Publisher: Ecco (HarperCollins)
Release Date: May 13th 2014
This is one of the rare occasions where I am reviewing a book more than a few weeks after I’d read it. I’d planned not to do this review, thinking I wouldn’t have enough to say, but this book has been lingering in my mind since the moment I finished it.
I feel like this book was marketed to me as a crime thriller, which meant my expectations were way off when I got a few minutes into the audiobook and realised that Bird Box is a horror/dystopia. It took a little adjusting but the quality of this book was so good that I didn’t mind. The premise in a nutshell, is in the flashbacks, we follow news reports of people randomly murdering their family members and friends, before killing themselves. It is revealed that these people ‘saw something’ before they committed these atrocities. Fast forward months later, and most of the planet has been overrun by these creatures that, if looked at, cause people to self-destruct and take their family with them. To survive, the remaining population barricade themselves in their houses and blindfold each other so as not to accidentally glimpse whatever it is that’s out there.
We follow our protagonist – Malorie – and two children four years after the beginning of this dystopian Earth began, and through flashbacks to before and in the years in between, we slowly see the destruction of the human race and the lengths one woman will go to to keep herself and what’s left of her family safe.
Bird Box definitely falls into the category of dystopian horrors which heavily showcase the human spirit, and how breakable or robust different people are in that situation. I love seeing the human instinct being explored in this way and Bird Box was no exception.
Aside from that however, it is a genuinely scary world that Malerman has created. The audiobook was perfect for this as the suspense was that bit more intense and hearing these horrific events through your ears – as the blindfolded characters do – was even more effective. The concept of not being able to open your eyes when you know something horrible is right in front of you is totally terrifying for me, and though it is the opposite, reminded me of just why I was so horrified by the Weeping Angels in Doctor Who.
The plot of this book was definitely the main attraction but I did enjoy the characters too. They aren’t ones that will stick in my head, but as I said, I think the concept of this book will continue to haunt me. Which is always a good thing, right? Right?
Have you read Bird Box? Let me know in the comments and we can discuss!
Until the next time!