So I can’t actually remember who recommended Bird Box to me. I think there was a spate of everyone reading it on Goodreads, so I just popped it on my TBR list (on Amazon) and then bought randomly with a Christmas Amazon voucher.
Bird Box opens with Malorie deciding to take her two children up the river on a boat journey. Aah, nice, you think. Except it’s not nice at all. The boat journey is Malorie and her children’s last chance to reach a safe haven away from the creature that have caused the majority of the world’s population to kill themselves. One look at these creatures is enough to send you stark, staring mad - so mad that you’ll immediately kill yourself by whatever means you have available, so Malorie and her children have spent the last four years indoors, blankets pinned up at the windows, only venturing outside to get water and even then they keep their blindfolds tightly secured.
So Malorie and her kids have a tough journey ahead of them up the river. And they don’t really know where they’re going. And they can’t look at anything for the whole time they’re outside.
The story of how Malorie and her children try to work their way up the river to relative safety is interspersed with chapters filling the reader in on the events leading up to their boat journey - from the initial outbreaks of madness and suicide in Russia through to the collapse of the world as we know it.
This book is possibly the creepiest story I’ve ever read. Recently I moaned about The Exorcist and how it relies on shock value to keep the reader interested. This wasn’t the case here. There’s really very little in the way of shock value in Bird Box. It’s all about hints and wondering and never really knowing what’s outside.
It plays on classic human fears: the unknown and the dark. There are a few gruesome bits, but very few details are given - you don’t get lines and lines of description, just a few well-chosen words. You’re left to fill in the details with your imagination, and it really does allow your imagination to run wild.
And the finale. Holy crap. My hands were shaking as I read it.
I don’t usually go for scary books (although coincidentally this is the second scary book I’ve read so far this month), but I really enjoyed it. I don’t think it’s enough to turn me onto the horror genre permanently (there was an unfortunate incident the other night where I’d been reading Bird Box at the gym and had to drive home convinced that one of the Creature was in the car with me and then slipped over on my driveway while I was running for my front door) but if you’re a horror aficionado (or even just a Good Story aficionado) then I would definitely recommend this.