Del Rey: Ballantine. Jul. 2020. 320p. ISBN 9780593156858. $28. HORROR
This anticipated sequel is set 12 years after the terrifying and disorienting events in Bird Box, a world in which sight can mean certain death. Malorie’s ironclad rule for her children to “live by the blindfold” has not changed. But now that they are teens, they begin to question Malorie’s worldview and her authority. When a visitor offers seemingly impossible news about the survival of loved ones and of places where a much freer life is possible, even Malorie is willing to risk another blind journey. Though her children do not remember the old world, they might know more about how to survive than Malorie dares to imagine. Told from all three characters’ points of view, the narrative is filled with dread and taut action. Malerman also explores questions about how to process hope for a better life when survival itself still feels so tenuous.
VERDICT Having read Bird Box will help, but essential worldbuilding is seamlessly interwoven in a narrative paired with enlightening flashbacks into Malorie’s childhood, making this a solid stand-alone. Malerman will no doubt add to his legions of fans with this title ripe for readers of any genre seeking an intensely thrilling ride.
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