on May 13th 2014
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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.
Ooh! The anticipation! I wanted to read this from the moment I first heard about it. I needed to get my hands on it. It’s my favorite kind of horror, where you have absolutely no clue what to be afraid of. The Unknown is far more terrifying than zombies, or vampires, or homicidal psychos. Josh Malerman has found the perfect way to play off this fear; by taking away our sight, we are literally in the dark about the danger.
The story starts off with Malorie and her two four-year-old children, leaving their home for some mysterious destination. The story doesn’t jump right in with terror or gore. The reader is thrown into a story already in motion. We are given some small clues about what has already happened, but the fun really starts with chapter 2. This is where we begin to catch up with the past. The chapters alternate between past and present, and even when I knew what was coming, I couldn’t help but hold my breath and hope that maybe somehow, something would change.
This is the first book in a long time that had me gripping the sheets a little tighter at night. I kept straining my eyes in the dark, wondering if there was anything else in the room with me. (I was halfway tempted to borrow my kids’ nightlight…) The book played perfectly on my role as a mother. I could very easily put myself into Malorie’s shoes, doing whatever it took to protect her children. It’s written in first person present tense, which usually isn’t my favorite pov, but then I realized something… present tense makes it easier to kill off the main character. I spent the rest of the book worrying about whether or not Malorie would make it all the way to the end of the book. I don’t plan on ruining the story for you guys, so don’t worry, no spoilers. I will say that the end wasn’t what I was expecting.
I would like to throw in a quick warning. This is an adult read. There is violence and descriptive gore. I felt that it all had a place in the story, and it wasn’t excessive for the subject matter. A second warning goes toward the price of the ebook. It’s a little on the steep side. I’ll just recommend you spend a little extra and get yourself a hard copy. It’s totally worth it.