Book Review

Strange Things Are Happening

“Stranger Danger,” by Michaelbrent Collings

As one of Michaelbrent Collings’ beta readers, I got to read his upcoming book, Stranger Danger! Most of Collings’ other books are stand-alones, and while this one can be enjoyed on its own, I suggest reading Stranger Still before jumping into this one. Stranger Still (book 2) will make you want to read Strangers, (book 1) so you might as well start there anyway.
If you haven’t yet, you can read my review on Stranger Still (book 2) to see why it’s one of my favorite horrors and why I was so excited for this book.

Quick intro to the characters:

Legion is Batman, but with hallucinations of his dead brothers (who bicker like siblings).
Officer Garcia is Commissioner Gordon, but without the influence and with a troubled teenager.
The Brotherhood of the Wolf is the League of Assassins, but they’re Nazi/KKK gangsters, and Wolf only thinks he’s Raz Al Gul.
I think the Batman analogies are particularly applicable since Officer Garcia openly questions if Legion is Batman, and on the last book by Michaelbrent Collings, he labeled himself as “#1 Bestseller, Guru, Spiritual Leader, Guiding Light (and Never Seen in the Same Room as Batman).”
. . . If that gives you any indication to the author’s humor, his books are full of bits like that.

With the main villains involving racial gangs, there is a lot of racism in this book. So much that Mr. Collings includes an author’s note that condemns racism. As with most of his books, the reader sees into the twisted, broken, evil minds of the villains to explain how they are the heroes of their own twisted, broken, and evil story. But that’s the nice part about horror; the evil gets their comeuppance.

Cleanliness vs. Vulgarity

Speaking of consequences for their actions, this would be rated PG-13 purely for its cursing and violence. The are a couple sexual comments, but only a couple and only comments.
The crude language is expected when dealing with gangsters. It isn’t excessive though. Mostly d*mn and h*ll. Otherwise, maybe a curse every fifteen pages. There are 4 almost f-bombs, where the speakers are cut off before dropping. No full f-bombs.
As for the violence, there are a couple fist fights, knife fights, torture, and a full massacre. (That last one happens off screen). Interestingly enough, one of the most poetic scenes in the book is during a smaller massacre from a perspective that’s so drugged that he’s lost all sense of self.


The plot of Stranger Danger is relatively predictable…until the epilogue. This isn’t The Forest (review link), where you anticipate a twist, and you get one plus three more during the building climax of revelations and terrors. Instead, Stranger Danger is very similar to Stranger Still, where you know Legion is superhumanly fast and strong, but his foes are too, so the question is whether or not he can truly win a fight against them.
Still, the biggest points of tension are actually between Officer Garcia and her son…and then the epilogue.

If you don’t want to end on a crazy plot-twisting cliff-hanger,
then don’t read the epilogue until the next book comes out.
Yes, there is another book. This is not a trilogy.

The characters were interesting, and the setting felt all too real for me. Seriously, I went into some super shady places while searching for people to teach about faith and repentance in Christ–including a place that could be the film set for Tree City that included its own Downs and even its own Den.
(*cough, cough* Pres. Apts. *cough, cough* – Don’t worry, I’m sure it’s not the Pres. Apts. you know).

Final Rating

Even if the plot was rather linear and predictable (save for the crazy epilogue twist), that doesn’t mean that I didn’t enjoy it. Maybe it’s because I’m a hopeless romantic, but I really enjoyed the two most “boring” chapters that included Legion hijacking a date to talk over some drinks. Yep. In essence, Legion goes on a date. He buys her drinks, and they ask each other questions about their secretive pasts. Of course, it’s hilarious because Legion’s dead brothers give commentary, and it’s also touching (seriously, my eyes got wet) as she talks about the love she felt for her family.

For all that, I give it *****4.7 stars****

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Here’s my review for the next book, Stranger Sins (#4)

3 replies on “Strange Things Are Happening”

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