Andy and his daughter Charlene, Charlie for short, are on the run. A government agency known as The Shop are after them. Years ago, The Shop was responsible for administering a secret experiemental drug into the veins of Charlie’s parents when they were broke and naive college kids. The drug, called Lot Number Six, went helter-skelter through most of it’s test subjects causing carnage which required a massive government effort to coverup the mess. For Charlie’s parents, something in the drug altered their body chemistry. Her mother possessed a mild form of ESP where she could occasionally move things with her mind. Her father, Andy, could now “push” people into believing and doing what he wanted. Falling in love after being brought together by this strange experiment, they had Charlie and if you thought her parents had special abilities, wait until you get a load of what Charlie can do! The girl is a human flame thrower. She can create fires simply by using her mind to push it out and, as she got older, her powers became stronger. Now the government wants to control her ability and will stop at nothing to capture it.
Firestarter seems to be an under appreciated tale, if such a thing were ever possible, from Stephen King. It never seems to be on any list touting his greatest works. It is, however, a very worthy story with strong characters mixed with a story that feels like it’s smack dab out of the late 1970’s TV show, In Search Of. ESP and government conspiracy cover ups were huge back then and, with how little people trust the government currently, it doesn’t seem to be out of the possibility now. While its way too easy to say that this is simply a watered-down derivative of Carrie, Firestarter is much more and definitely worth checking out.
4 1/2 Hot Potatoes out of 5
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