Something is out there . . .
Something terrifying that must not be seen. One glimpse and a person is driven to deadly violence. No one knows what it is or where it came from.
Five years after it began, a handful of scattered survivors remain, including Malorie and her two young children. Living in an abandoned house near the river, Malorie has long dreamed of fleeing to a place where her family might be safe. But the journey ahead will be terrifying: twenty miles downriver in a rowboat--blindfolded--with nothing to rely on but Malorie's wits and the children's trained ears. One wrong choice and they will die. And something is following them. But is it man, animal, or monster?
Engulfed in darkness, surrounded by sounds both familiar and frightening, Malorie embarks on a harrowing odyssey--a trip that takes her into an unseen world and back into the past, to the companions who once saved her. Under the guidance of the stalwart Tom, a motley group of strangers banded together against the unseen terror, creating order from the chaos. But when supplies ran low, they were forced to venture outside--and confront the ultimate question: in a world gone mad, who can really be trusted?
Interweaving past and present, Josh Malerman's breathtaking debut is a horrific and gripping snapshot of a world unraveled that will have you racing to the final page.
Listen to the author about the book HERE.
"Here is what happens when there's something outside so indescribably terrifying that simply laying your eyes on it -- or them -- causes insanity, suicide, homicide, or a mixture of all. You stay inside. And not only do you stay inside, you board up the windows too. One must be blindfolded when outside excursions are completely necessary, or pay the horrible cost.
In Josh Malerman's debut novel, Malorie is living alone with her sister when internet reports first surface about weird suicidal/homicidal happenings in Russia. Trouble is, these happenings are spreading and spreading fast. And, what timing, Malorie has just found out she's pregnant. The situation deteriorates from there to the point where her up-state parents no longer answer the phone. Are they dead? And later she calls to her sister in the other room and there is no answer. She walks down the hall to the bathroom, calling. She sees...
Malorie is in survival mode by this point. Everybody is. The lucky ones stumble into homes where other survivors have gathered. This novel tells the story of one such home and its random occupants. Some of them use unbelievable cunning in attempts to understand and confront what's happening, while others devolve into fighting among themselves for whatever scraps remain.
Certain questions arise. If you're already insane, do you have immunity from this thing, these creatures, or whatever they are? Are animals and pets impacted? What if it's all just a mass-hysteria brought on by a collective fear? What if you believe your mind superior to what's out there? Don't believe it? Open the door and lower your blindfold...if you dare.
I'm a slow reader but burned through this one fast. If I set a goal to read two chapters, I'd read four. If I vowed to stop reading at midnight, I'd continue on until two. I found the book frightening, suspenseful, thought-provoking, and in a weird way a lot of fun. I couldn't believe how cool the ending was, and for a long time after that I was simply in awe."