Mini Review: Escape Routes, by Naomi Ishiguro

Short Story Collection
eARC From Netgalley
Kindle, Pages: 304
Publishing: 6th February 2020
Publisher: Headline (Tinder Press)

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Escape Routes, by Naomi Ishiguro is a collection of short stories, each of which have a fantastical or mystical element that it features. Normally, I write very long reviews but for this I figured a mini review would be much better for a few reasons:

  1. Firstly, It contains multiple, easy to spoil short stories that I cannot go into detail about without giving away significant aspects.
  2. Secondly, because there are a lot of different characters due to the numerous stories.
  3. Finally, because, while the writing is amazing and the stories are perfect for such a collection, this was not for me- and by that I mean I am not a short story person and I found that because of that I couldn’t connect well with the stories in general but I did respect and understand them.

Despite this not being the best option for me personally, I do believe it deserves four stars! And here is why:

— Incredibly Captivating, Beautifully Immersive And Gorgeously Descriptive —

The Writing Style. Naomi Ishiguro is a magnificent writer and this collection illustrates her talent wonderfully. Her writing is incredibly captivating, beautifully immersive and gorgeously descriptive. The writing is what made me push through and finish the book because it was just so pleasing to read and really hooked you. Should she write a full length novel, I would definitely buy it because I absolutely adored her style and loved the whimsical mystery combined with the harsh and emotive tone. The balance was very unique and well crafted.

— Interesting And Intriguing —

The Stories. Despite not being for me, the stories themselves are incredibly unique and interesting. If you love ambiguous, mystical stories that leave you with a sense of yearning but also understanding then you will love this. Each story is interesting and intriguing, the Ratcatcher ones were probably my favourite as they had dark, vicious and creepy undertones, but they were all very original and definitely worth the read. The pacing for each story is well done, and the order of the stories helps balance out the pacing and keeps you interested. Overall, if you love short story collections then I would definitely recommend this to you!

–Complex Characters That Are Very Layered —

The Characters. The stories are relatively character driven which is great, specifically for the types of stories this collection includes. The characters are at the core of the stories, their minds, their thoughts, their emotions are key to the development and it works wonderfully. Overall, the characters are very interesting and very different from each other allowing you to easily separate the stories, they are also unique and their motivations are intriguing. The Ratcatcher stories in particular have some complex characters that are very layered despite the short length of the tale, and yet they still maintain a sense of mystery about them. Both the stories and the characters seem to hold specific morals that are powerful at the end of the stories and the overall point of the stories are easy to recognise and adds a great depth to them.

The ambiguity of the tales, or the moral greyness, general grey line that exists creates an interesting atmosphere that makes you think about the stories, their morals and life. The mystical element adds another layer to the tales and creates a unique sense of satisfaction but also a sense of unfinished business, which works well with the stories overall.

Overall. While this was not for me personally, I cannot dispute the richness of the stories or the beauty of the writing. This is the perfect choice for short story lovers who enjoy a fantastical or magical element to their stories. Each tale is incredibly rich and immersive with a unique story and interesting characters.

I received an eARC of #EscapeRoutes by #NaomiIshiguro from #Netgalley @headlinepg #Headline @TinderPress #TinderPress in exchange for an honest review.


  1. Awesome review KB! 😄 I’ve had a similar experience not long ago. It was for a short story by Alice Hoffman. The writing was great but it just wasn’t to my taste. It’s not always easy reviewing a book like that but you’ve done it so well! Loved the mini review 😊 Jen

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much!😊 Yes, I just don’t seem to enjoy short stories very much but I gave it a go to try and see if that would change. Unfortunately not, but the writing was wonderful so it wasn’t too bad. It was definitely a difficult one to review! Thank you so much, I am glad you loved it!!💜😊

      Liked by 1 person

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