Bird Box by Josh Malerman is a nail-biting horror story full of suspense. The horror isn’t in the monster but what the sight of the monster will do to the human. Malerman to his credit never describes the monster, and leaves it totally to the imagination of the reader. The monster’s sight will make the watcher full of rage and for most be driven to commit suicide, by any means necessary. We spend most of this story in the dark, literally, as the only way the creature is effective is through sight, so character’s cover their site through blind folds. The only way they use their eye sight is it every window is covered and know exactly who is in the house. This novel makes a simple task of going to the well to get water a suspense filled ride where every bump or trip hazard could mean doom. This novel was adapted to a Netflix movie starring Sandra Bullock, which enhanced the tensions, strengthened some of the relationships, and add a diverse cast of characters. The novel was did a better job of making the small moments suspense filled, while the movie enhanced the bigger moments, and let some relationships blossom more than get cut short like in the novel. I recommend experiencing both, I would have rather read the book first, but the book was so hot at the time, I couldn’t wait. This is my second Josh Malerman novel I read the underrated and excellent novella A House at the Bottom of the Lake.
The Plot: We meet Malorie with two kids both four years old, that all are blindfolded as they make there way to the river, for a nice easy blindfolded river ride to a destination unknown; but a promise of safety. We flashback to when Malorie has just discovered she is pregnant. She currently lives with her sister and got pregnant off a one night stand. Her sister and her watch the news as Alaska as been struck with a rash of people going crazy and commit suicide. They go to a drugstore to get a pregnancy test and see people starting to panic. They stockpile food and cover all the windows in the house, it goes great for three months when a piece of the covering falls and results in the sisters death. Malorie three months pregnant and getting desperate saw an add for shelter not too long ago before everything stopped, just a couple blocks away. She risks safety and security to chance it all to live in shelter with a group of strangers. This decision will change her life is it for the good or the bad?
What I Liked: The descriptions are what make this book suspense filled. We discover what things are as we get a POV of what all the prods. We get details on sound, texture, and of smells that put the reader right in that scenario. The character of Malorie from a meek character to a strong some what cruel mother is a great character transition. All the character’s and how they interact over so much strain adds to the tension. I liked the system they create to survive. The row boat and the wolves scene is pure tension, and one of the best scenes. I loved the ending, I felt is was pretty perfect. The climax is one of the best that I have read, everything happened at once, kind of making it two climaxes at once.
What I Disliked: The bad guy doesn’t get what he deserves, but now there is a sequel, so maybe they return. There’s the aftermath of the climax, that I was still bummed we didn’t get a recreation of what exactly happened as Malorie puts it together with feeling, we did get a brief one, but if we could have been told in a more detailed way of what exactly went down it would have been awesome.
Recommendations: Read this book! Read this book before you see the movie, the movie only adds it takes nothing away. If you want horror that will keep you on the edge then this boo is for you. Where A Quiet Place is horror for sound Bird Box is horror for sight. I rated Bird Box by Josh Malerman 5 out of 5 stars. I can not wait to read the sequel Malorie that was released only a month ago.