it takes place in our times (i.e. not medieval fantasy) and there's a disease (already established in the society) that turns people into sort of half-dragons - they grow some scales and can produce fire from their mouths, and I'm pretty sure that it's a dangerous disease because if they can't control it they explode or burst into flame or something. The half-dragons are accepted in society but also shunned because I think the disease can transfer by touch?

The main character is some lady who gets enamored with a guy who has this disease, and I think she contracts it too and runs away with him?

1 Answer 1


Could this be The Fireman by Joe Hill?

His new novel, The Fireman, seems at first to be playing in the same sandbox. It’s the story of nurse Harper Grayson, who watches as the world becomes overrun by a disease known as dragonscale. At first the sickness causes the victims’ skin to be covered with an ashen, patterned mark, not unlike a tattoo; eventually, they explode. It’s like something you might find in a George RR Martin novel (the marks are reminiscent of greyscale in A Song of Ice and Fire) crossed with spontaneous human combustion. Harper becomes pregnant as the world is descending into chaos, and her writer husband, Jakob, reacts badly. They’ve been discussing ending their lives together should the worst happen, but the baby changes Harper’s mind. And Jakob? He falls prey to that most writerly of illnesses and becomes psychotic.

2016 is getting a bit older than being "relatively recent", but the other details match. Joe Hill made a name for himself even before it was discovered that it's the pen name for Stephen King's son, Joseph Hillstrom King, so it would make sense he'd be in the bestseller section.

It was on the second page of results for novel dragon disease.

  • 1
    I just don't have the right google history for searching successfully, I guess; it doesn't show up in the first 3 pages for me, and by then you'd already answered it.
    – DavidW
    Commented Sep 17, 2019 at 15:32
  • This is exactly it, thank you so much!
    – Andreii
    Commented Sep 18, 2019 at 16:51

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