True Review
Current Issue Number 88 Vol. 31 April 2014
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Bird Box
Bird Box:

BIRD BOX, by Josh Malerman. Ecco/HarperCollins (www.harpercollins.com), 2014, 262 pp., $25.99. ISBN 978-0-06-225965-3. Click here to purchase.

In BIRD BOX, Josh Malerman’s debut novel, Malorie sets off from the protection of her house on a harrowing mission down the river, attempting to break from the terrible prison of a makeshift home with her two children, Tom and Olympia. Malorie needs to escape approaching danger and find a safe haven from what the world knows only as the “creatures.” She and the children are blindfolded on their journey, because a vision of the creatures will cause certain, eventual death.

In this world of the “creature plaque,” merely gazing at the entities for a second or two drives the victim to self-immolation, to suicide. So Malorie and the children, trained to guide their way through the world via sound, need to evade all dangers. Outside, they must remain blindfolded. They also have to deal with natural predators and other humans.

Malorie places her family in great peril in order to achieve a great end – she “remembers” in a dream-state a location that is promised to her. She recalls, in flashbacks, her own encounter at a safe house where she meets Tom and Cheryl and others who can offer her protection from the creatures. She remembers when she lived there, pregnant with her son, befriending another woman who, along with Malorie, gives birth to a girl.

Nobody knows the origin of the creatures or what their fate (mankind’s ultimate fate) will be. Are the creatures some type of trans-dimensional entities? Are they like “anti-matter” or in a sense “anti-creatures”? Why do they make people commit suicide?

Though at times I was not sold on Malerman’s idea of “viewing” that will turn you to some kind of hari-kari, there were some genuine, provocative, chilling moments in this first novel. Let’s watch Malerman. He reminds me of a very early Dan Simmons.Andrew Andrews

 

In This Issue

Bird Box What Makes This Book So Great The Martian Psycho Mania

The Clock Struck None Urban Green Man Chilling Tales Lovers & Fighters, Starships & Dragons

Cosmic Horror Anthology Hauntings Dr. Joseph Warren Andrew's Brain

Recommended In True Review
by faerie light

BY FAERIE LIGHT:

BY FAERIE LIGHT, Vols 1 and 2, ed. by Scott Gable, Caroline Dombrowski, and Dora Wang. Broken Eye Books (www.brokeneyebooks.com), 2013, 226 pp., $19.99. ISBN 978-1-940372-04-4 (click to purchase)

Andrew M. Andrews

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Lovecraft's Monsters

LOVECRAFT'S MONSTERS:

LOVECRAFT’S MONSTERS, ed. by Ellen Datlow. Tachyon Publications (www.tachyonpublications.com), 2014, 380 pp., $16.95. ISBN 978-1-61696-12-1-3 (click to purchase).

Operation Cinder

OPERATION CINDER:

OPERATION CINDER, by Todd Gontz. Yurchak Printing (operationcinder.com), 2013, 184 pp., $14.15. ISBN: 978-0-615-72005-0 (click to purchase).

The New Annotated H.P. Lovecraft

THE NEW ANNOTATED H.P. LOVECRAFT:

THE NEW ANNOTATED H.P. LOVECRAFT, ed. with a foreword and notes by Leslie S. Klinger. Liveright Publishing/W.W. Norton and Company (www.norton.com), 916 pp., $39.95. ISBN 978-0-87140-453-4 (click to purchase).