Author of AGAINST A DARKENING SKY, THE EMPTY ROOM, OUR DAILY BREAD, and others. Find out more at www.LaurenBDavis.com. I read as if my sanity depended upon it.. . . oh, wait, it does! Snort.
This book unnerved the hell out of me! (How I wish there hadn't been this flaw thing...)
One of the drawbacks of being I writer, is, I suspect, dissecting most books as I read, which interferes, at times, with the visceral impressions. But not so BIRD BOX.
Malerman's structure is terrific, braiding timelines to create layer upon layer of terror. What have we got here to up the ante? Creatures who have perhaps invaded earth, or perhaps come from some other dimension. It's uncertain. What's certain is that if humans see them, humans go mad and grotesque murder/suicides result. Really grotesque. So, if one is to survive, one must not see them. Blindness. Blindfolds. Curtains over all the windows. Can you imagine resisting the impulse to look? to peak? Just for a moment? And what's that scratching noise at the front door?
Do the creatures want this death cycle to continue? Are they complicit?
Civilization fractures. Services like water and electricity simply stop. Do you stay where you are? Leave? How? Oh, and by the way, you're pregnant. And there's that whole KEEP YOUR BLINDFOLD ON thing, regardless of what you hear (the click right beside you), what you smell (decaying just about everything), what you touch (or did it touch you?).
If one of the tools of fiction writing is to get your character up a tree and then start throwing rocks at them, then BIRD BOX is a masterwork.
I couldn't stop reading. So, why not five stars? Well, a couple of plot things don't quite add up, unless there's a twist not contained in this text... which brings me to.....The ending. It didn't satisfy and I suspect that's entirely the intent. It couldn't scream FIRST IN THE SERIES! ABOUT TO BE MADE INTO A FILM! any louder. Most books so expressly written with a film deal in mind aren't well written, but this one is. Malerman has the chops. I wish he'd thrown everything he had into it and written us the ending the rest of the book promised and deserved.