By REGINA M. ANGELI
Josh Malerman's "Bird Box" (Ecco/HarperCollins/260 pages), with its ominous warning "Don's Open Your Eyes," has been compared to works of Stephen King, or perhaps, Rod Serling's "Twilight Zone" with a generous dash of Alfred Hitchcock's sense of the macabre.
The story starts as Malorie contemplates a 20-mile journey by rowboat with her children known simply as "Boy" and "Girl." Ordinarily, one would not take a 20-mile trip in a rowboat - but this no ordinary trip; this is a flight for survival.
The three of them are desperately seeking fellow survivors and they are making the trip blindfolded.
Through a series of flashbacks, Malorie recounts the horror of the "Problem" which has caused people to fear venturing outside with their eyes exposed for fear of a malevolence which causes its viewers to become extremely violent to themselves or others.
Not even the animals are immune to this horrific plague - dogs can be transformed into raging beasts reminiscent of Stephen King's "Cujo" with a tip to the du Maurier/Hitchcock classic "The Birds."
Malerman has written a dandy little nightmare for those who relish a tale of terror.
Of note to local readers, Josh Malerman lives in Michigan, and his main character, Malorie, and her sister, Shannon, were raised in the Upper Peninsula before moving to the Lower Peninsula where the story takes place.