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Inspection  By  cover art

Inspection

By: Josh Malerman
Narrated by: Michael Crouch,Brittany Pressley
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Publisher's summary

Boys are being trained at one school for geniuses, girls at another. Neither knows the other exists - until now. The New York Times best-selling 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 best-selling 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 26 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)

©2019 Josh Malerman (P)2019 Random House Audio

Critic reviews

Inspection proves that Josh Malerman is a master magician of narrative form. He’s distilled the zeitgeist of our terrible times into this dazzling chameleon of a story, part Grimm’s fairy tale of innocent youth, part dystopian gender politics and authoritarianism run amok, with a satisfying Tarantino-esque ending.” (Alma Katsu, author of The Hunger)

“[Inspection] mashes up gender issues with Frankenstein.... Taking a cue from the godmother of horror, Mary Shelley, Malerman’s latest, Inspection, appreciates that the scary part is not the lurking, growling monster, but instead exploring the real-world ramifications of such a seemingly fantastical proposition.” (The Oakland Press)  

“Engaging and suspenseful! Malerman creates a fiendish fairy tale of a world where boy was never meant to meet girl and of the hell unleashed when they finally do.” (J. D. Barker, internationally best-selling author of The Fourth Monkey and Dracul)