Book Thoughts: Bird Box

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Bird Box – Josh Malerman – 2014 – Horror

Goodreads Summary

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?

My Thoughts (NB: There are a few small spoilers):

Malorie is the main character in this book, and I really didn’t trust her. She starts off the book getting pregnant and it’s made to sound as thought she is really in love with the father. On arriving at the safe house, she seems to fall in love with Tom, and the other guy isn’t mentioned for the rest of the book.

She also calls her children Boy and Girl, which was supposed to show she didn’t feel the children needed names in this new world, but just served to suggest she didn’t actually care about them as anything other than people helping her get to her next destination.

I did think that more could have been made of the characters in the novel. I didn’t relate to any of them, and they didn’t have many distinguishing qualities that set them apart. In particular, I thought the book could have been done without Cheryl and Felix and still been almost the same story.

I also wish we’d had more of the relationship between Malorie and Tom. I think we are supposed to feel sad about Tom at the end of the book, but their relationship wasn’t developed enough where I even knew if they were in a relationship or just friends.

I think the climax of the book was the best part. It was a slow, sometimes atmospheric book but in the last 50 or so pages, it suddenly turned quite creepy. I also really liked the ending as it answered some of the questions you had while reading, but also left it open enough that the reader could speculate what would happen next to Malorie and her kids. I think it’s also quite interesting that we never learn what it is that is making people go mad.

I’d give this book 3.5 / 5. This is a slow burner, but it was worth it for the last 50 pages.

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