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Bird Box: a book of suspense!

Bird Box by Josh Malerman is one of the most suspenseful books I’ve ever read. The intense mystery is set in the very first chapter and does not cease until the very last page.

The only comparable suspense novel I can think of is The Shining, and that is high praise.

A Strange, Strange World

birdboxIn the first chapter we meet Malorie and two four-year-old children who are trying to escape a life of terror to a place they can only get to by rowing blindfolded down a river for several miles. Why is her life filled with terror? Why does she have to be blindfolded? Why are all the windows on their house boarded up and covered? Why has Malorie not seen sunlight for over 5 years? Why does she never refer to the children by name? Where are all the people?

All these questions and more hook the readers’ curiosity and the intense danger Malorie feels is transferred to the reader. With every chapter, more answers are revealed but more questions also arise. Malerman reveals just enough to keep the reader understanding this strange world more all the time, but keeps the door closed on the biggest secrets until the very end.

Great Suspense Stems From Great Writing

Without giving too much away, I will tell you that the characters in this world refuse to open their eyes outside. This had two major effects on the writing: 1) sight was often lost, and the author deepened upon the other senses for description, 2) not knowing what could be right next to you, something dangerous, something deadly, adds a lot of suspense all by itself.

At one point, Malerman integrates counting into a suspenseful scene. Set outside in a world full of unseen dangers, the characters are putting themselves at risk every second they are outside. The counting draws attention to those danger-filled seconds ticking by.

5 Stars!

Without a doubt, Bird Box is the best book I’ve read so far this year. If you love suspense, horror, apocalyptic stories, or simply good writing, you should read this book!

Check out more 5 star books on my list of favorite books of 2015!

 

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Mr. Mercedes Book Review

A true detective story from Stephen King, where the only extraordinary strangeness is a human psychopath. King referred to Mr. Mercedes as his “first hard-boiled detective tale.”

Mrmercedes

Summary

A young, disturbed man steals a Mercedes and rams it through a crowd, killing eight innocent people. Months later, after the case has gone cold, the detective receives a letter from someone claiming to be the Mercedes Killer. Now retired, Detective Bill Hodges quietly takes on the case and unravels a dangerous, unpredictable series of events.

Check out the official book trailer here.

Mr. Mercedes is the first book of the Bill Hodges trilogy by Stephen King. The second book, Finders Keepers, was recently released. See a Cleveland Finders Keepers review here.

mr-mercedes

Point of View

The point of view switches between the two main characters, the detective and the psychopath killer, making the suspense not who is the killer, but will the killer be stopped. The direct interaction between the two is limited to online letters. Knowing both parties motives, plans, and speculations gives the reader a lot of power; the reader knows everything while they watch characters speculate.

3.5 Stars

It could very well deserve more stars but I’ve been overloaded with King novels lately and the style and suspense becomes too redundant to fully enjoy. Don’t get me wrong, I love Stephen King and I enjoyed and recommend this book, but it didn’t capture my full attention.

My Previous Stephen King book reviews:

Revival – 2.5 stars

The Long Walk – 5 stars – published under King’s pseudonym, Richard Bachman

The Shining – 5 stars

Doctor Sleep – 4 stars

11/22/63 – 5 stars – this was my first book review ever!

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