This post contains affiliate links. In my teenage years, I devoured Stephen King books like Cujo, The Shining, and Salem’s Lot. Then, I went decades without reading anything King wrote, and recently, I seem to read one book of his a year. This year, I read The Institute.
About The Institute by Stephen King
The Institute reminds me of a mix of older Stephen King books. From the beginning, the story grabbed my attention, the way a good Stephen King book can. Luke, a near-genius 12 year old, has the ability to move small objects when he’s feeling emotional. He and his parents don’t think much about it. They’re more concerned with his brilliant mind and the fact that he wants to go to MIT at 12.
However, his slight telekenesis is enough for the people at The Institute to kidnap Luke and murder his parents.
Once at the Institute, Luke finds himself surrounded by other kids who have more powers than his–both to move objects and to read thoughts. The kids are subjected to tests and shots and plied with tokens they can use to buy things like snacks, cigarettes, and alcohol. After a few weeks, the kids are moved from the “Front Half” to the “Back Half” where Luke’s friend says they never come back.
Luke is determined to escape before he gets sent to the back half, but can he do it?
My Thoughts on the Book
The last couple of hundred pages I raced through because I wanted to see what would happen. I love the way King sets up a big showdown; he slows time down almost minute to minute as the story reaches its climax. Overall, I was satisfied with the ending and love the way King can make the impossible look possible.
I give The Institute 4.5 out of 5 stars on the Mom’s Plans’ scale.
The Occupied by Craig Parshall
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