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January 13, 2021

Sequels: Malorie and Ready Player Two

by Alison DeLuca


Bird Box was one of my favorite books a few years ago. I love taut thrillers with a simple premise that take readers to new places, and Josh Malerman really delivered.  So when an unexpected sequel showed up, for me it was a no-brainer: Malorie (the sequel) went straight into my Kindle. 

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Malorie by Josh Malerman

While I don't want to spoil either book, let's just say that Bird Box leaves Malorie and the children she's been caring for in a settled place. For a second part, the author has to rip apart that settled, safe feeling to deliver a second dose of thrills. And while the first novel centers around a perilous boat trip, the second showcases a dangerous voyage on a train.

cover image of Malorie (Bird Box #2)

In both books, the world is inhabited by a species that can't be looked at. You lose your mind if you see one of the invaders, killing yourself and others in the process.

Malorie continues that theme. As Malorie and her two children leave one place in search of a possible connection, the sequel dives into the characters of her two children: Olivia and Tom. They're teenagers now and starting to rebel against Malorie's constant rules, escalating the action.

If you enjoyed Bird Box I recommend Malorie. Malerman hasn't lost his storyteller's deft touch, and it's worth reading.

Ready Player Two by Ernest Cline

I also loved Ready Player One, the book about living inside Oasis, which is a massive computer game. The main character, Wade, is a Gunter - one of the players in search of James Halliday's huge Easter Egg which gives the one who finds it a fortune - plus control of Oasis.

Ready Player One wasn't high literature by any means. Ernest Cline is one of the clunkiest authors I've ever read. Yet the story worked for me due to its high stakes, 80's references, unending fun, and a really nasty villain. 

cover of Ready Player Two

The sequel was a must-read for me, although I knew it could never be as good. The stakes weren't as high, and the riveting contest in the first book was already ended.

Furthermore, Cline's writing style became even clunkier in Ready Player Two. I wanted to reach through my Kindle screen and throttle him, shouting "Show, Don't Tell!" 

Ready Player Two did keep my attention, though. If you liked RPO, you might not hate RPT.

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A final word about the sequels: Kudos to both authors for making their readers want more. This is no easy feat, and both Cline and Malerman have given us return tickets to those compelling worlds. 


Alison DeLuca is the author of several steampunk and urban fantasy books.  She was born in Arizona and has also lived in Pennsylvania, Illinois, Mexico, Ireland, and Spain.


Currently she wrestles words and laundry in New Jersey. You can find her at http://bit.ly/ADeLucaAC 



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1 comments:

  1. I was looking forward to Ready Player Two when I heard it was coming out, but given the reviews I am reading, I have moved it down the list.

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