Author: Stephen King
Trigger Warnings: suicide, drowning, lab testing & experimenting on humans
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. When Luke wakes up at The Institute, he’s 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.
In the Institute, the staffs are ruthless to extract and develop these kids’ 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.
What I Liked About the Book
Almost everyone knows that King does an amazing job at churning out creepy horror/thriller book. He definitely keeps that up with this story following an Institute for psychic kids. This book started out great with several intriguing aspects such as experimenting on psychic kids, how the institute tries to develop their psychic powers and exploit it.
The bonding between the kids was greatly explained and the characters were given in-depth development which really made you connect with them. Their innocence, bonding and way of viewing the world is so strongly written that it makes you fall in love with them while making you angry at the Institute staffs for treating them so badly.
What I Disliked About the Book
While this book does start out great, I feel it fizzled out as it reached the end. Until the 50% mark, the story and plotline was really interesting and spooked me quite a bit as well. But after that the story seemed rushed, no proper explanation was given to why the Institute did what it did. I know towards the end some explanation is given but I found it highly unsatisfying.
Another problem that I had with this book was that it’s classified as Horror which I feel misrepresents the plot. There are definitely some supernatural aspects to the storyline but rather unfolds as a thriller.
I know Stephen King has a problem with publishing short or medium sized but despite being a long read, this book fails to deliver on several points. Stuff like the Stasi lights were not even explained properly and were just brushed over. Even the parts about Back Half was explained so quickly and wasn’t given as much importance as it deserved.
I don’t know, this book just didn’t hold up to what I expect from King generally. But I know that several others really enjoyed this book and rave about it. So don’t let this review stop you from picking this book up!
Recommended for anyone who:
- wants a book revolving around psychic kids
- is looking for a fast paced thriller
- wants a book with human experimenting and other illegal activities
Other Works by the same Author:
- The Shining
- Pet Sematary
- Four Past Midnight