Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Firestarter by Stephen King

Date: 1981
Publisher: Penguin
Pages: 401
Genre: Adult horror
Rating: 4/5

This is a story about secret government experiments and a young girl with an extraordinary power - a psychic ability that allows her to set things (and people) on fire. Her father is frantic in trying to protect her from those that would use her as a weapon, so the book opens with the two of them on the run.

This is a shorter King novel, which is good for a change from his usual 700+ page beasts. The other short novel I read of his was Misery, in which I absolutely loved. Similar to Misery, the focus on here is only on a small handful of characters instead of a mural of people. We are constantly zoomed in on what happens between Charlie and her father and it really pays off. One of the things I love about King is his way to really make the characters feel real, no matter how many there are. I find myself feeling interested and intrigued in all characters, even the so called "bad guys."

Sometimes, King's prose is amusing and I find myself chuckling at the words he chooses or weird things the characters say. That didn't happen as much in this novel, but it was still a pleasure to read. It was fast paced, exciting, suspenseful, and had a satisfying ending. I loved Charlie's development as a little girl and as a little girl in this terrible situation, and felt it was both appropriate and engaging. It isn't as strong of a book as Misery, but it is still a great read and I would recommend it to King fans that are looking for a fast paced, action read.

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