Title: The Inspection
Author: Josh Malerman
Publisher: Del Rey Books
Publication Date: March 19, 2019
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 their father. And his fellow peers are the only family J has ever had. The students are being trained to be prodigies of art, science, and athletics, but their life at the school is all they know–and all they are allowed to know.
But J is beginning to suspect 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.
In Inspection, the masterful author of Bird Box crafts a sinister and evocative gender equality anthem that will have readers guessing until the final page.
To me this is actually a two star read but the actual idea of this story is so compelling to me that I just felt like I needed to give it a three. Also, when the book is actually focusing on giving answers to what is happening it really shined and if the book had been more of that I probably would have given it a four. So my compromise with myself is a three and I feel comfortable with that.
The pacing was really off in this book. There were so many unnecessary pages of details into what certain characters were thinking that it really started to take away from the story. This book would have been a much better story with at least 50 pages cut. I also wish that the characters were older than 12 because it made certain things that happen later on in the story very uncomfortable for me. This is might just be a me thing though because my oldest is a few weeks away from being 10 so it hit pretty close to home. I think 14 would have been a more believable and appropriate age for the kids to be. Also, this whole experiment hinges on the fact that the opposite sex is a distraction preventing us from reaching our true potentials but it is never brought up that there are plenty of people in this world who are attracted to their own sex. It is disappointing that a whole group of people are never even mentioned in this book.
My favorite part of the book was the end because of all the action. I have read one other Malerman novel (Bird Box) and I noticed he did the same thing at the end of that one too. The story just goes along with tiny sprinkles of action throughout the bulk of the story but the end is almost constant action. I would love to read one of his other books and see if he does the same thing in those ones. I’m not against it and I actually think it would be pretty cool if that was his style of writing because I feel like the suspense the reader would be in just knowing that the ending is going to be full of so much horror, action and answers would be a fun reading experience.
I have seen some people classify The Inspection as a dystopian but to me this is a straight up horror novel. Beyond the actual horrific acts that happen or are alluded to the real horror of the story is how these boys and girls are being raised. If you like the Hunger Games or the Divergent and are interested in something darker than I suggest this book to you. Or, if like me, you find the synopsis interesting then I think you will be happy that you picked this one up.