Book Title:
Malorie
Book Author:
Josh Malerman
Book Series:
Bird Box, #2
Page Count:
301
Publishing Date:
July 21st, 2020
Publisher:
Del Rey
Date Read:
October 4th, 2020
Format:
Kindle Edition
Source:
Purchased

Synopsis

Twelve years after Malorie and her children rowed up the river to safety, a blindfold is still the only thing that stands between sanity and madness. One glimpse of the creatures that stalk the world will drive a person to unspeakable violence.

There remains no explanation. No solution.

All Malorie can do is survive—and impart her fierce will to do so on her children. Don’t get lazy, she tells them. Don’t take off your blindfold. AND DON’T LOOK.

But then comes what feels like impossible news. And with it, the first time Malorie has allowed herself to hope.

Someone very dear to her, someone she believed dead, may be alive.

Malorie has already lost so much: her sister, a house full of people who meant everything, and any chance at an ordinary life. But getting her life back means returning to a world full of unknowable horrors—and risking the lives of her children again.

Because the creatures are not the only thing Malorie fears: There are the people who claim to have caught and experimented on the creatures. Murmerings of monstrous inventions and dangerous new ideas. And rumors that the creatures themselves have changed into something even more frightening.

Malorie has a harrowing choice to make: to live by the rules of survival that have served her so well, or to venture into the darkness and reach for hope once more.

My Review

Malorie kind of snuck up on me – I’ve been in and out of the book community a lot lately (due to personal and career-driven reasons), so I didn’t even know this book was coming out. The second I saw it on the Kindle store, though, I bought it without even reading the synopsis or any reviews or anything. Bird Box was and still is one of my all-time favorite books, and I have read it multiple times since its release. The Netflix adaptation was okay – as usual, I’m all about the books instead of the movies so this was no surprise to me – and when I saw that it had a sequel I couldn’t help myself.

I started reading it as soon as I purchased it. I was so excited to jump back into the world of Malorie, Tom, and Olympia, even if it meant it was going to end up taking place years later, when the kids are now teenagers.

I’ve probably introduced a spoiler already, especially for those who haven’t read Bird Box, so I’m going to try and keep this review spoiler-free from here on out.

“‘You might do all you can to avoid the new world, but it’s going to come knocking, in some form or another, soon enough.'”

Malorie doesn’t really continue the events that occur after the first book. Instead, it touches on them lightly, and skips ahead, into the future, by about twelve years. This puts Malorie’s children as teenagers, so of course, they are wanting to explore the world and discover things for themselves.

The only problem with that is – the creatures are still around. They are still making people go mad, kill themselves, hurt others, etc. Only there are more of the creatures now than there were  years ago, and Malorie and her children have to be more careful now than ever.

“And Tom and Olympia both have pondered aloud, in their own ways, the worth of a life in which the only aim is to keep living.”

When a census man comes around to their camp and leaves some papers on the steps, Malorie finds out something that she never expected – according to this man’s census report, her parents – whom she has believed to be dead for seventeen years now – are still alive.

Driven by her desire to be reunited with her parents, Malorie takes her teens on a trip on a train to try and find them. Along the way are plenty of surprises – including an old nemesis from her time in the old house where her children were born.

Was Malorie a great continuation of the Bird Box story? Yes.

Did Malorie have a lot to offer to enrich the story, giving it more meaning all these years later? Yes.

Do I feel like it was perfect, like it answered all of my questions without leaving me with more? Well, not exactly.

After all this time, I still don’t have a solid picture of what these creatures look like. I wish that description could have been included in the book, especially after the events toward the end. I think that would have added a certain harrowing realism to the storyline, but who knows, maybe that is in store for Book 3, if there is one? Or maybe, just maybe, that will be revealed in the next movie, provided Netflix decides to make it?

That all being said, I think that Malorie was a true, promising successor to Bird Box. It introduced  us to new characters and we even got to deal with the surprise and stresses of an old character we didn’t know was going to be making a reappearance. I did enjoy this book, and I found myself hooked on finding out what happened next. But for some reason, this didn’t hold my attention quite as much as Bird Box did. I wish there would have been a little more in terms of clarification on a few things, butt like I said, maybe that’s to come. There was quite a bit of emotions running all over the place in this book, too, as well as a bunch of brother-sister moments and bonding that really helped to build an accurate depiction of their relationship and their views on the world.

4 stars
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