The silence is getting louder…
In Josh Malerman’s debut novel, it is the near future, and the world as we know it is gone forever. Something is out there, and it’s causing people to turn violent and deadly in a matter of seconds. People all across the world are reporting such gruesome incidents, all with the same conclusion – it happens because of something you see. Of course, as soon as you see it, possession begins, so in order to prevent this sinister transformation, the remaining population wears blindfolds to protect their vision, and hopefully their lives.
One such survivor is Malorie – who lives alone in a derelict house with two children. When the horrifying events began, Malorie was pregnant and desperate for help and companionship. When she heard of a “safe house” a few miles away, she packed up her remaining belongings and made the treacherous drive across town. Here she met a handful of other survivors who offered her friendship, a home, and a bit more safety. As the rest of the tale unfolds, Malorie recounts the events that lead to her current predicament. It has been four years, and still she has more questions than answers.
After a few months in the safe house, their food supply is low, and so is morale. Desperate to endure, the house’s leader, Tom, conjures a plan to explore the neighborhood for more food. But what lies beyond the front steps of the safe house is anyone’s guess, and the creatures that lurk could be watching them. As Malorie’s due date approaches and the housemates grow increasingly cagey and divided, The Bird Box builds to a resounding crescendo that demands your complete attention.
You could easily read this novel in one sitting, but whether or not you do, you will be thoroughly creeped-out either way. After all, no vision is more sinister than what lurks beneath the mind’s eye, and Malerman has a subtle way of bringing your most horrific fantasies to life. Focusing on the delicate intuition of the senses rather than detailed descriptions, Malorie’s post-apocalyptic tale will leave you shaken and breathless.
By Josh Malerman