I picked up this audiobook from the library after a coworker recommended it, citing big “Stranger Things” vibes. I have to admit, I was a bit reluctant, because I’m not a huge fan of Stephen King’s recent books (they’re a bit long and slower-paced for my personal taste), and when I saw this sucker was 15 hours long, I almost aborted.

But with a lack of any other audiobook ideas, I persevered, and honestly I can say it was a solid listen. The plot follows a *gifted* boy who’s stolen away to a cruel institute full of other gifted children, and basically has to figure out where he is, what they’re doing, and how to escape.

The writing was flawless of course, but everything else felt pretty average to me. The characters are likeable, although I didn’t fall in love with any of them. It had some tense moments, but the pacing, as usual was on the slower side, and I think it could’ve easily been about two hours shorter.

Overall, while it is HEAVY on the Stranger Things vibes, I guess I felt like the concept was a little tired, and I didn’t find my surprised by… well… anything. The narrator did a fabulous job bringing the book to life though, and there were times when he had me rapt. By the end, while I can say I enjoyed it, I don’t think it’ll really be sticking with me in any way.

Recommended to Stephen King and Stranger Things fans looking for a solid listen.

⭐⭐⭐⭐

I asked my K-niece houseguest, Locke, for her thoughts… and I got this. Interpret as you will.

Thanks for reading!