Andrew and Victoria met when they volunteered for a medical study and the study gave them each psychic abilities, which resulted in their daughter being able to produce fire. A little girl and her dad are running from a powerful group who want to poke, prod, test and eventually kill them. Vicki and Andy McGee were like many other broke college students and when they heard about a quick way to earn some cash, they were in line for that medical test. It seemed to go well for them and actually provided some hallucinations that were enjoyable for some of the volunteers. Not every did as well, but that is often to be expected when you are a medical guinea pig. Soon after they met, they started dating and it became serious fairly quickly.
It wasn't long, though, before new abilities began to appear. Andy could give a mental "push" to people and convince them to do something they did not want to do or that were seeing things that were not there. In addition, he had a similar ability for some of the less complicated machines and without trying very hard, he often got back extra change from vending machines. Vickie's powers were also changing, but they were not terrifying and she had the ability to move small items with her mind.
They finished college, got married and began their careers. Soon, they were joined by a daughter who went by Charlie and when altered DNA from two psychically gifted parents is passed onto a child, the result was a daughter who could start immense fires with only her brain. The medical study they participated in was not on a new medicine, but in fact was provided by a government group known as "The Shop". They want Charlie and they will do whatever they need to get her, because she is a valuable weapon that they will use until there is nothing left of her.
The McGee's have tried to teach their daughter to control her gift, but controlling any child's temper tantrum is challenging. When she can burn your house down in minutes, it is more so. She accidentally injures her mother, a pet and numerous toys before her father has to scare her into avoiding sing her power. One day Andy McGee comes home from work to finds his wife brutally murdered and he takes Charlie and runs.
They stay in cheap motels, take cabs and buses and hope to stay one step ahead of everyone. At the same time, Charlie learns to never use her power, while her father gives himself migraines, blood noses and brain damage because he is forced to use his too much. Eventually, they make friends with an older couple who live on a farm and stay longer than they should, because The Shop finds them. The animals and the couple are injured and killed, which makes Charlie lose control. She kills many of the agents by burning them alive, and then the two escape to a remote cabin.
Unfortunately, she and her father eventually are taken and confined to a secure facility in separate areas. An orderly, Rainbird, who is not actually an orderly but is trying to manipulate Charlie, convinces her that if it makes things easier or more comfortable for her, she should submit to the tests. She does so and although she damages the property, is able to get better control over it. Her father is being drugged and when he manages to quit the drugs, he realizes they think he lost his ability. It was damaged, but not gone and he uses it to manipulate their kidnappers.
By the end, Charlie realizes what has gone on, enormous damage occurred to both their captors and the land has occurred and her father dies. Charlie is given a second chance when she escapes the base, after burning almost everyone and everything, and chooses to share her story with the world through trusted media, which was her father's dying wish
Best part of story, including ending:
It was a conspiracy theory without being paranoid. In addition, it used events that occur regularly, such as the medical experiments they thought they knew enough about, to cause a landslide effect.
Best scene in story:
In one of the final scenes, when Charlie really lets her power loose, the heat and damage are overwhelming and the details were amazing. I liked the fact that if they had not forced her to practice her power, she might not have been able to do as much damage. At that point, she was melting bullets in addition to blowing up cars with no problem.
Opinion about the main character:
Charlie is a regular kid with a very irregular power. I was happy to see that even though she had this immense power and could do virtually anything she wanted, she still loved and tried to obey her father.