Note: this review contains spoilers for Bird Box.
Back when I first read Bird Box, I was blown away. It immediately became one of my top 10 favorites, and I recommend it to everyone. It’s a masterclass in suspense writing. From page one, you’re on the edge of your seat. The attic scene alone is one I will never forget. My kids ask me about the books I read a lot. The scariest I’ve ever read is The Shining followed by Let the Right One In, but Bird Box is the creepiest, most tense book I’ve ever read. They are clambering to read these, but being elementary age, it won’t happen anytime soon.
Malorie picks up a couple years after Bird Box. Malorie and the kids are still living in the school for the blind, but an infiltration from the creatures has forced them to flee. Thankfully, the book then jumps ten years and Malorie and the kids, Tom and Olympia, are living alone in an abandoned summer camp. The kids are now teens and have developed their own personalities. Tom is creative, an inventor, but hates Malorie’s rules and is seeking adventure and answers. Olympia is the peacemaker, thoughtful, and had read the thousand book in the camp. Malorie lives by the fold. She doesn’t trust anyone. Due to what she saw in the school for the blind, she believes the creatures can infect you also by touching you, so she demands that, even in the summer, the kids wear long pants and hoodies to protect as much of their skin as possible.
A man claiming to be with the census delivers papers to their camp. On the list are survivors and their whereabouts. Malorie sees some familiar names on the list which throws her strict life into chaos. The rest of the story unfolds from there.
Avoiding spoilers, many important events from Bird Box are incorporated in this book. If you haven’t read it in awhile, I highly recommend rereading it so you realize the full impact of those events on Malorie’s life today. I never expected this book would be as good as Bird Box, and it’s not, but it is excellent and a must-read. Malerman’s best work is in Malorie’s world. I’ve read all his other stuff Inspection, A House at the Bottom of the Lake, Unbury Carol, and Black Mad Wheel, but Malorie is better than all of them. If he does write a third book in this world, we will all be lucky.