Most people dismissed the reports on the news. But they became too frequent; they became too real. And soon it was happening to people we knew.
Then the Internet died. The televisions and radios went silent. The phones stopped ringing
And we couldn’t look outside anymore.
There is something frightening and yet ever so intriguing about facing your fears blindly. Author Josh Malerman manages to demonstrate both of these emotions and more on the pages of his 2014 debut novel, Bird Box which has since been adapted into a Netflix film.
This fast paced novel is an original, chilling horror story. It follows the life of a young woman, Malorie, over a four year period – starting with her pregnancy. Throughout the book, the narrator jumps back and forth from past to present. This is an interesting way of telling the story as it leaves the reader guessing right until the very end.
The world turns apocalyptic when a monster-type creature is believed to be the culprit of many suicides and murders, turning human beings themselves into monsters the moment they see it. This being is described in the novel as “the problem” because the main characters are unaware of what it is exactly that is destroying the human race.
Malorie and her companions spend the duration of the book trying to survive, which includes stepping out into the dark world beyond the four walls that usually protect them.
Readers will see a range of characters – from the brave to psychotic. Malerman masterfully demonstrates how various personalities can respond to alarmingly scary changes in the world.
The themes in this thrilling tale include isolation, friendship and love. Life and death are also a big part of the book. The psychological novel plays on the idea that fear is created by the mind. The simplicity of Malerman’s writing when he deals with these matters is key to the success of the novel, as he writes; “Your worries only keep you safe long enough to worry some more”.
Other than the talented writing and very quick story-telling, one of the biggest reasons the book is so addictive is the need to know what the characters are so afraid of. As the main characters only ever leave the house blindfolded, the reader only gets to see and hear what they know, which makes it a great suspense read.
This is one of those books that will stick with the reader for a long time – not just because of the fear that may linger in their mind once it is all over.
Have you read Bird Box yet? Let me know what you thought by commenting below or send me a tweet @bookwormgirl_24.