Bird Box Book Review

Bird Box by Josh Malerman

I’m almost always late to the party. It’s something I no longer fight. I don’t think I have a choice, anyway. My mom carried me for ten months, so this late to the party game started before I was even born. 

So, I knew Bird Box was going to be a movie, and I made a note in the TBR (that is my To Be Read list) in my head to read the book. I love reading books then watching movies. As time has a way of doing, it flew by and—BOOM—Bird Box was on Netflix, and spoilers were everywhere. I hate spoilers. 

I bought the ebook version of Bird Box, and my blindfolded journey began. 

Being thrown into sudden “darkness” is probably one of the most fearful things for humans, for me anyway. Not being able to see, not knowing what’s out there to be seen, and knowing if you risk a peek, it’s all over for you and the people around you. If you look, something will unleash from within you, and you will become violent until it kills you, which isn’t long. 

No one knows what the “monster” is that you can not/should not see because if you do see it, it’s too late for you. It’s intense. You can feel the presence of someone or something, some monster you know will change you, while you are blindfolded and drawing water from the well or attempting to find food. You can hear it. It’s close, maybe you are face-to-face with this unknown killer. You wonder how close, and if you’re going to die. 

Then, there are the children. Children who’ve never had the chance to play outside or see the sky. Children who’ve been trained to “see” with their ears. 

And the animals. Does it affect the animals?

*****

I thoroughly enjoyed Bird Box. It gave me tingles deep down in my stomach, it made me sad, it made me mad, it touched me in the deepest parts of my soul. I longed for the people who were lost, it made me want to hold onto the people who are near and dear to me for a little longer and a little tighter, and it probably would have made me cry if I were a normal person, but I’m a bit jaded. Parts of it scared me, which is a pretty hard sale for me, again the jaded thing. It gave me nightmares. I love this book for all the feelings it gave me.

Five stars.

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Big Dogs

“If you can’t run with the big dogs, stay on the porch” was something I first read on a license plate when I was around six years old. It had some mean-looking dogs on it, they kind of scared me, and there was a timid “porch” dog looking sad and deflated. I took it to literally mean something about mean dogs running around together, likely being bullies, snarling and snorting, baring teeth, wearing spiked colors while a nice “good boy” with a sleek, golden-brown coat stayed behind and basked in the sun waiting to be petted. He didn’t want to run with the big dogs. He wanted to share your ice cream.

Later on, in my tween and early teen years, I “learned” it meant either you’re bad ass or you’re a loser. I wanted to be bad ass. I was always a loser. (Made fun of, picked last, bullied, teased, put down…you get the picture).

Isn’t it funny how we perceive things when we are kids?

Eventually, I learned that the big dogs aren’t teeth-baring bullies boasting spiked collars and massive egos, (those exist, but they’re not who you want to run with or be. Those are mean dogs.) and that the real big dogs have worked hard to be where they are. Running with the big dogs is fine once you get there, but staying on the porch isn’t an option.

Get up off the porch, show the mean dogs you mean business, bare your teeth if it’s necessary, and become the big dog you’ve always envisioned.

Don’t expect to be able to run with the big dogs from day one. Don’t give up when it takes time. Perfect your skills. Stand up to the mean dogs and for the porch dogs who haven’t yet realized they’ll be big dogs someday, too.

Crawl. Walk. Run.

Don’t bite.

Never be a bully.

Please Share this Blog!

stevestredauthor

So this blog post is a bit different than most of my other ones.

This was going to be the big ole exciting “PREORDERS ARE OPEN!” blog post that I had planned for this coming Friday.  I’ve decided to push it up.

Why?

A friend and his family need help.

If you have followed my literary career (my short, just starting literary career), there have been a few key players throughout.  Folks who have, time and time again, stepped up and gone out of their way to help me, give me advice and guidance and who’ve always wanted me to succeed.

Justin M. Woodward has been there since day 1.

If you haven’t followed me (and that’s totally fine J) you may recognize his name from his releases; The Variant, Candy and Tamer Animals.

Now before I get too far into this – I just want to make it abundantly…

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(Interview): Share the Horror Dives The Depths with Chad Lutzke

Glenn Rolfe

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Chad Lutzke is a name you should make yourself familiar with. His style is all his own, and it’s one filled with two of my favorite things: horror and, more importantly, heart.

Hot on the heals of his 2018 releases OUT BEHIND THE BARN(co-written with John Boden), SKULLFACE BOY, and STIRRING THE SHEETS, this man is dropping a new novel titled, THE SAME DEEP WATER AS YOU (which releases today, January 11th).

I invited him over for a quick chat.

SHARE THE HORROR:  You’ve had quite a year. I’ve seen three titles of yours popping up on the Best Of lists–SKULLFACE BOY, STIRRING THE SHEETS and the one that I absolutely loved, OUT BEHIND THE BARN co-written with John Boden. How long did each of these books take to complete?

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CHAD LUTZKE: I think a few months for each one. I can’t remember exactly, but…

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Prologue Teaser

stevestredauthor

Ok friends!  So this will be a little bit of a longer post today!  Yesterday over on Twitter and my Facebook Author Page I ran a poll asking what you would like to see as a teaser today, for the my upcoming release The Girl Who Hid in the Trees.  This coming-of-age, urban legend tale is already garnering a bit of buzz from the pre-release reviews and I am over the moon with delight!

So today (after counting the votes!) I’m sharing the Prologue as a thank you.  In two weeks, on Friday January 18th, I will share the first bonus short story Abraham, Look to the Sky.  That story is a gritty, cosmic-horror, flash fiction piece and I think you’ll all like it!

So please keep reading, and enjoy the Prologue!

Prologue

August 5, 1884

“Abigail, don’t stray too far, ok?”

Abigail heard her mom but ignored her. …

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Upcoming Release: The Girl Who Hid in the Trees by Steve Stred.

Thanks to Steve Stred for sending me an e-copy of his soon-to-be-released short story, The Girl Who Hid in the Trees. It will release in ebook and paperback formats on February 28. It will also feature three bonus short stories from Steve.

 

I hope you enjoy your stay in McConnell’s Forest as much as I did.

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The children who live near McConnell’s Forest know better than to risk going into the woods, or at least they should. Years ago, when Jason was a little boy, he lost his older brother when he entered the forest to deflate an ages old urban legend.

Now that Jason is a teenager himself, he wants to learn what happened to his brother and what is really going on in the forest first-hand.

He persuades his group of friends to camp in the forest overnight so they can figure out this legend and try to stop everyone from being afraid of the forest.

They learn about the legend of the girl who hid in the trees more closely than they could ever have imagined. Their evening is filled with blood, guts, evil, and horror… and a grotesque parade of gore-covered marchers and a piano made of bones.

Yes, a piano made of bones that I can’t ever get out of my head. I can still hear the pinging keys echoing through the forest.

I thought this was a great, brutal short story with an unpredictable ending. Plenty of blood, guts, and tension, but also sadness.

Also, thank you to the author, Steve Stred, for sending me this story in advance of publication.