Bird Box is not at all what I was expecting in the very best of ways. I had already watched Sandra Bullock’s turn in the Netflix film, so I read the book out of sheer curiosity.
The story follows Malory, a woman trying her best to survive in a world where you must remain blindfolded when not in an enclosed space. She had two children, one hers and one a deceased friend’s, who have never seen the outside world. They only know their house. In that present tense world, they are alone.
Juxtaposed with this present is the past, four years of it. This past if populated by the people Malory met after the creatures appeared. They live together in one house. More than half a dozen people who fear the outside and, over time, each other.
As present day Malory builds enough courage to leave the confines of her home to find other people, she is reminded of her past. Of the last four years. Of her friends and her sister, now dead.
This book is fast moving and claustrophobic. A wonderful study in horror and in human nature. The best, and the worst. The things we do to protect ourselves. How trust is hard to build but very easily broken. How hope can make us do unbelievable things even under the worst of circumstances.
The best part, though, is that you never see the creatures. You don’t know if they are aliens or of this Earth. If they are big or small. Ugly or pretty. You just know they exist and if you see them, you die a horrible self imposed death. Or you go crazy and inflict harm on others. Either way, that unknown quantity is truly terrifying.
Bird Box is a quick read, I finished in a couple of days. A good spooky season book for those who like a dramatic scare.