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The Fury by Alex Michaelides SPOILER REVIEW

Updated: Jan 9

Proceed at your own risk. Spoilers ahead!



As stated in my Reading Roundup Week 1post, I have lots of feelings about this book. I go deeper into those thoughts with some spoilers ahead. Do you have thoughts? I'd love to hear them! Comment below or hit me up in private message.


My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐.5

Goodreads Rating: 3.75


Genre: Mystery? Slooooowwww burn suspense?

Format: Audiobook ARC

Releases: January 16, 2024


I finished this audiobook a few days ago, and I'm still conflicted about how I feel.


I'll do my spoiler free pros and cons first:

PROS - This is a short read - under 300 pages and only 8 hours on audio, so if you are on the fence, you aren't spending too much time giving it a try. The chapters are super short, which also helps me fly through books. The narrator is a famous English actor, Alex Jennings, and he was lovely. I enjoyed his reading of the book, especially since it was written in first person.


I appreciate that Michaelides is playing around with the thriller genre format and organization (but I'm not sure it worked for me - more on that later). I've been loving the "rich people behaving badly" micro-genre lately, and this falls squarely in there. As the first chapter indicates, this is more of a Why-Done-It. The author spends the majority of the book going into the motivations and relationships between the characters.


CONS - My expectations going into this book based on the blurb were completely not what the book ended up being about. I think I may have liked it more if the pre-information I got was different. This is not a traditional locked room mystery although it does take place on an isolated Greek island with only 7 people (more information on that in the spoiler section).


This was also told in non-chronological order, so it was a mystery where the narrator/author reveals information when they want you to know it. It's not a drop clues and they were there the whole time kind of book. Although this was listed as a thriller - I would not consider it a thriller. It is slow-burn suspense - and I mean SLOW BURN. And it is more of a character study, like I said earlier.


SPOILERS AHEAD:

Playing around with Genre Expectations: Like I said, I appreciate that he is trying something new. I haven't read a book quite like this before. The narrator breaks the fourth wall often and talks directly to the reader. He is an aspiring playwriter and the book is set up into 5 Acts (parts) much like a play would be.


Michaelides also tells the story several times. The first time, he flies through the surface parts. Then he goes back and adds some more specific details to fill in some of the backstory. Then he goes back even further in time to detail some other parts and add even more "reveals" and then, you guessed it, he goes back AGAIN and adds the final twisty details to finish the book. Its almost like "here's the story. But actually, here's the story. But wait, this next reveal will change what you thought about the story. But wait there's even more you didn't know the first time." Again, I found it intriguing, but I'm not sure if it worked for me or not.


The biggest, spoileriest divergence from genre expectations is that the murder doesn't happen until literally the last sentence of the book (minus the epilogue - which IMO was a bit unnecessary overall). This part I did find fascinating - but it is what, imo, makes this NOT a locked room mystery (every one of the characters know who did it as soon as it happens) and also not a fast-paced thriller.


POV: This was told in first person POV in sort of a fictional memoir/tell-all. Meaning the events of the book have already happened and the narrator is telling the story after the fact. This works to a certain extent. However, there are some parts of the book that he describes when he is not actually present at the time those events take place. Is he speculating to make this a better story (he is an aspiring playwriter, like I said)? Did this information come out after the events and he was privy to them? It was never really clear and it bothered me a little. How does he know what these characters were thinking or feeling or doing if he wasn't there? Also, this is ANOTHER unreliable narrator trope. As soon as I see a thriller written in first person I don't trust a thing they are saying. Anyone else? This is absolutely the case here.


Characters: None of them, except maybe Leo and the Greek caretaker whose name I forget - Nikos?, are likable. I thought they were all caricatures of characters. Even Lana, who I think is supposed to be the sympathetic character, was a bit whiny and immature and pretentious. I honestly didn't really care which one was murdered, but it was interesting to see it unfold. I wasn't surprised by the ending, even though the characters were.


Overall - I'm probably going to be thinking about this one for a while and I obviously had a lot to say about it, so that is why it gets 3.75 stars from me. It was an interesting deviation from the normal novel structure. If you like Michaelides, you'll probably like this book (although it is very different from The Silent Patient).


So yeah - I'm not sure how to rate this. I do know that it will stick with me for a while, so that is a notch in it's favor.


Thank you to NetGalley, Alex Michaelides, and the publisher for allowing me to review this advanced copy of the audiobook.


📕52 Book Club 2024 Reading Challenge Prompts: #1 Locked Room Mystery (not in a traditional sense), #3 More Than 40 Chapters, #10 Told in Non-Chronological Order, #29 Published in the Year of the Dragon, #32 Time Frame Spans a Week or Less, #52 Published in 2024

📕Booklist Queen 2024 Reading Challenge Prompts: #5 Audiobook, #7 Unreliable Narrator, #9 With an Epilogue, #25 About Secrets, #28 Character Who is an Actor, #29 Recommended by a Podcast, #32 Set in a Small Town, #46 2024 New Release, #50 A Book Everyone is Talking About

Let me know what you think about this book or Alex Michaelides other books as well!



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