Title: The Fury (The Fury #1)
Author: Alexander Gordon Smith
Publisher: Farrar, Straus & Giroux
Released: 23rd July 2013
Rating: 3 of 5 stars
First of all, can we just talk about that cover? I love how unashamedly creepy it is (though if it's too creepy and you favour something slightly more traditional, you can see the 2012 edition). I didn't really know what to expect going into this, and I haven't read anything else by this author, although from what I understood his works have generally been well-received. What I got, then, was a solid read that actually offered something a little different.
Life was normal for Cal, Brick and Daisy until everyone suddenly turned on them for no reason. Family, friends, complete and utter strangers - literally everyone is after them, mindlessly attacking them, wanting nothing but their deaths. This is the Fury. In their struggle to find out what's happening, the three of them realise they're not the only ones - that there are others who for some reason have also become potential victims. But as they find out the truth, it becomes clear that they are in a war, and the power of their enemy means they all may well end up dead.
I said before I didn't know what to expect when I started this. I didn't expect it to be creepy; I didn't expect it to be dark. I certainly didn't expect the kind of ideas and world that are explored here. Smith brings to life an engaging storyline and actually succeeds in making this chilling at specific moments. I really liked his concept, finding his take on certain aspects to be different from the usual. The synopsis doesn't give much away, and I think that's a good thing. What I would comment on, however, is the length. If there is one thing about this book, it is that it is so incredibly long. In all fairness, I was short on time when reading this, but even so, I never felt a need to keep reading fully, so I did end up skimming chunks of it.
The Fury is told from multiple perspectives. Cal, Brick and Daisy are the three main protagonists, but there are also some extra perspectives as well. The range of characters here were, I felt, true to life: some with weaker personalities, some stronger, brought to light by the harsh circumstances. Smith played with my emotions here somewhat; at the start, when I read from Brick's point of view, I was interested in reading more of it. Yet when it came to Cal, I didn't really feel anything. But the more I read, the more I came to dislike Brick and actually really like Cal. Not only that, I liked some of the relationships developed here. All of these characters started out as complete strangers to one another, and yet they start to take protective roles - Cal with Daisy, younger than him by several years, and Daisy with Adam, younger than her again. Some of this was really sweet to see, which unfortunately could not be said of other characters I could mention - but again, isn't this representative of life?
The Fury is quite a dark book and also somewhat emotional at times...particularly with that ending. It was an excessively long book, but despite this, it was one that I truly enjoyed.