The Kids Check In, But Don’t Check Out

No matter how scary Stephen King’s supernatural bad guys can be, the author’s most unsettling antagonists are usually always human.

King’s latest novel, The Institute, is reportedly a return to form for the author, and enthralling as the very best of his work.

It has no ghosts, no vampires, no metamorphosing entities or invaders from other dimensions intent on tormenting innocent children. Innocent children are tormented in The Institute, but its regular people doing it.

The Institute follows the story of Luke Ellis, who finds his parents were killed by intruders and then kidnapped him. Luke ended up in a mysterious institute, along with other kids who appear to have special talents.

The children imprisoned in the Institute learn to navigate its rules and personalities, try to figure out the purpose of it all, wonder if the authorities’ promises that they’ll eventually be returned to their families with their memories wiped can be trusted.

The Institute will become a Spyglass limited series even though it just hit shelves last week. Emmy Award-winners David E. Kelley (Goliath) and Jack Bender (Under The Dome) will direct and executive produce the upcoming show.

I’ve not read the book yet, but I spoke with The Meg author Steve Alten yesterday, and he was raving about the opening chapters:

My copy arrives tomorrow. And for what it’s worth, the TV production crew are the same guys that helped create the first season of the Mr. Mercedes series, which was brilliant.