Most people ignored the outrageous reports on the news. But they became too frequent, they became too real.
And soon, they began happening down the street.
Then the Internet died. The television and radio went silent. The phones stopped ringing.
And we couldn't look outside anymore.
Malorie raises the children the only way she can; indoors.
The house is quiet. The doors are locked, the curtains are closed, mattresses are nailed over the windows.
They are out there. She might let them in.
The children sleep in the bedroom across the hall.
Soon she will have to wake them.
Soon she will have to blindfold them.
Today they must leave the house. Today they will risk everything.
Bird Box by Josh Malerman was published in hardback by Harper Voyager on 27 March 2014, the paperback edition will be released on 29 January 2015. Bird Box is Josh Malerman's debut novel.
The blurb for this book is intriguing to say the very least, and the cover of my hardback copy is fabulously dark and quite eerie.
To say too much about the plot would spoil the story completely for those who have yet to read this dark, disturbing and thrilling novel. I flew through it in a couple of days, and was hooked from the enticing first chapter.
The story focusses on Malorie and two children and opens as Malorie decides that today is the day that they will leave the house after four years. Four years in which they have lived together in self-imposed exile, with the windows blacked out and the children learning never to open their eyes if there is the slightest chance that they would be exposed to the outside world.
Malorie and the children are going to attempt to find other people. She has no idea what she will find on their journey, or who will be out there, or what will be out there. Are the trees still green? Do the flowers still bloom? Are the creatures still roaming the land? Is anyone else still alive?
Josh Malerman has created a story that will send shivers down your spine. He cranks up the pace and the suspense with every paragraph. Malorie reflects on the years gone by as she undertakes this huge journey, enabling the reader to learn why and how she has found herself alone and isolated with just two small children as companions.
The author's ability to create tension is excellent. Malorie and the children can see nothing around them, they remain blindfolded for much of their dangerous journey, yet despite this, the story is full of imagery. Malorie's imaginings and her terror are palpable, the fear of the unknown jumps from the page, leaving the reader feeling unsettled and sometimes just a little wary when turning the next page.
A tension-filled, thrilling novel that produces many questions, but not many answers. This is a fine debut novel from an author who writes skilfully.
My thanks to the publisher Harper Voyager who sent my copy for review.
Josh Malerman is the lead singer and songwriter for the rock band the High Strung.
He lives in Ferndale, Michigan
Check out his author page on Facebook
Follow him on Twitter @JoshMalerman