Book Review: Bird Box – Josh Malerman

Bird Box coverTitle: Bird Box
Author: Josh Malerman
ISBN: 9780062259653
Pages: 272
Release Date: May 13, 2014
Publisher: Ecco
Genre: Post-Apocalyptic/Dystopian
Source: Publisher
Rating: 4.5 out of 5


It’s been 5 years since the world ended, 5 years that Malorie hasn’t looked outside or ventured out there without a blindfold. But today, she’s decided it’s time to move. Along with her two 4-year-old children, Malorie sets out on a daring journey that could end in disaster, but one she can’t afford not to attempt.

Snapshot Review:

A surprise from beginning to end, Bird Box is a gorgeously written and intensely atmospheric novel about one woman’s fight to survive in a world she no longer understands.

Full Review:

Bird Box is a creepy, chilling, post-apocalyptic tale of one woman’s struggle to survive in an entirely new world. In an ordinary world, Malorie is not a person who seems like she would be amazingly strong and resourceful. But pushed to the brink, with the world crumbling around her, she finds it in herself to protect herself and her children from the literal horrors that lurk outside. The lengths she’s had to go to in order to survive are incredible; she’s had to become hard and merciless, an exterior of steel, even though she’s constantly doubting and questioning herself inside her head.

Malerman lets the story in Bird Box unfold slowly; the novel takes the place over the course of a single day, but there are flashbacks that flesh out the story of what exactly happened to the world and what Malorie’s been through. It’s very well done; the author allows the suspense to build until the novel is crackling with tension on multiple fronts, in the past and the present. The atmosphere is absolutely chilling; it’s incredibly creepy and will have you thinking twice the next time you look out a window or step outside the front door.

The world building in Bird Box is very well done. This isn’t your typical dystopian or post-apocalyptic novel, with a vast conspiracy and larger story that comes to light. Yes, there’s something bigger than Malorie’s story happening, but there aren’t a lot of explanations or elaborations. This story is purely about survival, about one woman’s fight. This narrow scope is refreshing, but also intensely creepy. There’s something frightening about having no answers, about not knowing what’s happening. It makes it much more realistic.

It’s hard to know what to expect when picking up Bird Box, and really, that’s how it’s best read. If you know too much about it, the simple pleasure of racing through the story to find out what happens will be lost. It’s a gripping novel, to be sure, and easy to read in one sitting. This is a book that will appeal to a wide range of readers; even if you aren’t a fan of the dystopian craze, the character-driven nature of the novel will make this one you want to consider.

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  1. trish422 says:

    This sounds like my kind of book, and I’m off to add it to the wish list right now.

  2. This looks so creepy and awesome! Adding it to my wishlist right away.

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