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Inspection

A Novel
Length: 13 hrs and 15 mins
4 out of 5 stars (48 ratings)

Regular price: $31.50

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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. 

"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. 

Advance praise for Inspection:

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

“A twisted fairy tale set in a truly unique world that should not be spoiled, Josh Malerman’s Inspection reimagines the pillars of childhood in a smart, witty, and compulsively readable story of growth and rebellion. Read it and enjoy the discovery.” (Scott Hawkins, author of The Library at Mount Char

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

©2019 Josh Malerman (P)2019 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

“A wonderfully mad bit of narrative knotwork, braiding together threads of The Handmaid’s Tale and BioShock with aplomb. 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 and Wanderers)

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)

“A twisted fairy tale set in a truly unique world whose secrets should not be spoiled, Josh Malerman’s Inspection reimagines the pillars of childhood in a smart, witty, and compulsively readable story of growth and rebellion. Read it and enjoy the discovery.” (Scott Hawkins, author of The Library at Mount Char)

“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)

What members say

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

As beautifully written and unique as Bird Box - if not more

I’d been looking forward to the release of this book for months, and Malerman certainly delivered. Like Bird Box, Inspection’s plot is completely unique. In this modern world of what feels like repetitive superhero movies, unnecessary sequels, and remakes, I’m so thankful for writers like Josh Malerman who are able to craft narratives that are not only beautifully written, but inspire deep introspection through captivating, truly creative characters and situations. While there was one significant possibility that wasn’t addressed (which I won’t mention here, but you will probably ask yourself while listening to the book), this book is nothing short of inspiring. I hope to read and listen to many, many more stories by Josh Malerman.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Well written and hard to put down!

Overall an exciting and intriguing story! The male narrator is often distractingly over animated though.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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started out well...

sudden change in behavior of characters was too unbelievable; felt like I missed key chapters somewhere

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Sucked in by Bird Box Hype


Was a serious struggle to finish this one. Extremely slow build, thought it would improve after the change in narrator, but only an incremental increase in pacing.

The payoff was uninspired.

Hope this isn't like Paul Tremblay, whose books post Head Full of Ghosts became one note .

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Cool plot idea

I enjoyed the book. it makes you wonder what would happen to the children if this were real.