Book Review: Malorie by Josh Malerman

Bird Box was the kind of fast paced, heart pounding, white knuckled ride to horror town that’s impossible to put down. The sequel, Malorie….well, I wasn’t sure what it was, at first. It starts out with a bang then calms down. Time skips ahead and suddenly the kids are teenagers and they’ve been living the last decade in relative safety – but has their lifestyle really been what a teenager would call living?

Finally, something happens that spurs Malorie into action, luring her and her kids away from the protection of their home. I understand that a conflict was needed to raise the stakes and force the characters into action, but the decision seems completely unlikely given the Malorie readers have come to know. Regardless, danger and mayhem and horror ensue, culminating in a satisfying ending.

That said, this sequel really can’t compete with the near perfection of the original. This one focuses more on the character’s emotions as they come of age in the ‘new’ world and the specific challenges that presents, which isn’t a bad thing, but it does put a minor damper on the horror. Still, a good read.

From Goodreads: Twelve years after Malorie and her children rowed up the river to safety, a blindfold is still the only thing that stands between sanity and madness. One glimpse of the creatures that stalk the world will drive a person to unspeakable violence.

There remains no explanation. No solution.

All Malorie can do is survive—and impart her fierce will to do so on her children. Don’t get lazy, she tells them. Don’t take off your blindfold. AND DON’T LOOK.

But then comes what feels like impossible news. And with it, the first time Malorie has allowed herself to hope.

Someone very dear to her, someone she believed dead, may be alive.

Malorie has already lost so much: her sister, a house full of people who meant everything, and any chance at an ordinary life. But getting her life back means returning to a world full of unknowable horrors—and risking the lives of her children again.

Because the creatures are not the only thing Malorie fears: There are the people who claim to have caught and experimented on the creatures. Murmerings of monstrous inventions and dangerous new ideas. And rumors that the creatures themselves have changed into something even more frightening.

Malorie has a harrowing choice to make: to live by the rules of survival that have served her so well, or to venture into the darkness and reach for hope once more.

Publication Announcement

My story, Searching For Sunshine, which has appeared in Heater Magazine and the Detecting Fear collection, can now also be found in the Water Turns Red anthology.

About Water Turns Red:

Crime manifests itself in many forms.
But it always bleeds red.

WATER TURNS RED is a collection of 21 chilling stories that explore the various shades of this ghastly color red.
Within these pages lie the corpses of those killed in cold blood, the cunning minds of their killers, and the wits of detectives. Together they paint a disturbing image of the human psyche.

Do you want to witness it?

You can find the anthology here: http://getbook.at/waterred

Monday (Mini #BookReview) Madness

This week I read:

This was definitely a #BlameItOnLitsy choice. Despite being published almost 20 years ago, it’s been getting a lot of attention – and good reviews – lately. So much so that when it showed up as a Kindle daily deal, I had to snatch it up. It was definitely suspenseful and interesting, but, to me, it felt like the author took the long way around. Heavy on the court drama and the did she/didn’t she. The twist at the ending did blindside me, but I felt a bit underwhelmed. If you like legal mysteries, this one’s for you.

This book was described as “an homage to 1980’s slashers and mall culture,” How could I resist? The short answer is that I couldn’t. It was a quick, fast paced, fun read. That said, it was rough in some areas and seemed almost as much of a social commentary on consumerism as a teen slasher. It took an odd, unexpected turn that I felt detracted from what was promised. Definitely campy, but that’s the point. 3.5 stars rounded up.

Thanks to NetGalley, the Publisher and the Author for an advanced copy for review.

I just started:

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Monday (Mini #BookReview) Madness

This week I read:

This novella was a quick, down and dirty slice of horror by the author of “Clown In A Cornfield”. The MC is a grocery store worker by day, a horror movie director by night, and was developed in a way that felt true to life. But what happens when one of the actors takes things too far? It’s interesting to see the evolution of a writer’s style and talent from their earlier works. This one was a bit rough in places, but it kept my attention more than several more polished works have lately. I understand what Cesare was going for with the ending, and I like it, but I felt it needed just a little bit more, a page, maybe two, to give the reader the payoff they deserve.

This book is a modern day, YA retelling of some of Edgar Allan Poe’s works, and OMG does the author throw references to enough of them in here – I lost count. I am a HUGE McGinnis fan, and a Poe fan, so my expectations were really high for this book. But whereas McGinnis’s characters usually feel deep and developed, in this book they felt kind of shallow and flat. We get slices of the story from both MC’s perspectives, but even though all the reasons are there to feel for the girls, I didn’t. And there’s motivation, sure, but not enough to explain why things would be taken so far. It ends on a cliffhanger that feels more like the book just stopped in the middle. There is a sequel in the works that will hopefully wrap up the loose ends and answer all the questions, but the way it ended with really nothing to satisfy the reader who just spent 370 pages with the book was frustrating. Good, but not as great as I was expecting.

