Sunday, November 9, 2008

Firestarter by Stephen King Review

I read Firestarter by Stephen King for the first time many years ago. My husband, a great lover of horror novels, wanted me to love them as well, but I was a scaredy-cat. So, his solution was to start me out with this early work of King's. He picked Firestarter because it isn't a horror novel, but more of a thriller/suspense/intrigue.

We begin by meeting Andy McGee, a poor college student, in need of money. His friend in the psychology department tells him about a drug experiment in which he can earn $200. It is suppose to be a test of a mild hallucinogen and a placebo. During the process of doing the paperwork, he meets a stunning blonde, Vicky Tomlinson. However, the drug they are testing isn't a mild, harmless hallucinogen; it is a strong hallucinogen and activates any latent telepathic abilities within the subjects. During their experience, Andy and Vicky fall in love and acquire some extra talents. The experiment doesn't work out so well for the rest of the participants. Andy can "push" people, give their brain a little nudge to go his way, mental domination. Vicky can occasionally move things with her mind, telekinesis. They marry and have a beautiful daughter, Charlie.

I fell in love with this adorable, intelligent, blonde seven year old that is the hero of the novel. She's really impossible to resist. She is such a sweet mixture of childhood wonder and adult concern. The true adventure for the McGee family starts when the Shop, the people that ran the experiment, think that Charlie has been relocated without their knowledge when she goes to spend a couple of days at a friend's house. They attack and kill Vicky and kidnap Charlie. This leads to the father and daughter being on the run. In the end, the Shop only really wants Charlie who is capable of pyrokinesis and telekinesis.

Much of the story revolves around the relationship between the father and daughter. It also looks at the loss of loved ones, coping with stress, and betrayal.

I have enjoyed this book both times I've read it, and the movie during multiple viewings. It is an easy and quick read, with characters that are very believable. This book started me on my journey of years with Stephen King and opened me to a whole new genre. Thank you, my husband and Mr. King. (I've been reading his books for so long, it actually feels weird calling him that.)