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Fury

The Fury - Alexander Gordon Smith This review and others are posted at Inspiring Insomnia.

At nearly 700 pages, The Fury is a monster of a book - nearly as monstrous as the image on the cover. Unfortunately, before I was even halfway through, I was close to tearing my hair out. Just end already!!! I think this book may turn off readers who are drawn in by the cover and the synopsis. You may think you're getting a zombie story, but partway through this massive tome, the story suddenly turns supernatural, and I quickly lost interest. This particular supernatural aspect (which I won't spoil) is one that repels many readers. I'm not one of them, but I had a problem making the leap between the two.

The Fury started with a promising premise and some truly frightening moments. Imagine that you're going about your business, maybe eating lunch in a cafeteria. You sense a change in the people around you. You look around, and everyone is staring at you. And they're furious. And then, friend and stranger alike, they charge you and attempt to kill you. Just as suddenly, they stop the attack, with no memories of their actions. There were several scenes like this in the book, and they were all written so well and vividly.

The Fury follows several unconnected characters who are victims of these odd episodes. What is different about the victims that makes them susceptible to these attacks, and what is causing them to occur? I was so curious to learn the answers, and Smith did a great job of sustaining the fear and tension. The characters to whom this is occurring eventually connect after finding each other by posting about the phenomenon on message boards. What??? No Twitter? Folks, in the unlikely event that this should ACTUALLY occur, allow me to suggest: #HelpMeMyFriendsAndFamilyAreTryingToKillMeHowAboutYou. Problem solved.

When the characters finally meet up in person, and they begin to figure out what's causing this murderous behavior, the suspense deflated like a sad balloon. This is the point where the supernatural comes in, and while I'm a fan of the genre, it just didn't work for me here. It was no longer frightening, it seemed a little silly, and again, it was just LONG.

People who go in, as I did, expecting a zombie story, may not enjoy the sudden twist. I appreciate that the publisher doesn't want to spoil the plot, but perhaps dialing back a bit on the zombie references in the synopsis (like "bloodthirsty") might help. And I can't help but laugh at the cover I've included above. This was the cover that was shown in Netgalley. I actually prefer an alternate cover shown on GR. It doesn't scream ZOMBIE, and I think it hints at the actual nature of the book, without being spoiler-y.

So, what do you think? Is the nearly 700 page length a turn-off, considering the big twist that shakes everything up?

Note: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.