Bird Box – Josh Malerman

Told in pieces of memory and snippets of current time, Bird Box entrenches us in the tale of a woman with two children – all who have sight, but cannot use it due to creatures that cause madness and suicide when viewed.

Due to the subject matter, I will insert a trigger warning here … not for this review, but for the book itself. Bird Box deals with very heavy subject matter – suicide, murder, and animals are not unaffected, either. If any of this triggers or bothers you, I would highly recommend avoiding this particular novel.

As for myself, I nearly stopped reading for the reasons above – Malerman is a fantastic writer; however, the subject matter is difficult.

Subject matter aside, Bird Box is fascinating. The premise that some kind of unknown creature could affect another being in such a way is one of those ideas that latches on and keeps you wondering. Malerman brought the story to life quite believably – to the extent I found myself wanting to read but unwilling to do so when it was dark outside or I was alone.

Interestingly, Bird Box seemed to get less scary as the story progressed. I had expected it to get more intense. The subject didn’t get any lighter, and I still found myself avoiding windows (I paced the floor while reading) – but it was easier to read. Maybe after reading about so many suicides and deaths we adjust?

Regardless, I would give Bird Box four stars (I took off a star because the story was so horrific I almost stopped reading despite the wonderful writing) and recommend it to lovers of mildly to moderately scary stories, or those who love to stretch their imaginations.

Bird Box seems the kind of story that will stick with a reader for a long time to come.

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