The house is quiet. The doors are locked, the curtains are closed, mattresses are nailed over the windows.
They are out there. She might let them in.
The children sleep in the bedroom across the hall.
Soon she will have to wake them. Soon she will have to blindfold them.
Today they must leave the house. Today they will risk everything.
Title: Bird Box
Author: Josh Malerman
Have you ever heard a noise when you’re alone in the house and got ridiculously scared? You pick up anything that’s close to hand that can be used as a weapon and slowly tip toe around your house trying to pinpoint the noise, whilst praying that it’s nothing. I’ve done this a lot of times (blame my ancient boiler) and I’ve found it to be one of the most terrifying experiences, ever. The fear of the unseen, where all your imagined horrors come to life with a creak of a floorboard. This is the premise that Malerman uses to create a truly gripping novel.
Bird Box was genuinely unputdownable, I read it through my lunchtime, on the bus, and got into bed at 8pm just so I could carry on reading. I finished the book at 1.30am and thought ‘Crap! I have to go to work in the morning!’. Laying down to sleep, I stayed awake for another hour staring at my window, positive something would suddenly jump into view, the sight of which would drive me insane.
My only quirk about the story – and what knocked it off the 5 star mark – was that you never find out exactly what ‘creature’ causes all the madness. I’d invested so much energy, time and fear into the novel, I felt a little cheated when I didn’t get an explanation.
All in all, this high concept thriller proves that creepiness and primal fear trumps violence while still proving itself to fans of survival and psychological horror. It has inspired me to read a lot more thriller/suspense, which is a feat in itself. This is an author I’ll keep my eye on, and a novel I’d recommend to everyone.