Roommates can be hard. When I went away to college, some friends and I rented a big house and all lived together. For the first couple of years it was a lot of fun. But confines were a little too close for comfort. Eventually things became tense. One by one, we each found other places to live and a bunch of friendships devolved in annoyances. I haven’t seen most of those guys in years.
That all happened without an apocalypse.
In Josh Malerman’s debut novel, Bird Box, the world has been invaded by alien creatures so unfamiliar that the very sight of them sends people into bouts of violent, aggressive, and suicidal insanity. Most everyone has succumbed to the madness. One of the few survivors, Malorie has endured through a combination of covered windows, blind folds, and just plain keeping her eyes closed. But she’s pregnant and knows she’ll have to open her eyes eventually.
Her ever-advancing pregnancy brings her to search out other survivors. Tom, Don, Jules, Felix and Cheryl, the residents of a blacked out house, invite Malorie to live with them as they reach out for other remaining humans. Eventually more survivors arrive, including Gary, a paranoid weirdo who sews the seeds of mistrust among the household.
As they always do in books of this type, things go very bad. Much worse that what happened with my roomates and me.