Book Review – Malorie

#2 in the Bird Box series

After making a daring escape from the School for the Blind, and leading her children to the safety of an abandoned youth camp, Malorie and her kids spend the next ten years living their lives by the blindfold and have managed to stay relatively safe. But when a person shows up, saying he’s with the census, her world and everything she thought true will be questioned. She makes the drastic decision to leave their home and embark on a journey that will take them farther than they thought possible, leading them through areas overflowing with monsters, and taking directly into the path of other people. Yet, the trip isn’t the most difficult part. Malorie has to try to keep two very inquisitive teenagers in line and prevent their youthful curiosity and arrogance from bringing dangers down upon them.

Malorie was an exciting read that kept me turning pages well past my bedtime. I had a hard time putting it down and flew through it in just a few days. There was a sense of urgency throughout the story and I never felt it slow down.

The atmosphere was claustrophobic like Bird Box, even thought most of the story took place outdoors, and Malerman’s talent of creating visualizations in a blind world seems to have graduated to a new level of excellence. I wasn’t scared reading the book, but I did try closing my eyes outside for a few minutes to imagine one of them standing near me and it gave me the creeps.

Malorie didn’t seem to have changed much between the first and second book. She was still paranoid, overly cautious, and almost righteous in her demand for the kids to follow the rules, but we know how kids do with authority, especially into their teen years. Tom and Olympia are typical teens, which is surprising given that they’ve only lived with Malorie for most of their lives, having only a brief stay with other people at the School for the Blind when they were small children, and as typical teens they are questioning authority and awkwardly trying to figure out their place in the world. Tom is more rebellious, almost dangerously so. He doesn’t appreciate all of Malorie’s rules and safety concerns and constantly pushes the limits. Olympia seems to just want everyone to get along and be safe, but she harbors pretty big secrets of her own. She tries to help Tom be reasonable and stay safe.

This story stretches believability even further than the first book, but it’s still a fun, suspenseful read and I enjoyed it immensely. The only thing I wish had been done differently was the pacing for the last 25% of the story. We’re introduced to a bunch of new opportunities and people on the Blind Train, but leave it almost immediately and head off into a very rushed, sudden ending. It felt almost like Josh Malerman got bored of writing the story and wanted it to be done quickly. There were many missed opportunities and I’d say it was anti-climactic.

I recommend Malorie if you’ve read Bird Box. It was a great addition to the world and had some nice twists and interesting new ideas.

Overall, I give it a 4 out of 5.

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3 responses to “Book Review – Malorie”

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