Book Review

Review: Bird Box by Josh Malerman

bird box by josh malerman

Published: May 5, 2014

Number of pages: 260

Format: hardcover

Publisher: Ecco

Genre: mystery, horror, thriller

Rating: older adults

Verdict: 5 owl hoots out of 5


Malorie and her two children live alone in an abandoned house near the river. Before that, something strange has happened around the world. One glimpse and people are driven crazy to cause violence including killing those close around them. No one knows who this nightmare is so they all keep their eyes blindfolded. Five years later, Malorie decides that it’s time to take her children to the outside world to find shelter-blindfolded. But will they survive from whatever nightmare is out there?

My Review: 

The last time I read a horror novel was the Hannibal series. When reading horror novels I expect to feel a sense of chill down my spine, my pulse quickening and my eyes never tearing off the page until the end. If you’re looking for a story that does all those things, then you’re going to love reading Bird Box.

The story caught my attention on chapter one where we’re told of how Malorie and her children were stranded in an abandoned house. I couldn’t stop turning the pages, the story is really intense as Josh Malerman plays with our senses building a world of his own that is haunted by this unknown creature that lurks in the darkness and only appears when we open our eyes. While reading the story, all I could think about was “what or who is so terrifying that no one can look directly at it? Is it a man, monster, disease, whaaat?!” I couldn’t stop thinking about it that sometimes it drove me mad how this thing doesn’t describe itself. But we don’t know and neither do the characters which is how we’re all kept to our toes as we continue reading how a group of survivors learn to thrive in fear, never leaving the outside world without their blindfolds.

I’ve never read such a dark horror story that is so fast-paced. Josh Malerman somehow takes us to a wild ride of night terrors and scare-your-pants-off moments that take you by surprise AND cause you to jump off your seat at just the right moment. The plot is richly detailed as we can almost see, hear, and feel the same things as the characters do as they walk into the outside world with their eyes closed, never daring to open them.

I admire Malorie’s courage as she takes her first step outside the abandoned house years after it began. But even with her children’s trained ears, Malorie feels like she’s being tested without her sight, and more than once unknown obstacles challenge her, and she has nothing to rely on but her wits. She gets shaken by sounds as she travels deeper into the woods with her children, but her courage never falters as Malorie is determined to find a sort of safe haven for her family.

If you’re looking for a good horror story then this is the book for you. If you’re looking for a book that will keep you awake, then this is the book for you. Beware that the contents of the story may keep you up all night, leaving you with nightmares and a sudden nerve to jump at the slightest sound in the dark. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.


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