Friday 27 September 2019

THE INSTITUTE by Stephen King

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... 

Far away in a small town in South Carolina, former cop Tim Jamieson has taken a job working for the local sheriff. He's basically just walking the beat. But he's about to take on the biggest case of his career. 

Back in the Institute's downtrodden playground and corridors where posters advertise 'just another day in paradise', Luke, his friend Kalisha and the other kids are in no doubt that they are prisoners, not guests. And there is no hope of escape. 

But great events can turn on small hinges and Luke is about to team up with a new, even younger recruit, Avery Dixon, whose ability to read minds is off the scale. While the Institute may want to harness their powers for covert ends, the combined intelligence of Luke and Avery is beyond anything that even those who run the experiments - even the infamous Mrs Sigsby - suspect.

I always get excited when a new Stephen King book comes out, and push it to the top of my TBR pile. Yes, I am a Constant Reader.

Tim Jamieson is just minding his own business when he makes a decision that changes the path of his life, and takes him to a small town. Luke Ellis is a highly intelligent kid who loves to learn and is on his way to college, but there's something else about him that attracts the attention of a secret facility.

The Institute is in the middle of the woods. It's where unique kids are held against their will and have the capacity of their young minds pushed to the edge. 

But they didn't count on Luke, the determination of the kids they mistreat, or how Tim fits into everything...

Wow. Just wow.

This book hooked me in from the very beginning. So deeply, I felt like the story kept creeping under my skin and the infection wouldn't stop until I reached the end.

Every time I sat down to read, I was nervous, but I couldn't stop. Didn't want to stop because I felt so bad for these poor kids, and really needed to find out if they were going to be okay. 

Stephen King has a knack for writing stories full of characters that are so wonderful you love them to pieces, and others that are so despicable you hate their guts, but all of them keep you turning the page. For very different reasons.

It's not just the characters, though. The story captivated me so much, I loved how everything unravelled. The pacing is as perfect as the multiple POVs. The way all the chapters thread around each other keeps the action moving perfectly, and kept me on the edge of my seat.  

I don't think there's any need for me to mention the outstanding writing. But I will, because every time I read a King story, I'm in awe of his storytelling skills. He's got such a wonderful way of stitching real life, pseudo-science and the supernatural together in a way that keeps the reader guessing and the suspense rising to breaking point. 

The Institute is such an amazing book, an action-packed, page-turning adventure that deals with the worst of humanity, as well as the best. Even though a lot of horrible things happen, even though the characters broke my heart, even though every new page was more nerve-wracking than the one before, I still enjoyed the hell out of this disturbing and sometimes dreadful story.

This book goes to some very dark places and has several characters with no redeeming qualities, but you do get to meet an awesome group of kids. I'll never forget Luke, Kalisha, Avery, Nick, Helen, George or Iris.

Also, make sure you read the Author's Note.

I absolutely LOVED this!

The Institute, September 2019, ISBN 9781529355406, Hodder & Stoughton

No comments:

Favorites More