Inspection by Josh Malerman : Book Review

“A man spends all his time building something… and that object becomes his everything. His reward, yes, but his panic, his horror, too”

This was my first book from the author and only after I finish reading the novel that I realized it’s the same author as Bird Box, the phenomenal movie adapation on Netflix. And it just clicked with me. It made sense because I was not only impressed of how movie script the book was, but at his writing style too.

(c) Trang Tran

The novel opens with a boy named J, living in a mansion/school where his and the other Alphabet Boys go about their days and the anxiety regarding The Inspection. Everything seems very innocent at first and slowly J starts to question his everyday routine in this house and that worry also starts to emerge in other Alphabet Boys. I really don’t want to spoil anything else, I firmly believe this is a novel that should transport you at its own pace without knowing anything in advance. That’s how I got immersed in the story and I think it’s the best way to approach Inspection.

(c) Trang Tran

One important theme that this book pointed out is the paradox of need and shame. Desires have a way to manifest in a beautiful way but also horrifying and becoming constraining in an environment that lead to suppress any hints of desires. An important theme that is still relevant to this day. However, as much as I love this novel, there are still some hiccups I would like to point out. Like I mentioned the writing style is beautiful and atmospheric however that style works at its best during climax, suspenseful moments or conflicts that the characters have but they don’t quite fit in a quieter period. It slows the pace on purpose that the reader feels it’s forced, becoming in a way, disinterested in these calm instants.

(c) Trang Tran

Overall, I still recommed this book for fans of suspense and thriller, it also made me think of the anime The Promised Neverland! 😉

Rating: 4/5

Review by Trang T.

2 comments

    • Thank you!! I just went ahead and read the mixed reviews hahah you’re right 😂 a lot of people compared it to his previous work Bird Box 🤷🏻‍♀️ since I haven’t read it I didn’t have any references

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