While I’m the first of my friends and family to read Bird Box by Josh Malerman, I have received several recommendations. The library, Amazon, and a few BookTubers. I’m happy to say that everyone was right to recommend this book.
I really enjoyed Malerman’s writing style. Switching between the past and present does a great job of building the world and creating tension. What will happen in the house? How is the river journey going? You want to find out everything at once.
Malorie is an ordinary woman. She’s not above average in intelligence, money, or power which makes her all the more compelling. We could be her. Initially I hated that Malorie never bothered to name her children. It had significance later since they were the only people they knew and interacted with but it needled me.
One thing I always wondered was what the creatures looked like. Bipedal? Flesh, scales, fur? Bigger than a breadbox? Spoiler but we never get an answer for this. I wound up picturing them like something between the angels in Welcome to Night Vale and a scribbled drawing. Very dark and about the size of a pygmy, a small being of shadow.
Many horror movies leave the monster to your imagination. What you conjure for yourself is scarier than anything they could create. Malerman does this as well and it’s very effective. As someone who is ever curious, it kind of bothered me that he didn’t give us anything but I understand why.
I highly recommend this book. It makes you wonder how you’d function in a world where opening your eyes could get you killed. I’d always thought I’d prefer to lose my hearing before my sight because as humans we’re so dependent on our eyes. It’s a terrifying world to have to learn to live in and definitely worth a visit.