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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 horror in this tantalizing thriller.
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.
Advance praise for Inspection
“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 bestselling 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 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 bestselling author of The Fourth Monkey and Dracul