Classic horror fiction is starting to experience a long overdue comeback and I’ve been looking for the novel right in this area for some time. I wanted to find the sort of read that haunts you deeply and compels you to talk about it.
When BIRD BOX came in, it hooked the Fiction department in less than 20 pages, and so far most early readers have devoured it in one sitting. Like a twenty-four hour trip on a rollercoaster through a long dark tunnel, the experience is intense and impossible to abandon.
When the book opens, Malorie is living alone with two small children. The four-year-olds have never seen the outside. A thick fog dampens the morning light streaming through the cracks in the boarded-up windows, and it is because of this that she has decided that today is the day they will leave the house for good.
Malorie blindfolds the children before covering her own eyes and opening the back door. They feel the way across the garden to the river’s edge where a rowing boat waits. Placing the boy and girl into the boat she lifts the oars and pushes off from the bank.
Five years ago, Malorie’s world was no different to our own and her story was an average one. Five years ago the outbreaks of insanity crept closer to home. Five years ago, people started seeing them and they started to die.
But Bird Box isn’t an average tale of horror. There are no zombies, no vampires, no ghosts and no human centipedes. Malerman’s monsters are both chilling and subtle, and they reside within his protagonists as well as outside their front door. The core strength of the novel lies in how deeply you care and fear for the tormented cast. Malorie’s claustrophobia, vulnerability are further amplified because if she’s to have any chance of staying alive, she has to be blind.
So, if you’re brave enough, I dare you to open your eyes and go mad about this book.
– Emma, HarperVoyager
BIRD BOX is published on 27th March – order your copy today!