Review: The Fury by Alexander Gordon Smith

July 25, 2013 2 - 2.5 Stars, Alexander Gordon Smith, Paranormal, Too long, Zombies 4 ★★

The Fury by Alexander Gordon Smith
Series: The Fury # 1
Published by Farrar Straus & Giroux on July 23, 2013
Genres: Paranormal, Zombies
Pages: 688
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
From the creator of the Escape from Furnace series, a ferocious epic of supernatural terror, perfect for Stephen King fans

Imagine if one day, without warning, the entire human race turns against you, if every person you know, every person you meet becomes a bloodthirsty, mindless savage . . . That’s the horrifying reality for Cal, Brick, and Daisy. Friends, family, even moms and dads, are out to get them. Their world has the Fury. It will not rest until they are dead.

In Alexander Gordon Smith’s adrenaline-fueled saga, Cal and the others must uncover the truth about what is happening before it destroys them all. But survival comes at a cost. In their search for answers, what they discover will launch them into battle with an enemy of unimaginable power.
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 this alternate cover below 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?

Review posted at Goodreads.

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


4 Responses to “Review: The Fury by Alexander Gordon Smith”

  1. Kristen Williams

    Some aspects of this sound SO interesting! I wonder how it would have been cut down a bit or maybe expanded into two books. Is it a series? I like the GR cover! I laughed so hard at your twitter suggestion 🙂

  2. Kim

    I had no idea it was 700 pages! Wow, that’s so long. Is it wrong that that factor alone completely turns me off? Why would a book need to be that long, unless you’re Stephen King? (And even then … does it really need to be like that?) It sounds like this one doesn’t pack enough power to actually go on for 700 pages. I would be disappointed to find out that there are no zombies either. I get why the publisher wouldn’t want to spoil that, but … zombies and paranormal things are pretty separate, you know? Zombies are zombies.

  3. Rose Hudson

    This is on my TBR list. I’ve read the first 2 books of his Lockdown series, which I loved because of and despite the fact that they terrified me. I was not expecting this one to be 700 pages! That’s rather excessive, if you ask me. I don’t think I could handle 700 pages of his writing style.

  4. Mada Sch

    I have no problem with the length of the book, and it really *does* sound interesting – I like supernatural-based novels. And I agree with Kristen, your Twitter joke cracked me up.

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