Bird Box by Josh Malerman
Publication Date: May 13, 2014 (first published January 1st, 2014)
Edition: Hardcover, 262 pages
Genre: Horror, Suspense, Post-Apolyptic
This book had me on edge pretty much every single page, with the suspense and terror of what might be coming next, I read this book in just one sitting.
Most people ignored the outrageous reports on the news. But they became too frequent, they became too real. And soon, they began happening down the street. Then the Internet died. The television and radio went silent. The phones stopped ringing. And we couldn’t look outside anymore. Malorie raises the children the only way she can; indoors. The house is quiet. The doors are locked, the curtains are closed, mattresses are nailed over the windows. They are out there. She might let them in. The children sleep in the bedroom across the hall. Soon she will have to wake them. Soon she will have to blindfold them. Today they must leave the house. Today they will risk everything.
Let me first ask what scares you most? Is the vivid gory descriptions of the victims being mutilated? Or is it the beast itself, coming out from around the corner tearing its prey to bits? For me, its neither. The description sequences add the scene in my head, and beast does not scare me, but puts me more on edge for what coming next. What scares me most, is the UNKNOWN. Hearing that noise from around the corner in the dark, not knowing who or what it is, but knowing that it is coming for me. The SUSPENSE, the FEAR of the UNKNOWN is what scares me. That is what makes Bird Box so great.
It is not a traditional horror story is the sense of gore or murder or a monster story, but genuine suspense, the fear of what is coming, because we – both the reader and characters – do not who or what is coming.
Malorie and her children are forced to blind fold themselves every time they go outside due to the current situation of the world now. It seems that there is something – a person, a monster, an animal, an alien, some random object, a disease/plague? – we don’t know what it is. But what we do know is that as soon as someone sees it, they go crazy and kill themselves. Not only do we not know what these ‘things’ are that cause people to go mad, but we don’t know what they look like, how many there are, or how they work.
Just like Malorie is the blindfolded in the world, you are completely blind to what is coming on each page. You have as much knowledge as her, and her fear and anxiety of what is outside, what is making that noise, and potentially right behind her – you too feel those same emotions as her.
The story is of Malorie and the two children leaving their house to find a new safe place (and having to do this blindfolded). As we are going along in their present journey, we also get chapters that go back to how to events came to be, and how she got to where she is now.
What I loved was how the author slowly built up the suspense, page after page, and chapter after chapter. I became so engrossed in the story that little sounds around my house began to make glance over wearily, and I even gave a jump when my phone rang when I was in the middle of reading.
Only complaints were that book was so short, and I wanted there to be more about the present is the book. Compared to the flashback chapters, what was happening in the now was fairly thin and the author could have put some more in there.
Still, there not a dull moment in the book, and I promise you, you will get scared. The suspense only builds up as the story goes on and you won’t be able to put it down.
I am not a big audio book fan, but I bet this one would be awesome for it.