Monday, October 26, 2020

Malorie (Bird Box 2) by Josh Malerman (Book Review)


One of the biggest complaints I saw in the reviews was that there didn't need to be a sequel to Bird Box and this was just a cash grab. After reading this and seeing how the entire story ended, I disagree.  I think the ending justified there being a sequel to Bird Box and tied up a lot of loose ends the first book had about the world with the creatures.

The character development of the three main characters was done well too. Malorie is given a detailed backstory that the first book completely lacked. The teenagers are really likeable. It’s a coming of age story for the teens and a redemption story for Malorie. I think this is the best book on post-traumatic stress disorder I have ever read. And at times the book is even scarier than the first. There are also two major plot twists that I really enjoyed.

That said, it is a book with some flaws. The author repeats himself constantly. The book could have used more editing. This constant repeating is why I can’t quite give it five stars. Most of Malorie’s point of view is told via stream of consciousness and she’s constantly flipping back and forth between every thought and emotion possible. At times, she’s annoying AF and completely and utterly unlikeable. I did like her more towards the end though and you learn many of these unlikeable traits are part of her PTSD.

Another annoyance was that the creatures are described somewhat but never well. They are mostly face but not. They aren’t really creatures but something else. I know it may be petty but we’re never given a clear description of what they actually look like. Either describe them accurately or not all.

Lastly, 17 years has elapsed between the two books which makes it really hard to believe some of the advances took this long. That time frame seemed to be more a matter of plot convenience to make the kids teenagers.

I do hope Netflix develops this sequel into a movie. It has more action sequences than the first, great characters (even if Malorie was irritating at times), and the potential to be a great movie.

There was one line from the book that really stuck with me though because it reminds me of our world with covid-19 and wearing masks. It says, “It’s hard for Olivia to imagine a world where blindfolds weren’t central to a person’s wardrobe.” I think since the coronavirus pandemic is happening right now it made this book more scary than it would have been if it had been released prior to 2020. The idea that we’ll be stuck with this new normal for years to come is terrifying psychologically. Malorie repeatedly talks about “living by the fold” which makes me think of “live by the mask” so the book almost seems like a metaphor for the coronavirus at times.

My rating is Photobucket .

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