REVIEW: Strungballs by Mile Russell

When I began to read Strungballs I wasn’t sure what to expect! Published by strangebooks I knew that this was going to be a very different read to what I was used to. A YA novel set in an alternative world where everyone is expected to give up cubes of skin and must wear Strungballs in there place, this is a novel for older readers with a fast-paced and unexpected story to tell. 

With measurements and times used to create a regimented experience, the wooden language of characters and the repetitive type of the world Sydney lives in, the novel feels oppressive. Similar to other speculative fiction in its early chapters, I was reminded of controlling societies from other novels. Strungballs is different in what happens next and I would warn any squeamish readers this book might not be for them as the details are sometimes grissly. 

This is a highly original read and a good introduction to speculative fiction and alternative realities. The ending was perhaps just a little too strange for me and unlike with other speculative fiction I didn’t find a lesson or an explanation or any political sentiment. For the lover of all things weird and alternative this will be a great read for you!

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