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3.81  ·  Rating details ·  130 ratings  ·  89 reviews
Boys are being trained at one school for geniuses, girls at another. And neither knows the other exists--until now. The innovative author of Bird Box invites you into a tantalizing world of secrets and lies.

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, who think of their enigmatic school's founder as t
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published March 19th 2019 by Del Rey Books
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Kaitlynn Some people get advanced copies from the publisher to review, so there are some reviews/hype before the book is available.

A lot of people, not…more
Some people get advanced copies from the publisher to review, so there are some reviews/hype before the book is available.

A lot of people, not knowing how reviewing works, like to leave 'reviews' for books they want to read that they haven't read, thus making the average rating for the book absolutely worthless. (less)
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3.81  · 
Rating details
 ·  130 ratings  ·  89 reviews

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Sadie Hartmann Mother Horror
Right now is a great time to be Josh Malerman.
The success of the Netflix Original, BIRD BOX, based on his horror novel of the same title, is staggering. I'm not at all surprised. Great books make great movies. Everything that is excellent about the film, is due to the fact that Malerman's story is a sweet set up for a film adaptation. I *felt* that book in a very tangible way so it was so cool to see that translated to the screen by people in the industry that respected Malerman's work and honor
Chelsea Humphrey

I think I'll be keeping this one brief, as I don't want to spoil anything and I am a middle of the road reviewer for this book. As others before me have stated, this one is a super slow burn, which isn't bad, but I think keeps the books from feeling as sinister as it could. I completely agree with Dennis's recommendation that fans of suspense that are a bit squeamish of straight up horror may really take to this story. The ending was epic, and 100 points to Malerman's Hogwarts House for all the
Aug 14, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Best laid plans and all that......

What happens when good old D.A.D and M.O.M keep their "children" in the dark? That really is the question! J is one of the 26 Alphabet boys. They are being raised by D.A.D. and his "staff". The boys are smart, they are being raised to be prodigies. They only know each other, their school, their D.A.D. and the people who work at the school. They fear disease almost as much as they fear becoming spoiled rotten and being sent to the Corner. *shivers* J has always b
Mar 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: buddy-read, netgalley
Once again I find myself branching out into the dystopian world. How could I possibly resist the latest release from Josh Malerman. I absolutely loved his previous release of Bird Box.

While Bird Box rests comfortably on my favorite shelf, this one just fell a bit shy of reaching that status for me.
An ingenious premise that promised an explosive mind-blowing read. But I just couldn’t quite let go and be taken there. While I really liked it...I just can't say I loved it as much as Bird Box.


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!

"They deserve the truth."

Malerman sets the stage by introducing the reader to a bizzare school of trusting young teens (with letters for names) living in a secluded world of strict laws and fear of disease. O

Susanne  Strong
Mar 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: buddy-read, netgalley
3.75 Stars* (rounded up).

Well, that was different. In truth, I couldn’t tear my eyes away!

What can I say without giving too much away? “Inspection” is weird and wild and had a really interesting concept. The first part was a little slower for me and took a while to get into and then BAM!!, the second part took off and I was all in. The characterizations hooked me. K and B, got me and and they got me good. Reality is not what you think it is and truth well, what is the truth? Be honest and you ar
Holly  B
 Original, Zany and Perplexing...

From the author of  Bird Box,  this novel completely threw me for a loop. A mesmerizing cover and a promising premise had me diving in with high expectations.

From the first chapters I was aware of something dark and secretive going on with this group of boys duped "the alphabet boys".  They are living in a tower at a remote location as part of an "experiment".  These boys are being raised to become the worlds best in science, engineering and math.

While I enjoye
Dec 11, 2018 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Pardon this interruption of your usual programming but...

I need this book right the fuckity fuck fuck fucking now.

As you were.
Copy furnished by Net Galley for the price of a review.

Experiments do not always come to fruition in the way that is expected.  This is a whole new twist on the concept of Parenthood.  The dreaded daily Inspections, checking for disease and rot.  If there is any sign of spoilage, the Corner awaits.  The Corner hums and croons and sometimes it rumbles.  What goes on behind that door? 

I applaud this author's fresh ideas, how he eschews the formulaic recipes and has yet to use a cookie-cutter.  I l
Mar 07, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
1-1.5 stars.

