Date finished: December 25th, 2019

Format: Hardback

Pages: 485

First time reading?: Yes

From Goodreads: “Deep in the woods of Maine, there is a dark state facility where kids, abducted from across the United States, are incarcerated. In the Institute they are subjected to a series of tests and procedures meant to combine their exceptional gifts – telepathy, telekinesis – for concentrated effect.

Luke Ellis is the latest recruit. He’s just a regular 12-year-old, except he’s not just smart, he’s super-smart. And he has another gift which the Institute wants to use…”


I have only recently become a fan of Stephen King’s work, not because I didn’t like him, just because I’ve only read his stuff in the last year or so. He’s not the kind of author I’d race to pick up his latest release – we aren’t there yet – but when I read the blurb for “The Institute” I have to admit it went straight into my wish list.

Stephen King has a way of writing that draws you in and keeps you reading and entertained, and this was no different. Although it took me twenty days to read this one, that was more down to me not picking the book up: whenever I did pick it up and read some it was in huge chunks, not just one chapter at a time.

I particularly enjoyed the cast of child characters in this book. Much of the novel was from Luke‘s POV and I think this helped provide a lot of empathy for what the kids were being subjected to and allowed emotional ties to the other kids to be created. I’ll be honest though, I didn’t feel I related with the adult characters all that much, even with the few opening chapters introducing us to Tim. I’m not sure why I felt this way -maybe the kids were just more relatable? As I said: we did spend the majority of the book with them.

The storyline was a relatively simple one I feel, but in Stephen King‘s hands it feels sufficiently dark and creepy, and not just another “government experimenting on kids” tale. I don’t think it got overcomplicated which I think this kind of genre has a tendency to do sometimes. That’s probably why it felt like such a good read: the uncomplicated storyline allows for more time for bonds to form with the characters instead of giving time to explain complicated plot details.

My rating: 8/10