(Don't) look behind you.

Bird Box - Josh Malerman

"You can smell it, too. Death. Dying. Decay. The sky is falling, the sky is dying, the sky is dead."

 

 

Let me start this by saying I would absolutely die in the world of Bird Box. Walking around the world, afraid to open your eyes because monsters are about to jump at you? Nope. So much nope. There are main characters in horror movies, and then there's that extra that dies 5 minutes in. That's me.

 

The premise here is terrifying. I can't imagine living in a world where the big bad is the light around us, our ability to see. And the start of the book shows that amazingly, I was terrified for our main character Malorie and her two unnamed children, that have no names for obvious plot convenience. Seriously, Malorie? I know you were busy trying to like, not die, but you couldn't take 4 minutes of your day to stop calling your children Boy and Girl? Name them after chocolate brands for all I care. Twix and M&M's would be lovely kids.

 

Besides this plot weirdness I thought the start of the book was amazingly written, and so is every chapter set in the present. Every moment that went back to Malorie, lost and blind in a boat, was chilling to me.

 

 

In a world where you can’t open your eyes, isn’t a blindfold all you could ever hope for?

 

 

The problem with this book wasn't there. The problem was the flashbacks.

 

Every character in Malorie's flashbacks is one dimentioned. Here is Tom. He is brave. Here is Don. He is cautious. Here is Jules. He has... a dog. Is having a dog a personality trait? I hope it is, because otherwise I would never be able to tell him apart from Felix. They are both completely useless to the plot. 

 

As it usually goes, humans are theo other problem here. While the setting is creepy and unsettling, the humans are flat and boring. Even Malorie got annoyingly one sided in her flashbacks. I couldn't care less if any of them died. The only ones I liked were the children. 

 

The ending was satisfying enough. Surprised me and rose this from 2 stars to 2.5.

 

Sentence: Honestly, if this has been just a short story with only the parts of Melanie in the boat, I'd be happy. But it wasn't, so I'm sticking to my 2.5 stars rating, rounded up to 3 on Goodreads.