Firestarter by Stephen King πŸ“š BOOK REVIEW

My review of Firestarter by Stephen KingπŸ“š

I read a hardback edition of Firestarter.

Genre:Β Horror, Science fiction


Originally published:Β September, 1980

Pages:Β 428 (hardback)

Audiobook length: 14 hrs and 53 mins

Synopsis by the publisher:

Andy McGee and Vicky Tomlinson participated in a drug experiment run by a veiled government agency known as The Shop. One year later, they marry. Two years later, their little girl, Charlie, sets her teddy bear on fire by simply staring at it.

Now that Charlie is eight, she doesn’t start fires anymore. Her parents have taught her to control her pyrokinesis, the ability to set anything – toys, clothes, even people – aflame. But The Shop knows about and wants this pigtailed “ultimate weapon”. Shop agents set out to hunt down Charlie and her father in a ruthless chase that traverses the streets of New York and the backwoods of Vermont.

My thoughts:

Firestarter is one of those Stephen King novels that has been mentioned and recommended to me several times as a King classic. I’ve also talked to several readers who told me that Firestarter was their very first King book.
I stumbled across a first-edition of Firestarter at Mockingbird Used Books last year and I was excited to finally read it myself (even though it stayed on my shelf for a while before I finally got to it).

Firestarter starts with a bang, as Charlie and Andy are on the run from agents from The Shop (a secret government agency).
(✨The Shop is mentioned both in The Stand and The Dark Tower series. It has also been compared to The Institute and the agency is suspected to have a part to play in several other Stephen King stories as well)
And this story is one that never gets boring. Even the passages that are not as action-packed are filled with interesting character development and great storytelling. I know a lot of readers have an issue with some of the King stories dragging out too long and having unnecessary parts in the story, and I think Firestarter is a better choice for those readers.
Its fast pace and overall engaging story will take a hold of you and not let go before the story ends.

Charlie’s pyrokinetic ability is scary on its own, but the really terrifying thing in this story is a secret government agency who sees themselves above the law (isn’t that a secret fear a lot of us carry around with us?), and the terror that grows in Andy as he fears for his daughter’s future, life, and the limits (or possible lack thereof) to her abilities.

My favorite part of this story is the bond between Charlie and Andy, and how it grows with all their experiences throughout the book. Their relationship is the thing that keeps the story going and engages the reader.
Another favorite of mine was the character Rainbird, an agent/assassin of The Shop. He’s the perfect villain in the way that he’s a psychotic and amoral person, but his intelligence and lack of conscience makes for an extremely dangerous character and a whole new level of creepy. And he truly loves Charlie in his very own disturbing way.

Firestarter is one of those King novels that I feel like deserves more attention than it has gotten. It’s a gem of a story with all the right elements of a thrilling psychological horror read, with a dash of science fiction, that will keep you at the edge of your seat.

Highly recommend!

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The Loney by Andrew Michael Hurley πŸ“š BOOK REVIEW

Andrew Michael Hurley

I read a paperback version of The Loney.

Genre: Horror, Thriller

Publisher:Β Hodder & Stoughton General Division

Originally published: October 1st, 2014

Pages: 368 (paperback)

Audiobook length: 11 hrs and 15 mins.

Winner of the 2015 Costa First Novel Awards and The British Book Awards Book of the Year 2016.



Blurb by the Publisher:

“If it had another name, I never knew, but the locals called it the Loney – that strange nowhere between the Wyre and the Lune where Hanny and I went every Easter time with Mummer, Farther, Mr and Mrs Belderboss and Father Wilfred, the parish priest.

It was impossible to truly know the place. It changed with each influx and retreat, and the neap tides would reveal the skeletons of those who thought they could escape its insidious currents. No one ever went near the water. No one apart from us, that is.

I suppose I always knew that what happened there wouldn’t stay hidden for ever, no matter how much I wanted it to. No matter how hard I tried to forget….”


I'm far from saying that I disliked it, I just didn't love it.Β 

My Thoughts:

I first saw The Loney going around on BookTube, but it didn’t really catch my interest until Stephen King mentioned it as great piece of fiction. And whenever Stephen King has mentioned books he enjoyed in the past, I’ve trusted his judgement and I’ve ended up loving them…. But not this time.

The Loney is a very eerie and interesting story in many ways. I really enjoyed the creepiness and the mystery that was in this story. The characters were also really well written. I enjoyed Hanny the most. Just to read about how this challenged boy had made his very own system and way of communicating with his brother, was so interesting. And I have to say that the boy’s mother was a character that I loved to hate at times. The way Hurley wrote her was brilliant!

Now, I’ve been saying only great things so far, so it’s time to touch upon why it didn’t live up to my expectations.

About halfway through the book it started to get a bit slow. I felt like it dragged a bit and started to lose its holding. Then when I came to the ending, I just felt like I had so many questions left that were unanswered.

I can appreciate stories that leaves me with questions, but in this one it kind of felt like an easy way out. Leave it up to the reader to completely imagine what this whole thing was about. I know some people really enjoy that, but for me that can be a major killer.

That being said, it could be that there were some hints in here that I didn’t catch, or that my mindset wasn’t in the right place for a story like this one. I’m far from saying that I disliked it, I just didn’t love it.

Beautiful writing, eerie scenery, dark and mysterious, but left me with a lot of unanswered questions.


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