02 May 2020

Malorie (Bird Box #2)

By Josh Malerman
Horror | Post-Apocalyptic

My Review

A 2020 Top Rated Read

I read Bird Box in 2018 and thought it was outstanding. It was THE most gripping and unputdownable book I've ever read (and let me tell you I'm no spring chicken!). Never before had a book made such an impression on me. It was bleak and terrifying, intelligently written and sent my imagination into overdrive. I knew I had found a staggeringly talented author. Bird Box took my breath away.

In the sequel it's seventeen years since the creatures first appeared. Malorie, along with her kids Tom and Olympia, are surviving in the New World. Tom, feeling smothered by his mother's strict rules, yearns for freedom. When a 'census man' knocks on their door Malorie refuses him entry. He leaves behind a list of names — survivors — who are building a future together without the need for blindfolds. Malorie knows two people on the list and decides to take Tom and Olympia to search for them. It's a treacherous journey fraught with danger. She knows they may not survive.

When I first heard about a sequel to Bird Box I knew I had to have it. If I had to walk barefoot over hot coals to get this book I would. But could it possibly live up to my expectations? I was about to find out. . .

I thought Malorie was amazing and it surpassed everything I thought it would be. I felt pain, heartache, desperation and eventually hope. The writing was superb and conveyed incredible emotion. I was completely enthralled as I sped through the pages. Full kudos to Josh Malerman for the fantastic twist towards the end; it was sheer genius. This is a book that will stay in my thoughts for a very long time.                    

Book Source: Review copy from the publisher
My Rating ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Del Rey Books; 01 edition (21st July 2020)

The Blurb

In the old world there were many rules.
In the new world there is only one: don't open your eyes.

In the seventeen years since the 'creatures' appeared, many people have broken that rule. Many have looked. Many have lost their minds, their lives, their loved ones.

In that time, Malorie has raised her two children - Olympia and Tom - on the run or in hiding. Now nearly teenagers, survival is no longer enough. They want freedom.

When a census-taker stops by their refuge, he is not welcome. But he leaves a list of names - of survivors building a future beyond the darkness - and on that list are two names Malorie knows.

Two names for whom she'll break every rule, and take her children across the wilderness, in the hope of becoming a family again...

The Author

Josh Malerman is an American author of novels and short stories. Before publishing his debut novel Bird Box with ECCO/HarperCollins, he wrote fourteen novels, never having shopped one of them.

Being the singer/songwriter of the Detroit rock band The High Strung, Malerman toured the country for six years, as the band played an average of 250 shows a year, and Malerman wrote many of the rough drafts for these novels in the passenger seat between cities on tour. He says this about those days: “I never saw the books with dollar signs in my eyes. It was no hobby, that’s for sure, it was the real thing and always has been, but I was happy, then, simply writing, and while I blindly assumed they’d be published one day, I had no idea how something like that occurred.”

As the pile of rough drafts grew, so did the questions as to what he was planning on doing with them. Malerman often says that he lived long in a “glorious delusion” in which he took part in phantom interviews, pretended to have an agent, debated with fictitious editors, and placed invisible hardcover books upon his shelves.

It wasn’t until a friend from high school, Dave Simmer, contacted him that those delusions became reality. Simmer, having worked with authors and properties in Hollywood, asked Malerman’s permission to send one of his books to some people he knew in the book business. Malerman heartily agreed and the pair sent out Goblin, a collection of novellas that all take place in the titular city of Goblin. From there, a team was assembled and Malerman suddenly found himself speaking with a real agent and debating with actual editors. He says this of the part Simmer played in his career: “There were two things at play at that point in time; one, Dave was a ghostly benefactor, golden hearted and smart, descending from the sky to help me. And two, what may sound like some luck couldn’t have become fortunate if I wasn’t armed with a dozen novels to talk shop with.”

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