Saturday, November 9, 2019

Review - The Institute by Stephen King

*This is a sponsored review. All opinions are 100% mine.

There are many book bloggers who'll crank out a review as soon as they finished reading the final pages of whatever they're reading. Well, that's not me! I tend to reflect on what I've just read. If I'm not emotionally connected to the story, then I'll write my review within a few days. However, if I am emotionally connected, it takes me a bit longer to gather up my final thoughts.

I finished reading The Institute by Stephen King nearly a month ago and it's one of those reads I needed to sit on before talking about.

The Institute is a mix of Carrie and Firestarter, and centers around Luke Ellis, a bright young boy who's taken from his suburban Minneapolis home in the middle of night and wakes up at the Institute in a room that closely resembles his own. It seems a government organization is experimenting on children with telekinesis and telepathy and Luke happens to be one of them.

Along with the other kids, Kalisha, Nick, George, Iris and Avery, in the Front Half, Luke tries his best to play by the rules which are set by the sinister Institution's director, Mrs. Sigsby. However, one by one, each kid is moved to the Black Half and are never seen again. To save himself, as well as Avery, the youngest of the group, Luke must find away to escape this hell.

Final Thoughts

The Institute is really odd story that switches the protagonist after the first 40 pages. It begins with Tim Jamieson, a middle-age ex-police officer who finds himself drifting along in life until he takes a job at a small South Carolina town's sheriff's office as a "night knocker." Then the story shifts over to Luke Ellis, a kid with "special powers" who's ripped from his home in the middle of the night and is taken to the Institute to be experimented on. The Jamieson character comes back into the fold towards the ending.

Yeah, the plot reminds me quite a bit of Stranger Things! The Institute is basically Hawkins National Laboratory. I bet Stephen King is a big fan of the Netflix series. No, I wouldn't call it a ripoff as it feels very similar to King's 1980 novel Firestarter, which centered around another kid being experimented on by an evil government organization.

Overall, The Institute is a strange tale. Like all stories by Stephen King, it's written-well with interesting characters, lively dialogue, and detailed descriptions. It's a fast-paced page-turner with many suspenseful moments. However, I thought there were also many predictable moments. If you're expecting to read a horror-filled King story, then you're going to be majority disappointed as there's very little horror elements. What you're getting is a science-fiction tale involving children that feels all too familiar.

1 comment:

  1. I thought the synopsis sounded a lot like Carrie and Firestarter. Those aren’t my favorite King books, which is why I haven’t picked this one up yet. I’ll get to it eventually. Great review!

    Aj @ Read All The Things!


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