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Book Review: The Institute

The Institute was written by Stephen King and published by Scribner in 2019. You can purchase it on Amazon/Kindle and you can visit the author on Amazon and on social media.

When you combine the innocence of children with a plausible, sinister plot, that equals a literary masterful success. King at his best!

A twelve-year-old boy from Minneapolis is highly gifted and destined to attend elite universities and it'll come several years earlier than most other ambitious students hope for. His parents love him and other than having a son with a very high IQ, life seems fairly normal for this family. That is until intruders quietly murder Luke's mother and father and scurry him away in a black SUV. This is a well-planned out operation and it happens in the middle of the night and in less than two minutes. Luke wakes up in a room no different than his own but there is no window in this room and beyond the walls of his room, there are other rooms like his. Luke finds himself in The Institute. It's a secret place, hidden away in the woodlands of the northeast; a place for gifted children, who are Luke's age and younger, but the gift isn't one of intelligence, it's a gift of telekinesis and telepathy and Luke possesses these extraordinary powers. The staff of The Institute have been operating for several decades and their mission is to exploit these young children and to use them as weapons for the nation. The children are given tokens to use in vending machines if they cooperate in being tested and probed, but if they refuse, the punishment is brutal. Kalisha, Nick, George, Iris, and ten-year-old Avery Dixon are soon befriended by Luke and together these little band of kids conspire to fight back against the sinister evil that lurks within the Institutes walls. Ultimately, they look for a way to escape, which no one has ever done in the history of The Institute. Stephen King has delivered up tales of horror which have become classics like The Stand and several others that need no mention here, and interestingly, there seems to be a theme to his more popular stories which resonate more deeply with us. The theme would be his focus on kids and on plots that have a tendency to be frighteningly close to reality. Like The Stand, and the virus that threatened humanity, The Institute zeroes in on some eerie truths: Children are exploited in today's world and a large part of the population isn't totally aware of what happens behind the walls of institutions. When you combine the innocence of children with a plausible, sinister plot, that equals a literary masterful success. King is at his best in this one! A Must Read!

I give The Institute 5 out of 5 stars.

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