Bird Box by Josh Malerman
Review by Lauren
Source: bought a copy; all opinions are my own
Official Summary: Something is out there . . .
that must not be seen. One glimpse and a person is driven to deadly
violence. No one knows what it is or where it came from.
years after it began, a handful of scattered survivors remain, 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 is 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. And
something is following them. But is it man, animal, or monster?
in darkness, surrounded by sounds both familiar and frightening,
Malorie embarks on a harrowing odyssey—a trip that takes her into an
unseen world and back into the past, to the companions who once saved
her. Under the guidance of the stalwart Tom, a motely group of strangers
banded together against the unseen terror, creating order from the
chaos. But when supplies ran low, they were forced to venture
outside—and confront the ultimate question: in a world gone mad, who can
really be trusted?
Review: Christy’s Love of Books reviewed this novel and it definitely grabbed my attention. I used to be too scared to really read horror or “scary” novels but lately, I’ve found myself more and more interested. Bird Box has a terrifying premise…imagine not being able to open your eyes outside, or even inside if the windows are not completely covered. Nobody knows what you see, because anyone that does inevitably goes mad. The details of what happens to these people are gruesome and awful to imagine. With all these adjectives, I might not be selling this book…but really, it was great!
Malorie is just a normal girl until this epidemic starts taking over the world. She is pregnant, though, and desperate to survive for her babies’ sake. She makes her way to a safe house of sorts where she meets a man named Tom who is in charge of keeping everyone safe. This book goes back and forth between the present and the past. The present is Malorie and her two children, who she refers to as Boy and Girl (even to them) traveling down a river, trying to reach safety. The past is about the epidemic and how it worsens, Malorie reaching the safe house, and then what happens within the house and how it leaves just Malorie and her children in the present.
The past moments were definitely my favorite because that’s the bulk of the story. You’re always wondering if someone is going to get hurt, what’s really lurking outside, and how all these people can survive within one house together. The present is harrowing too, of course, but those chapters aren’t as long since it’s just Malorie traveling the river. There are scary moments and you desperately want them all to be safe, but what really waits them at the end of this journey?
I would warn anyone who has children before first reading this book. It’s tough to read about Malorie’s treatment of her children. It’s understandable, as she was forced to train them to be better than her at surviving this world from the moment they were born. They are just little kids though, and it’s awful to imagine them having to grow up in this fashion.
Overall, this was a great, original story. I could see it being a film…though one that is a bit quiet and haunting, music used to up the suspense and danger.