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Audiobook Review

The Institute

Stephen King
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average rating is 5 out of 5
average rating is 4 out of 5

Excellent, Unforgettable, Best of the nest

Very good, thoroughly enjoyed, 

Good, Solid, Enjoyed many aspects


Peak Sci-Fi Escapism Albeit Too Long


💛 To summarise: The plot, the characters, the story, all fantastic. But this could have been cut down by a quarter without blinking an eye. In particular, the time in the institution itself is repetitive, but there are other parts to which this could be applied. King just can’t help giving every last detail.

💚 Digging a bit deeper, King creates some unforgettable characters in this story. Boy genius Luke and ex-policeman Tim are both deeply likable and contrast starkly with the Institution staff. Yes, it lacks subtlety, but it’s just what you want from comfort escapist sci-fi.

🧡 I reread this after also rereading The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken. The premise is not a million miles apart, but they are two very different books. An interesting compare and contrast, with Bracken going for more of an “on the run” situation.


🎧 Listening to this is like having a movie running in your mind. It’s easy to follow and good fun. The production is faultless, right down to the chapter listings.

🎧 You would think you’d get tired of one voice after almost 19 hours, but Santino Fontana must have a chameleon living in his vocal chords, because this felt like a full cast. Every character is unique, every one of them are carved out so I could envision them.


No spoilers for this one. Maybe next time!
Click For Spoilers

The Institute


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.
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