Book Review: Strange Secrets by Mike Russell

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I don’t know what I was expecting going into this book, but it wasn’t this.

Book CWs

  • Child endangerment/abuse
  • Character death/murder
  • Burning of bodies
  • Bending of reality
  • Suicide mention
  • Paranormal Creatures

Premise (from Goodreads)

Discover the mystery of the two-headed rose and many more Strange Secrets in this new collection of extraordinary stories by Mike Russell.

‘It can’t be real.’
‘But it is.’

Strange Secrets invites you to discover the magical and the marvellous. Startlingly inventive and constantly entertaining, these unique, vital and vividly realised stories will take you to places you have never been before.

Strange Secrets is Mike Russell’s third short-story collection.

Review (No Spoilers)

Back in February I received a request to review Strange Secrets on my blog. Since it was so long ago, I had totally forgotten what the premise of the book was by the time I finally started reading it. My review can basically be wrapped up in the following words:

This book is totally bonkers.

It is composed of 7 short stories (one has two parts), each with its own plot. Each story is so weird that it completely messes with your mind. You have basically no idea of what to expect on each page because the stories can lead you anywhere.

I’ve recently started rereading Grimm’s Complete Fairy Tales (B&N Edition) and I found that the stories in Strange Secrets have a very similar vibe to those of The Brothers Grimm. The kinds of stories where you get to the end and your brain goes WHAT JUST HAPPENED?

I still don’t completely understand what I read, but I cannot deny that it was a fun and unique ride. I will say that there were a few times where I had to suspend disbelief in order to fully enjoy what was being said. Each story takes place in a reality different from ours, but they all seemed to be based around the same kind of fundamental structure of our world/society. So when, for example, a little girl followed a van on a bicycle, I just kind of had to pretend that it made sense and move on.

If you’re looking for a quick read that will expand your mind, I definitely recommend checking this out.

Thank you to Jay at strangebooks.com for providing me with a free copy in exchange for an honest review!

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