Posted in review

Review: The Institute by Stephen King

Summary from Goodreads:

In the middle of the night, in a house on a quiet street in suburban Minneapolis, intruders silently murder Luke Ellis’s parents and load him into a black SUV. The operation takes less than two minutes. Luke will wake up at The Institute, in a room that looks just like his own, except there’s no window. And outside his door are other doors, behind which are other kids with special talents—telekinesis and telepathy—who got to this place the same way Luke did: Kalisha, Nick, George, Iris, and ten-year-old Avery Dixon. They are all in Front Half. Others, Luke learns, graduated to Back Half, “like the roach motel,” Kalisha says. “You check in, but you don’t check out.”

In this most sinister of institutions, the director, Mrs. Sigsby, and her staff are ruthlessly dedicated to extracting from these children the force of their extranormal gifts. There are no scruples here. If you go along, you get tokens for the vending machines. If you don’t, punishment is brutal. As each new victim disappears to Back Half, Luke becomes more and more desperate to get out and get help. But no one has ever escaped from the Institute.

As psychically terrifying as Firestarter, and with the spectacular kid power of It, The Institute is Stephen King’s gut-wrenchingly dramatic story of good vs. evil in a world where the good guys don’t always win.


Warnings: graphic child abuse, alcohol/drug abuse, violence

I know that I wanted to read this the second I saw the cover and I’m glad I did. It was a great and intense read that I found hard to put down. I recommend checking this out even if you’re new to Stephen King or you’re a fan of Stranger Things. This was a perfect read for October.

What I Liked:

Writing. I’ve been a fan of Stephen King and his writing style since I first picked up a book by him in high school. I felt that this was one of his stronger novels and I’ve found myself enjoying his newer novels.

Characters. My father characters were the children, King did a great job of writing them and making the reader feel for the characters. Luke was a unique character that was easy to root for throughout the novel. The adult characters were well-written too but I found myself mainly wanting to read about the children.

Plot. I was a fan of this plot pre-release because it has some Stranger Things vibes (I recommend it for those who are having withdrawals after binge-watching the show this year) and it was done so well!

Ending. I was unsure if I would like the ending, I tend to dislike endings in general not just from King but I found it satisfying. I think it left room for possible other storylines and it was a heartbreaking ending.

What I Disliked:

Point of Views. I struggled to connect with the other character’s points of view. I felt that the novel would have been a full 5 stars if the book was told solely from Luke’s point of view. I got sucked into the story and the intensity increased when the novel from told from Luke’s POV.

Rating: 4.5 Stars Out of 5 Stars.


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