Yes, I'm a Stephen King fan.....and I've liked some of his books better than others...but....I really liked this latest - The Institute.
I always like opening that first page, listening to that first chapter, wondering what King has in store for me. The first chapter of The Institute introduces us to Tim, a man not sure where he's headed next. This is what I love about King's storytelling. Rich, full descriptions, well developed characters and that wonderful frisson of what is going to happen next, how all the pieces will come together.
Well, next we leave Tim and meet Luke - as he is being kidnapped. Luke wakes up in a room that looks similar to his bedroom, but isn't. When he ventures from the room, he meets a bunch of other kids. From them, he begins to piece together what has happened to him - and those who have come before. "They are all in Front Half. Others, Luke learns, graduated to Back Half, “like the roach motel,” Kalisha says. “You check in, but you don’t check out.”
What do they all have in common? Abilities - telekinesis or telepathy. And the adults at The Institute? Oh, you're going to love to hate them.
Ahh, you can see it now can't you? Nobody does good vs. evil like King. And kids battling that evil? Even better. (Shades of Firestarter!) King has created a fantastic core of main players. They too, are so well developed. The listener will feel like they're part of the group. (although you definitely wouldn't want to be - the adults are truly despicable.)
And as the book progressed, I wondered how was Tim going to figure into this tale? All tales of good vs. evil need the heroes to make a stand.....
I chose to listen to The Institute. The reader was Santino Fontana and his performance was excellent! His voice is clear and so easy to listen to. He enunciates well and modulates his speed. The voices he's chosen for the characters are just right. The voices of the children are individual and believable and matched the mental images I had for them. Those nasty adults? Excellent interpretation as well, with the inflection and tone emphasizing, as my gran used to say, what 'pieces of work they are'. There's lots of action and tension in this book and Fontana captures that as well. See for yourself - listen to an excerpt of The Institute.
Did you watch Stranger Things? Yes? Well, you'll want to listen to The Institute. I loved it and binge listened (yes it's a thing) any chance I got. But even at 19 delicious hours of listening it was done way too quickly. Sigh...I'll be eagerly awaiting the next marvelous tale from Stephen King!