Weird, I don’t remember this book being so long when I read it as a kid. But this one is fairly long. I was happy to read about Charlie and her father trying to get away from the scientists who want to lock them up and study them. I always found this book to be a bit reminiscent of Dean Koontz in parts since King really doesn’t do the whole evil scientist thing much in his books. But this still works years later. I always felt sad about not knowing what would be next for Charlie.
“Firestarter” is told in parts. We follow the “present” with Charlie and her father, Andy trying to escape from the government called “The Shop”. We then go back and forth between how Andy and his wife Vicky first met and how they were part of a government experiment. The book follows Charlie and Andy as they just look for somewhere we they can be safe. We find out that Andy has the ability to “push” people with his mind and Vicky had the ability to do some minor telekinesis. But their daughter Charlie has the ability to call up fire and tries her best to keep it under control.
The book has you rooting for Charlie and Andy throughout. I felt for them throughout this story and how sad it was they were forced to hide and assume identities to hide from The Shop. The two of them are able to find a place to hide for a bit, but The Shop is determined to get Charlie and will stop at nothing. At one point we follow another character, John Rainbird who is determined to capture Charlie.
I thought all of the characters were written very well. Rainbird is kind of terrible, but a great villain.
I thought the overall plot (secret government experiments) really did work well. Sadly it felt like something that could have happened. The book flow does get to a sticky place at one point, but then it manages to move things along. I thought with Andy and Charlie captured the book just kind of ground to a halt for a good portion of it. But things quickly pick up again.
The setting of the book moves a few times. I always thought this was not part of King’s larger books since there are so many fictional towns that Charlie and Andy go to in New York and Virginia. So it seems that King didn’t mean it to be an Easter Egg for his Constant Readers.
I thought the ending was interesting and I always wanted to know what happened next for Charlie. Was the next iteration of The Shop stopped? Or no.