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Even at the age of 71, the master of literary horror shows no signs of slowing down.
Three months after the release of his last novel, Elevation, Stephen King just announced that he has another book set to go on sale in the fall. According to the author's website, the publication is titled The Institute and sounds a heck of a lot like a very dark take on Marvel's X-Men.
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. The operation takes less than two minutes. Luke will wake up at The Institute, 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: Kalisha, Nick, George, Iris, and 10-year-old Avery Dixon. 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.”
In this most sinister of institutions, the director, Mrs. Sigsby, and her staff are ruthlessly dedicated to extracting from these children the force of their extranormal 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.
As psychically terrifying as Firestarter, and with the spectacular kid power of It, The Institute is Stephen King’s gut-wrenchingly dramatic story of good vs. evil in a world where the good guys don’t always win.
Here's the cover art as well:
King has been on a roll recently with his beloved works enjoying a renaissance of sorts in popular culture. This year alone, we'll get film adaptations of Pet Sematary (April 5) and It (Sep. 6, for Chapter Two). Then there's the fact that The Stand will be turned into a miniseries at CBS All Access, while the short story Survivor Type is being adapted for Shudder's Creepshow. And, of course, we can also look forward to Season 2 of Castle Rock on Hulu.
The Institute will go on sale in September, although no specific date is listed.
If you absolutely just can't wait to read it, you're in luck. Josh Boone's New Mutants, a similar story about young individuals being used for their special abilities in a creepy asylum-like location, opens in theaters Aug. 2.