A husband and wife duo decide to live out a "thought experiment" where 26 boys and 26 girls are kept in separate towers in the Michigan wilderness. It is their hypothesis that if each sex is raised independently of each other and without knowledge that the other exists, the "genius" that will come as a byproduct of this upbringing will far outweigh the controversial nature in which this experiment was conducted.

Where to begin? I'm going to be quite blunt. This book was awful. I mean

In my opinion, Josh Malerman has a very abstract way of storytelling, and with all abstract art forms, it is open to interpretation. Although Inspection is more of a straightforward story once you have all the information, there are still some interesting concepts that lay underneath.

Because the mystery component is dependent on the reader having zero information about the plot line, I must refrain from incorporating any sort of synopsis into this review. But the themes I took away from my r
Sylvain Neuvel
Jan 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Malerman gives a master class in mood-building with this deliciously creepy coming-of-age story. I don’t want to spoil anything because you need to savor every line, but I’d call it Dead Poets Society as directed by Tim Burton. Sounds good, doesn’t it?
This was my first book by Josh Malerman and was ecstatic to get this approval!

I have heard amazing things about Bird Box... and I'm pretty sure I'm about the only person in the world that hasn't read Bird Box yet haha ;).

What happens when parents keep their children away from everything? The alphabet boys are being raised by D.A.D. and his staff members. The boys are very smart and only know what is being "taught" to them at school. The boys fear diseases like no ones business! One of the boys
Mar 10, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a difficult review to write since I have really mixed feelings on Inspection. I loved some parts of it, and was quite annoyed by others, so a 3⭐ review it is.

Even if I don't always love the outcome, Josh Malerman always has creative concepts for his books. I was intrigued by the synopsis of this book, and a fair amount of the story was mysterious and held my attention.

I have to be so vague about my thoughts on this book because I don't want to spoil anything. My biggest issue with this
J.D. Barker
Jan 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jan 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the most unique and original books I’ve ever read-a solid 5 stars. In Inspection, we learn that there are the Alphabet Boys-young boys being raised in a remote and controlled location. These boys know nothing of the outside world, including the knowledge of women. The basis of this “experiment” is so these boys become the world’s greatest thinkers (scientists, mathematicians, engineers and so on) without being subjected to the world’s daily distractions.
When I started this book, I went i
After reading Bird Box in one sitting, I was desperate to get my hands on Josh Malerman's upcoming novel Inspection . In this upcoming tale, there's a tower in the middle of the woods in Michigan that is a home to twenty-six boys—all named after a letter of the alphabet. The facility is run by a man named Richard, known only as D.A.D. to the boys, and his support staff. The boys are being trained in science, math, and engineering—with art being used as a leisure activity. What the boys do not k ...more
Acanthea  Grimscythe | The Ghastly Grimoire
Josh Malerman’s Inspection brings a different type of horror to the playground than Bird Box, and with it comes the idea of a world where only one gender exists–at least, that’s what the Alphabet Boys and Letter Girls are told. In this piece of work from Malerman, readers explore the depths of an abhorrently twisted coming of age tale. A place where fearmongering is the norm, where one’s genius is all that matters, and where the opposite gender is a distraction.

The Alphabet Boys and the Letter G
Donna Backshall
Mar 02, 2019 added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of dark, stark coming-of-age horror
Inspection is an original and unique coming of age story, so fresh and different from anything else I've read. It is a disturbing story about an experiment where children are raised in two separate oppressive and manipulative school environments, which segregate boys and girls to the extreme that they do not (and cannot) know the other sex even exists. We are introduced to the inner-workings of the stark boys' school through the odd and sort of distant views of various characters.

I found it fasc
Feb 20, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
(I read an ARC of this novel provided free by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thanks, Netgalley!)

I finished this novel a couple of weeks ago, but I've put off writing this review because I'm sad that I didn't like it. At all.

