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Abandoned by Booklikes

Government drone by day and book lover and geek girl by night!

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Great Use of Building Tension

Bird Box - Josh Malerman

There are a few flaws with "Bird Box". Some of the chapters drag here and there, and the going back and forth to the present, past, and recent past didn't always work. But the book as a whole really works.


The book begins with a young woman being worried about what is outside the windows that she can't see. She is scared to leave a house she is living in with the children that she calls Boy and Girl. We don't know what is going on exactly, but the woman realizes that today she is going to have to finally leave the safe haven that has been created if she wants to make sure that the children have any type of life.

From there the book moves into what I call a very nice tension filled book. Not all of the blanks get filled in for you at once (which I liked). Instead, you start to get pieces told to you. You find out the woman's name is Malorie. That she lives in Michigan and that she misses her sister and someone named Tom. You don't know what happened to these people yet, but you start to find out that something has started to drive the world mad. 


We only stay with Malorie for the majority of the book though we do get a man's POV in this one named Tom. We over a course of chapters figure out who Tom is and how/why he is important to Malorie. 

I think that Malerman did a very good job in a short amount of time spelling out the main characteristics with each character we meet. Heck, I even got a sense of who Boy and Girl were too. 


The writing was good. I didn't feel talked down to or had things being overly explained. I thought it was great that we got to see Malorie's POV in three different time periods and at one point we get Tom's POV. I wish that Malerman had thought to go to Tom's POV at an important point in the book. That would have made things stronger to me. I do like how the book really focuses on noise a lot. I would love to listen to this via audiobook, I am sure it is an experience. I was tense the entire time I was reading. 

The flow was good, though I would say that maybe Malerman would have been better served if he pointed out what time period we are in as readers. I quickly guessed though based on where we left Malorie, Boy, and Girl and then figured things out when we had Malorie talking about things here and there. 


I do like that we never get an idea of what the fearsome creatures/monsters are that can drive a person insane with a single look. I found it much better to just sit and imagine what it could be. I personally imagine it had something to do with clowns because clowns are my personal nightmare on Earth. 


The ending had one more horror filled moment, that I wish had lasted longer. But then again I am a sucker for a really good straight up horror book. I did enjoy how this one ended.