The Institute by Stephen King is part mystery, part thriller and typical King.
In the dark of the night, children disappear, taken from their homes and vanishing from the face of the earth. These aren’t just regular children, they are special. They may be able to fly a pizza pan across the room without touching it, or seem to know what others are thinking.
Late one night, Luke Ellis’ parents are murdered and he is taken from his bed. When he wakes up more than a day later, he is in his room, only it isn’t his room. There are no windows and something is off. He soon finds out that he is at The Institute, a place where kids with telekinesis and telepathy are taken and tested and eventually moved on to the mysterious “Back Half.”
The Institute is a prison, where good deeds are rewarded with tokens for snacks and treats and bad deeds get you a slap or worse. But The Institute didn’t know what they were getting when the abducted Luke and he may just be more than they can handle.
It has been a long time since I’ve read a book by Stephen King. I was a big face of his Shining and Doctor Sleep and I also loved his Gunslinger series but there was just something about this synopsis that drew me in. And I am glad it did. I really enjoyed The Institute.
I love the conspiracy and supernatural elements of King’s books but what really made this one shine was the kids. Luke, Avery, Nicky, George, Kalisha, they brought a really unique and diverse element to the story. You can actually see Luke and his friends “age” throughout the book. They become adults, have to make adult decisions and deal with adult issues, even though they are just kids. This is extremely evident, especially in Luke.
King doesn’t shy away from the evil of The Institute; he shows the testing in all its horror. And you can see how this treatment changes the kids.
Overall, this was a really great read. It was unique and yet had familiar elements of Kings worlds. This one gets 4 stars from me.
That’s all for now!