cover image Malorie


Josh Malerman. Del Rey, $28 (304p) ISBN 978-0-593-15685-8

Malerman returns to the world of 2014’s Bird Box for another taut, breathless supernatural thriller. Little is known about the horrifying creatures that have infested Earth, as every human who’s seen one has become homicidally mad. Malorie Walsh keeps her children, Tom and Olympia, safe by scrupulously insisting they wear blindfolds at all times, even within their safe haven of the Jane Tucker School for the blind. But their stay at the school abruptly ends when one of the blind women there is affected by the creatures, which can apparently drive humans to insanity through touch as well as sight. The Walshes flee and take up a new residency in an abandoned Michigan campsite where Malorie implements additional protective measures, despite her children’s growing rebellious impulses. After a decade of this life, a man claiming to be a census taker visits them. Though the suspicious Malorie refuses to speak with him, he leaves a report indicating that Malorie’s parents may still be alive, forcing her to choose between maintaining the stable, isolated status quo and making a perilous journey in hopes of a reunion. Malerman masterfully evokes apocalyptic horrors via understatement and suggestion while facilitating suspension of disbelief through nuanced characterization and thoughtful worldbuilding. This is a bang-up sequel. Agent: Kristin Nelson, Nelson Literary. (July)