Rating: 4 / 5
I read and loved BIRD BOX by Josh Malerman last year so I was excited to hear that there was a follow up novel coming. At the same time I was a bit apprehensive to see if MALORIE would live up to the first book.
In BIRD BOX, we met Malorie and her two children living in a world inhabited by creatures that if seen drive a person into violent madness. We learned of Malorie’s backstory and how the world came to be as it is. People have adapted to this world by wearing blindfolds anytime they venture outdoors and their lives are essentially lived in the dark. As a result the creatures outside are really the unknown and characters never know if one might be standing right next to them as they venture out for necessities.
In MALORIE, the book begins not long after BIRD BOX ends, but soon events transpire that send our title character back out into the world. This is followed by a forward jump in time so this story does bring new developments to the world as people have had more time to adapt and find new ways of living.
I really enjoyed MALORIE a lot. I think the author did a fantastic job of creating a logical next step in the series and the forward jump in time allowed for new ideas and ventures to explore. It is hard to say a lot about the plot of this one without giving spoilers for the first book and I absolutely recommend going into that one blind (pun… mostly unintentional?).
Of the two, I preferred BIRD BOX as it was much more close focused on Malorie and her story. I think the more closed setting of the first book and the isolation inside Malorie’s head added a lot to the creepiness of the first book. That said, I did enjoy the new twists and turns of MALORIE and learning more about the wider world. I worried that the sequel would give us too much information about the creatures and the world outside and I think it managed to walk the line well between revealing more and revealing too much.
I absolutely recommend BIRD BOX if you haven’t picked that one up, and the follow up MALORIE is for sure worth a read next!