Bird Box by Josh Malerman
Something is out there…
Something terrifying 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.
Five 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?
Engulfed 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 motley 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? (via Goodreads)
Why was I interested in this book?
Horror genre. Lots of people I know really like this book.
What Didn’t Work (for me)
This is a case of cilantro AND werewolves for me and that’s my fault. Often, when I read a book blurb, I focus in on one or two things that sound really interesting to me and ignore other things. In the case of Bird Box, I had zeroed-in on a mother and her children living in an abandoned house with something outside that could drive them insane.
My mind jumped to the story I’d like from that situation: from the children’s perspective, who have grown up with outside darkness as normal, how is that for them? What if (in a spectacular conjuration of a werewolf) they’re mother is just imagining that there is something outside? See, that’s not what Bird Box is, so I can’t fault it for not being what I wanted.
As for cilantro, I don’t really care for post-apocalyptic. I have a hard time suspending my disbelief well enough and for long enough buy the whole world falling apart. There was way too much counting-cans-in-the-cellar survivalism for my taste. I’m also particularly not a fan of Lovecraftian know-it-go-mad tropes.
I didn’t mind that the big bads of this novel were never explained, but I found the climax to be too much of a coincidental convergence of factors and the actual end to be a bit flat.
Publishing info, my copy: Kindle/OverDrive Read, HarperCollins, May 13, 2014
Acquired: Tempe Overdrive Digital Collection