Thank you, again Jay, for sending me an ebook copy of Magic by Mike Russell for free in exchange for an honest review.
This is the sixth book I have been lucky enough to receive from Jay and Mike Russell and I honestly couldn’t wait to jump back down the rabbit hole that is the world’s Mike creates through his writing. I have previously reviewed Strange Medicine, Strange Secrets, Nothing is Strange, Strungballs and The Exploding Book. Having already read and experienced Mike Russell’s stories, as always, I started this one with an open mind and ready to jump. I knew before I started reading that it would be like nothing I have read before and I can say it is unique.
This book's narrator is Charlie Watson and he tells the tale of magicians and magic and how he became a famous magician. And dum dum dum…. how and why he wrote the very book we are reading... yep a book in a book. Charlie is in his early twenties, still retains the kindness and empathy and can be easily seen as childlike.
Charlie starts the novel with the strong belief that magic is real, and even though his belief falters at times. He also meets a lot of people who make him realize different things, people who made him question the existence of everything and his beliefs. Despite all this, he strives to not only keep living his life in the abundance of magic that he knows exists, but tries to open the eyes of others so that they can see the same thing that he does.
Charlie is so easy to relate to because he has the realistic trait of making assumptions on what other characters are feeling like most people do. That might be my anxiety brain talking. Charlie is so innocent and has an unfailing spirit that is nothing short of admirable. Charlie is such an innocent character, the explanations for all problems and their solutions are basic and still extremely effective.
Mike does a great job of setting up a world adjacent to our own, Magic is a magical book about how we look at the world, what we choose to believe and how to shape the world by shaping the mind. Mike has once again filled his books with vivid and beautifully descriptive language meaning that you can picture the magic shows. I think that Magic is a little reminder to be more appreciative of our surroundings and ourselves. The characters are also easy to picture as they are described in detail. There are also a couple of real issues woven throughout this book. Bullying was a recurring theme and I love the subtlety of various characters overcoming it.
I try not to dissect Mike Russell’s stories they are just simply what they are the day I read them, tomorrow I will see something else in them. But this book sheds light on things that are right in front of our eyes but we are failing to notice such as the depression and the beauty of the world that needs to be told to us again and again.
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