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Literary Braun

Review: The Fury

Nine times out of ten, I love Alexander Gordon Smith's writing. And I do mean love. Escape From Furnace is one of the best horror novels I've ever read (and I'm including both YA and adult fiction here) and remains one of my favourite book series of all time. The Devil's Engine is an utterly unique concept that I adore and am dying to see how it continues. Needless to say, I was pumped and eager to start, The Fury, a novel where Smith essentially gets to go insane (no pun intended) with whatever he wants. And while The Fury is certainly exciting, thrilling, and not at all what I was expecting, I felt a little disappointed by it. For me, it was little things left out or strange directions that left me feeling confused. Again, this is not a bad novel at all, and it in no way changes my complete adoration and respect for Smith. Sadly, this story just wasn't the one for me. 
 
This cover never fails to creep me out.
Imagine if one day, without warning, the entire human race turns against you. Every single person you meet becomes a bloodthirsty, mindless savage, hell-bent on killing you - and only you. 
 
Friends, family, even your mum and dad, will turn on you. They will murder you. And when they have, they will go back to their lives as if nothing has happened. The world has the Fury. It will not rest until you are dead. 
 
Cal, Brick and Daisy are three ordinary teenagers whose lives suddenly take a terrifying turn for the worst. They begin to trigger a reaction in everybody they meet, that makes friends and strangers alike want to tear them to pieces. These victims of the Fury - the ones that survive - manage to locate each other. But just when they think they have found a place to hide from the world, some of them begin to change ...
 
They must fight to uncover the truth about the Fury before it's too late. But it is a truth that will destroy everything they know about life and death.
 
***
The concept is one that's been used before in both books and film, but it's one that I always enjoy reading. I love reading about characters struggle against literally everything they've ever known. Friends becoming bitter, violent enemies makes for a shocking story, and I couldn't wait for the action to start. And it certainly does. One thing I love about Smith's writing is his ability to keep the action intense and visceral throughout a story. His descriptions make you feel like you're witnessing every horror, hearing every scream, smelling all the blood surrounding the characters. If you think that's a little disturbing, wait until you read his action scenes. You ain't seen nothing yet. 
 
The Fury starts with the world turning on its head for three main characters– Cal, Daisy, and Brick– and doesn't relent until... well, until the very end, basically. Not that that's a bad thing. It keeps the suspense going and brings us deeper into each scenario the characters encounter. Though I did worry that the action moved a little too quickly this time around. 
 
The characters are pretty good, each one completely different from the next yet able to bond on common ground and form a rag-tag family. Cal was the hero you can't help but love as he grows mature and protective, Daisy was the young girl who turned out to be stronger than she could have ever dreamed, and Brick was the surly jerk who slowly softened up, and there was a character named Rilke who had her whole life flipped on its head and quickly went mad.
 
And this is where The Fury started to lose me. When the big twist happens, I didn't see it coming at all. I want to say that it works, but it was so jarring that I had to take a moment to rationalize it all in my mind. From there, the scenes were a little easier to accept, but by the end battle, I felt it was a little too campy. And this is from someone who loves camp. I got why everything worked the way it did, but just couldn't get as involved as I wanted to be.
 
Now, these are nitpicks and personal opinions. All in all, The Fury is a solid horror story with visual descriptions that you won't soon forget. I recommend it to lovers of classic horror movies and novels, and to people who are willing to suspend their disbelief and let the story take them on a truly wild ride. 
 
Amy