REVIEW : ‘MALORIE’ BY JOSH MALERMAN

Two years after they had safely reached the Jane Tucker School for the Blind, Malorie while trying to gather Tomorrow and Olympia from a crowd of insanity thinks, “It’s not difficult to put visual images with the sound they make. Clawing, scratching. Fingers in eyes and fingers down throats and the cracking of a bone and the tearing of what sounds like a throat.”

Malorie (bird box 2), the sequel of Bird Box by Josh Malerman was released on 21st July, 2020 by Del Rey Books.

Malorie and her children move again, and this time they set up alone, in a former summer camp resort, Camp Yadin.

It’s been ten years and the children are now teens. Their ears have estimated that the creatures have increased thrice in number since their arrival and that they are now wider.

Tom is fed up with living by the fold and covering himself with hoodies and gloves, he tries to work on the theories of the creatures, inventing methods and instruments that may help people stop hiding, but Malorie promptly discards all such suggestions. Olympia, on the other hand is quiet and sensitive, trying to know more about the people of the old world.

But the sudden news of her parents still alive urges Malorie to move once again. While Malorie has been living by the rules all this time, the world has progressed in other ways. Someone has started a train, the safest medium to travel- ‘The Blind Train’, some people have even formed a town where they live with open eyes, without hiding, where the claim you have ‘captured’ one of the creatures – a town full of ‘unsafe’ people. Unsafe like Gary was. Gary who whispered into Don’s ears like a devil and at the end ‘Don pulled the drapes down’. Gary, who with his old world insanity has never really left Malorie’s world.

The true horror of the novel lies within the mind and thoughts of Malorie rather than the creatures. The constant fear of this new world- of the creatures and of men, the constant fights she has to put up with herself, her children and the rest of the world, the sorrow of not being able to let her children see the colours of the world, of the contradiction of being a bad mother or a safe one, of saying no to her children much more times than yes. At times hating the person that she’s become, too careful, too ‘paranoid’.

We also gain a bit of perspective into Tom and Olympia’s minds. Tom’s belief in the age old phrase ‘Parents are from another planet’s and his feeling of suffocation; and Olympia always acting the mediator with lots of secrets of her own.

The pace of ‘Malorie’ is almost perfect. It gives the reader enough time to accommodate themselves as we delve so that the frequent change of scenes do not seem rush, but at the same time, it is fast enough not to lose the thrill.

But I wouldn’t have minded another 20 pages at the end. With the heartfelt detailing throughout the book, the ending felt lax and hasty, like a teenager’s shrug while uttering “okay, cool”, as if Malerman was in a hurry to finish the story.

‘Malorie’ can ve read as a stand alone. But reading it as a sequel of Bird Box definitely enhances the experience and makes it more completely. ‘Malorie’ is a story of a mother’s fears and sorrow into the horror of ‘Bird Box’.’Malorie’ can ve read as a stand alone. But reading it as a sequel of Bird Box definitely enhances the experience and makes it more completely. ‘Malorie’ is a story of a mother’s fears and sorrow into the horror of ‘Bird Box’.

Read the review of the prequel of Malorie, the worldwide sensational novel by Josh Malerman, ‘Bird Box’ here.

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