Sunday 26 July 2020

MALORIE by Josh Malerman

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...

I read Bird Box several years ago and absolutely LOVED it. I also enjoyed the Netflix movie. So when I found out there was going to be a sequel, I was really looking forward to checking it out.

That's why I want to thank Hachette Australia for sending me a copy!

After the world went mad, Malorie never felt totally safe, and even though she found a safe haven for herself and her children in a secluded school, she never let her guard down. The day everything goes to hell, she escapes with her son and daughter.

Ten years later, the trio has been living in an abandoned campsite but when a stranger turns up with a list of survivors, Malorie realises they're going to have to leave again...

Wow. This was SO intense!

The book starts with a nerve-wracking scene full of breathless violence and nervous anticipation. The tension is instant and once you fall into this state of mind, it's hard to shake. There's just something so claustrophobic about a world where you're forced to wear a blindfold. 😲 

The story is told in the POVs of Malorie, her son Tom, and her daughter Olympia. I liked how different they all were. Malorie is obsessed with safety, paranoid and obviously still suffering from severe PTSD. All she knows how to do is survive. Tom is smart and rebellious, wants to create and get a taste of freedom, maybe actually talk to strangers every now and then. Olympia is clever and reads a lot, so stories have shaped how she understands the way the world used to be. She's also the peace keeper and has a very rational way of looking at things.

But all of them have dark, complicated and secret thoughts they refuse to share with each other.

The dynamic makes for some very interesting and realistic parent-teenager situations and explosive emotions that are amplified by the existence of the creatures that destroyed the world with their ability to drive people mad. It's a recurring theme that grows exponentially as their adventure takes them somewhere unexpected.

Make no mistake, this story is a lot of things--dramatic, emotional, thrilling, terrifying, and most importantly, an adventure of blindfold proportions. Every time I sat down to read, my muscles were so tense.

Malorie is a gripping dystopian thriller with plenty of horror vibes, as well as twists and turns. Not to mention a creepy revelation I didn't expect. It's also a family drama taking place in a ravaged world where monsters are everywhere and nowhere. The threat is a living thing, a sensation that breathes on every page and fills the reader with dread.

It's an emotional roller-coaster ride, and I loved it so much. I already knew Malorie was an amazing character, but meeting Tom and Olympia was a treat.

This is one brilliant sequel that captures the spirit of the first book, plus opens up the world in a very intriguing way.

Malorie, July 2020, ISBN 9781409193135, Orion

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