Boys are being trained at one school for geniuses, girls at another. Neither knows the other exists—until now. The New York Times bestselling author of Bird Box invites you into a world of secrets and chills in a coming-of-age story like no other.
NOMINATED FOR THE BRAM STOKER AWARD • “Josh Malerman is a master at unsettling you—and keeping you off-balance until the last page is turned.”—Chuck Wendig, New York Times bestselling author of Blackbirds
J is a student at a school deep in a forest far away from the rest of the world.
J is one of only twenty-six students, all of whom think of the school’s enigmatic founder as their father. J’s peers are the only family he has ever had. The students are being trained to be prodigies of art, science, and athletics, and their life at the school is all they know—and all they are allowed to know.
But J suspects that there is something out there, beyond the pines, that the founder does not want him to see, and he’s beginning to ask questions. What is the real purpose of this place? Why can the students never leave? And what secrets is their father hiding from them?
Meanwhile, on the other side of the forest, in a school very much like J’s, a girl named K is asking the same questions. J has never seen a girl, and K has never seen a boy. As K and J work to investigate the secrets of their two strange schools, they come to discover something even more mysterious: each other.
Praise for Inspection
“Creepy. . . a novel whose premise is also claustrophobic and unsettling, but more ambitious than that of Bird Box . . . Inspection is rich with dread and builds to a dramatic climax.”—The Washington Post
“This unlikely cross between 1984 and Lord of the Flies tantalizes.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Malerman builds a striking world. . . . As he did in Bird Box, Malerman’s crafted an irresistible scenario that’s rich in possibility and thematic fruit. . . . Where [Bird Box] confined us behind a blindfold, Inspection rips it off.” —The A. V. Club
“A must read . . . It’s a wonderful thing, digging into a new Josh Malerman novel—no idea what to expect, no clue where his twisted mind is going to take you.”—Cemetery Dance
In this strange, uneven horror novel, Malerman (Unbury Carol) depicts a mad couple's experiment in trying to separate the sexes. Deep in the woods of Michigan sits a complex full of young boys. There used to be one for every letter of the alphabet, but when J was just two, A and Z were sent to the Corner. The Alphabet Boys don't know what that means, exactly, but they know it's bad. They also don't know that the world holds anything but men. Raised by D.A.D., also known as Richard, they have no idea that women exist; Richard hypothesizes that this will make them smarter and less distracted. Three miles away sits a similar complex full of girls who have no knowledge of men. As the kids reach puberty, K, a Letter Girl, starts becoming more curious about the world around her. The inevitable end is sudden and bloody. The story is narrated by J, K, and Warren Bratt, a man hired to write all the leisure books the boys read. There are parts of this book that require near-impossible suspension of disbelief; no thought is given to what would happen if one of the kids turns out to be queer or transgender, for example, and some premises go unexplained, such as why Warren has suddenly developed a guilt complex 13 years in. Fans of bad horror movies might find the story fun, but if Malerman intends it to be a serious exploration of gender or parenting, it falls far short.
4 Big Time Stars for ORIGINALITY!
Like so many, I love love loved BIRD BOX, (both novel and movie) enjoyed THE HOUSE AT THE BOTTOM OF THE LAKE and UNBURY CAROL, and now after reading INSPECTION, one thing I know for sure is....with Josh Malerman, you never know what you're going to get! So cool......
"They deserve the truth."
Malerman sets the stage by introducing the reader to a bizarre school of trusting young teens living in a secluded world of strict laws and fear of disease. One must ALWAYS stay clean and NEVER EVER become spoiled rotten or consequences could be fatal....with a trip down to T.H.E.C.O.R.N.E.R.
Daily morning INSPECTIONS are invasive and bare all, but innocence turns surprisingly DARK when suspicions bring about dangerous adventures that expose a shocking world of lies.
I prefer the even darker, more suspenseful side of Malerman best, (BIRD BOX) but sign me up for whatever he dreams up next!
I loved it!
I finished this book in two days because I loved it so much. It finishes beautifully, it’s intense and gives vivid details of what they go through. Amazing book!
I haven’t even read it yet and I already love it!!!! ❤️❤️❤️❤️ 😍😍😍