Inspection by Josh Malerman begins following The Alphabet Boys. They are a group of 26 young teenagers living in the middle of the forest in a place called The Parenthood. Each boy is named after a letter of the alphabet. Every day they line up for daily inspections where they strip naked and are examined for any tangible changes. Their leader D.A.D. is a father figure to them, guiding them to hopefully become masters of art and science. They have been raised their entire lives without the knowledge of the outside world or the existence of females, unbeknownst to them. All is going well until J starts having dreams that cause him to begin questioning everything he's ever known..
Across the forest there is an identical school with 26 young teenage females called The Letter Girls. Each one of them is also named after a letter of the alphabet and is without the knowledge that males exist. They too are being raised by their female leader M.O.M. and are on track to be little prodigies. K has always been the most advanced of the girls and expected to do great things. With that comes an advanced way of thinking and K swears she's seen something amiss in the woods. As K begins to investigate she runs into the male J and everything they have ever known threatens to come crashing down.
I really loved this one as I was going through it. It's very the Stanford experiments meets Lord of the Flies meets an insane cult. The ending does take a WILD turn and I wasn't really sure how to process it. (I'm still looking for people to discuss this with so if you've read it DM me!) Overall I'd classify this one as a dystopian literary horror (if that's a genre) - I did really enjoy trying to figure out what the hell was happening at The Parenthood. If you like dystopian books with plausible real-life horrendous aspects - this ones for you!
I’m also hosting a buddy read for this one at the end of the month! We have plenty of space if you want to be added just shoot me a note! We will be discussing on Sun April 28 @ 8PM EST! #buddiesgetinspected