I just started:

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Monday (Mini #BookReview) Madness

This week I read:

Two teachers quit their jobs and decide to build a house themselves in a remote Vermont town on land that used to be owned by witches. This book had a really interesting take on the whole haunted house trope – the freshest execution I’ve read in a while. It was a bit sluggish at times, and I didn’t love the writer’s style in the beginning, but by the end I couldn’t put it down because I had to know what happened!

This book was super creepy. Something bad is going down in the cities of the world, so the MC is on her way to pick up her aunt to take her to her sister’s compound, where they hope to stay safe. Except she gets in a wreck on the way, and can’t remember what was going on, how her wreck happened, how she got her injuries, or how she ended up in a secret mansion hidden in the woods with a strange man.

There’s so much suspense while you’re waiting for the reveals to start rolling in, because there were so many ways this one could have gone. Then it lost me a bit at the end for a couple of reasons. I won’t be reading the sequel, but I very much enjoyed this one.

I just started:

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Monday (Mini #BookReview) Madness

This week I read:

Which is scarier? Clowns? or Cornfields? Why not both?!?! This one brings plenty of thrills to the table like a good teen slasher should. Easy reading and big on the entertainment factor without being poorly written. Spoiler alert: The clown did it!

I feel like this one was as much of a social commentary as a horror novel, maybe even more so. There are some good scenes if horror is what you’re after, but if that’s all you’re after, and you want the pacing and tension of a horror novel, you might find your attention straying in spots, especially in the beginning. Good but not spectacular.

I just started:

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5 More Horror Books To Add To Your Reading List

Okay, so maybe Halloween is over, but that doesn’t mean the fun has to end! Here are 5 more horror books to add to your reading list!

If you’re looking for a time warp back to the 80s try:

If you’re looking to learn something new try:

If you’re looking for something with serious ick factor try:

If you’re looking for a ‘killer’ twist try:

If you’re looking for ghosts try:

For more reading recommendations check out:

5 Gory Books For Your Spooktober Reading List

5 Atmospheric Books For Your Spooktober Reading List

5 Fun YA Books For Your Spooktober Reading List

5 Books Like Agatha Christie’s ‘And Then There Were None’

5 Fictional Serial Killer Books To Add To Your Reading List

Click the links to friend me on Litsy or Goodreads and unite our bookish communities!

Monday (Mini #BookReview) Madness

This week I read:

What an odd book! Interesting characters, intriguing premise (a haunting in a store instead of a house), and some intense scenes. I didn’t connect with the characters as much as I would have liked, which kept me from being overly vested in the outcome, but overall, great entertainment!
What I loved most about this book was the sense of 80s nostalgia. The plot was intriguing and while a horror story, it was also a book about friendship and coming of age, with just enough tongue in cheek humor to keep you smirking between wincing.

I just started:

Click the links to friend me on Litsy or Goodreads and unite our bookish communities!

5 Fictional Serial Killer Books To Add To Your Reading List

October’s not over yet! (And who are we kidding – if you’re reading this, then you’re probably like me and thrilling and chilling fiction is welcome every month of the year!

If serial killers are your thing, here are 5 that may have escaped your attention! If they have, be sure to add them to your TBR because these are ones you won’t want to miss!

This one was just, wow, there are no words – it left me breathless.
Not what you might typically expect, but fresh and fullfilling!
Brutal. Absolutely brutal. But then everything by Hayder is!
A dark, gritty, fresh take on an old theory!
Creepy and memorable, this one might make you cringe!

For more reading recommendations, don’t miss:

5 Gory Books For Your Spooktober Reading List

5 Atmospheric Books For Your Spooktober Reading List

5 Fun YA Books For Your Spooktober Reading List

5 Books Like Agatha Christie’s ‘And Then There Were None’

Click the links to friend me on Litsy or Goodreads and unite our bookish communities!

Monday (Mini #BookReview) Madness

This week I read:

This book was engaging and kept me up late reading. Blake’s writing draws you in and keeps you in the story’s grasp. Good ghost scenes and action. Not as haunting as the first, but a good sequel.
This one was crafty. I thought I knew what I was in for, then it took a turn that had me worried I was mistaken, then *pow* it was back on track, hunting the characters down through the pages and delivering exactly what I wanted!

I just started:

Click the links to friend me on Litsy or Goodreads and unite our bookish communities!

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