Book Review – Bird Box by Josh Malerman
Something is out there, something terrifying that must not be seen. One glimpse of it, and a person is driven to deadly violence. No one knows what it is or where it came from.
Five years after it began, a handful of scattered survivors remains, including Malorie and her two young children. Living in an abandoned house near the river, she has dreamed of fleeing to a place where they might be safe. Now that the boy and girl are four, it’s time to go, but the journey ahead will be terrifying: twenty miles downriver in a rowboat—blindfolded—with nothing to rely on but her wits and the children’s trained ears. One wrong choice and they will die. Something is following them all the while, but is it man, animal, or monster?
Interweaving past and present, Bird Box is a snapshot of a world unravelled that will have you racing to the final page.
So this was a really short book and ended up being a very quick read for me.
The world has basically changed overnight for the people in this world. No one knows what or who is causing it and no one knows why but suddenly people are attacking each other and killing themselves.
People say that the ones doing this are seeing something before losing their minds and committing these violent acts upon themselves and others.
What are they seeing? Are there creatures out there or is it something else entirely?
The concept for this story really was absolutely terrifying. People are so frightened of the unknown that they cover their doors and windows and when going outside put on blindfolds and stagger about in the world so as not to see whatever it is that is out there driving people to madness. Some even go as far as to blind themselves. It’s a crazy world.
The book follows our main character, Malorie from being a none-believer to being one of the sole survivors in this apocalyptic world.
It is told across two timelines… the past during her pregnancy and the present as she attempts to escape the house she has hidden in for years with her two children for the chance at a better, safer life.
Malorie’s housemates are an interesting bunch and you learn a lot about the world from their explorations and their theories are really interesting to read about. The theories are literally from one extreme to the other. Some believe there are creatures causing the madness and other’s believe it is all in the mind. The book never actually explains the cause and I found that both brilliant and very frustrating. It leaves it entirely open to reader interpretation.
The world would be a truly terrifying place if you could never open your eyes. If you know there could be danger right on your doorstep but you cannot open your eyes to see what you’re up against. I think that in terms of the psychological this book tackles that really well but as a horror book I didn’t find it particularly scary.
I found the writing to be a little bit disjointed and maybe a bit too fast-paced but for such a short book that can be forgiven. I think it is written the way it is for a reason but I found it a little bit difficult to get on with at times.
The book is great at creating that creepy, eerie atmosphere and it does keep you guessing from start to finish. There are definitely a lot of unanswered questions and I don’t really like that in a book.
I also found the idea of rowing blind for 20 miles to be a little bit unrealistic but maybe that’s just me. The ending drove me mad because it didn’t answer anything and without spoiling anything I just found it all a bit anticlimactic.
Overall I enjoyed it and maybe now that I’ve read it I might sit and watch the film and see how it compares. Well worth a read if you like psychological thrillers.