Everything Goes Mad, a Chilling Dystopia and the Uncanny Valley | Review: Bird Box by Josh Malerman

Pages: 262
Average Reading Time: 3 hours 51 minutes (At 300 WPS, average reader’s speed)
Started on: October 10, 2017
Finished on: October 12, 2017
Goodreads average rating: 3.98 Stars
Genres: Fiction, Thriller, Horror fiction, Suspense
Synopsis:

Something is out there, something terrifying that must not be seen. One glimpse of it, and a person is driven to deadly violence. No one knows what it is or where it came from.

Five years after it began, a handful of scattered survivors remains, including Malorie and her two young children. Living in an abandoned house near the river, she has dreamed of fleeing to a place where they might be safe. Now that the boy and girl are four, it’s time to go, but the journey ahead will be terrifying: twenty miles downriver in a rowboat–blindfolded–with nothing to rely on but her wits and the children’s trained ears. One wrong choice and they will die. Something is following them all the while, but is it man, animal, or monster?

Interweaving past and present, Bird Box is a snapshot of a world unraveled that will have you racing to the final page.

Setting:

  • The world is a dystopia, but not for the reasons you think. I’m not fond of the supernatural element in books; as I think the world is scary enough without them. But it piques my curiosity to know what made the world go haywire and why.
  • The timeline goes in converged manner; it starts with the present, and switches from present to past to let you piece together what happened and keep you guessing at how everything became the way it is. I haven’t read many, if any, books in present tense, but now I realize it’s particularly fitting for a scary scene.
  • My favorite part about the book is the worldbuilding. While the writing at times feels like it’s trying too hard to be spooky, the worldbuilding itself is the eerie part. It chills you in the way that things that are just so WRONG chills you. Like a teddy bear with a full set of human-like teeth. Ever heard of the Uncanny Valley ? It is spooky in that way.

And hey, It takes place in October, so I highly recommend it for a spooky fall read!

Characters:

  • Malorie was so strong; she went through horrifying things and sacrificed more than she could afford to survive.
  • I thought the characters were a bit flat with the exception of Malorie herself and no more than two other characters, as in there wasn’t anything memorable about the others, and I wouldn’t remember their names or who they were, say, a few months or, say, a year from now. A big factor that decides how much I love a book is by how much its characters stick with me. This book’s strength lies in its setting and worldbuilding.

Ending:

  • In the end everything comes together like the pieces of a puzzle, and it is beautiful, despite some very grim and brutal scenes that left me pondering and chewing them. That is how I think a horror movie should end. It doesn’t have to be all about death. And it doesn’t have to have a happy ending. It has to have purpose. A struggle, a reason for all the darkness closing in.

Conclusion:

  • I haven’t read many horror books, but I’ve watched horror movies. While they aren’t the same thing, they’re certainly more common and so, I can give you an image of what the book feels like in comparison. I’ve found in many horror movies, characters were all outright flat and are only memorable by the way they died. Bird Box was not that way. There was worldbuilding. There was strength in the characters and there was suspense in the writing. Those are the ingredients for a good horror book to me.

My ratings:
Characters: 3.5 Stars
Worldbuilding: 5 Stars
Setting: 4 Stars
Writing: 3.5 Stars
Overall: 4 Stars

That concludes my first Halloweenathon readathon challenge:


MY TBR | Readathon’s Original Post
The banner was made by the readathon’s host, Wonderless Reviews !


Have you read Bird Box ? Is it on your TBR ? What are some of your favorite spooky reads ? What are you reading in October ?

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3 thoughts on “Everything Goes Mad, a Chilling Dystopia and the Uncanny Valley | Review: Bird Box by Josh Malerman

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