'Strange Secrets', Mike Russell

2 min read.

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.’

DISCLAIMER: I received this book for free from Strange Books in exchange for an honest review.

If you’re looking for a bit of weirdness in your life, then look no further than Mike Russell’s work. Strange Secrets is the latest collection of his short stories, spanning an interesting collection from magic ponds to THINGs. Each whimsical story fits together in the collection through the sheer inventiveness of the original concept.

Despite this being his third collection, Russell doesn’t let you down with his creativity. Each idea is unique and interesting, and I really wish I knew how he manages to be so creative! Part of what I enjoy so much about Russell’s writing is how the weirdness is just THERE. There’s no real explanation for it, no justification of it as a different universe or anything, these strange things just happen. There’s something rather funny about this, in a way, in the sheer straightforwardness of how this weirdness is presented. You’re sort of like, yep, there’s a magical pond that does weird things, okay! Let’s go!

I particularly enjoyed how these stories escalate so quickly, and to such an extent. There’s no guessing where the stories are going or what’s going to happen next, you just have to go along with it. This is quite fun, because you do get there in the end, and you get to enjoy the process of being led down all of these weird little paths.

I’ve read a fair amount of Mike Russell’s works now, and I have to say that I think this is my favourite. His style is refined, his stories are to the point, and everything has a magical sense of weirdness to it that knocks you slightly off-kilter.

I don’t want to say too much about it, because I really think you should go into it for yourself and have fun with it. I really recommend this collection, and hope you’ll feel as inspired to create as I feel now because of it!

5 stars.

I’d like to thank Mike Russell and Jay for sending me copies of each book. Each one has been a fun and interesting experience, and I am very grateful that they have not only kept working with me but also put up with my very late responses for most of them. They’re wonderful people.

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