Here's the gist: There's a tower in the middle of nowhere, inhabited by 24 11-12 year-old boys, their teachers (view spoiler), and various servants. They're all male. Richard, called DAD by the boys, is conductin
This is a good three star. I enjoyed the book. It reads like a dystopian but it isn’t. I liked that we are thrown into the Turret without any knowledge of what is going on and where they are etc. Information is doled out a little at a time and you figure things out as you go. The pacing was a little slow for me at times. Overall though it is an interesting story with a little suspense and mystery. Thanks NetGalley for an advance copy.
Jan 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So, confession time: I didn’t love Bird Box. I’m talking about the book, not the movie. I also read Unbury Carol which I did love. Inspection is my 3rd novel by Malerman and I’ve come to a conclusion: Josh Malerman is a very exciting writer.

I loved Inspection.

Our plot is so very different from anything I’ve read before. Within the first couple of pages, I was completely entrenched in this dark fable of our boys and girls who have only letters for names and no clue about any of the truths of life
Claire Schmieder
Jan 26, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: arcs, read-in-2019, dnf
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Up until recently my experience with Josh Malerman has been limited to reading his previous book Unbury Carol, which I didn’t care for at all and it being a western certainly didn’t help either. So based on that, not sure I would have tried the Inspection, but then I watched Netflix’s adaptation of his debut novel and it was actually pretty good. The ever quantity over quality Neftlix actually did a good job and the story was terrific. And so when soon afterwards this one appeared on Netgalley, ...more
In Malerman's latest novel, a group of unsuspecting twelve-year old boys are part of a large social experiment with the hopes of each developing into the perfect genius. Since they were babies, the young men have been taught science, art, athletics and writing while never having any awareness of the opposite sex. This dystopian-like coming-of-age tale is one part Lord of the Flies, one part Dead Poet's Society and a two parts creepy.
Feb 28, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2-star
Despite my love of Malerman's Bird Box, I really struggled with this strange, slow moving book. It didn't grab me, and though it was well written, it unfortunately did not suit my personal tastes. I would recommend this one for patient readers willing to appreciate the symbolism and themes Malerman is putting forth. Interested to see what Malerman writes next, though he does seem to be pretty hit or miss for me. 2 1/2 stars
Kyra Leseberg (Roots & Reads)
In Josh Malerman's upcoming novel Inspection, readers are introduced to the Alphabet Boys, a group of 26 boys each named a letter of the alphabet who live and go to school in a remote tower simply called the Turret.  The founder of the school is known only to them as D.A.D. and the boys do consider him to be their father.

D.A.D., along with a group of men that keep the Turret running, are known as the Parenthood.  Their goal is to raise the Alphabet Boys to become the greatest engineers, scientis
Steve Tannuzzo
In a bizarre thought experiment, a group of 12-year-old boys with only a first initial for names exist in a tower, unaware of the opposite sex. They are raised to become prodigies, and are put through regular thorough inspections. It's all very strange. We also learn a similar academy exists with 11 year-old-girls in the same situation.

This book is like nothing I've read. It's a YA-style setup for a book meant for adults. The first half is a slow-burn puzzle and the second half is a fast-paced
This is my third Malerman book, and I've decided his books should come with a guarantee - the plot will be entirely original, and unlike anything you've read.

It's a fascinating premise - raise children from infancy, seclude them from the outside world, educate them at an advanced rate, and control everything in their lives to include what they wear, read, eat, and do in their leisure time.  All while making sure they're unaware of the opposite sex.  You can't deny it's thought-provoking, and wou
I know I can't expect everything Josh Malerman writes to be just like Bird Box, but I still went into this book with a certain expectation, and I ended up disappointed. This one was just not for me. The first half bored me, and while it does pick up in the second half, the ending was bizarre. The premise is sort of interesting, but the motivations of the adult characters never felt very realistic to me.

*I received a free ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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Josh Malerman is the author of BIRD BOX and the singer/songwriter for the band THE HIGH STRUNG.
  • Wanderers
  • Recursion
  • Motherland
  • Growing Things and Other Stories
  • The Chrysalis
  • Lock Every Door
  • Dig
  • Temper
  • Bones & All
  • Five Stories High: One House, Five Hauntings, Five Chilling Stories
  • The Homecoming
  • The Test
  • Heroes Under Siege (Talent Chronicles, #3)
  • The Institute
  • The Last
  • The Glass Hotel
  • Magic for Liars
  • Until the Day I Die
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