Fury: Book One of the Cure collects three novella-sized episodes into a complete novel and story arc. The writing is assured and full of pathos – perfect for those who like a strong dose of mature angst in their dystopian novels. At its heart, this is a romance – but one without over-the-top sentimentality, over-fantasized leads, or happy endings. All the main characters are quite broken by this society and each will piece each other back together – sometimes fatally. This is a very New Adult and not Young Adult title; and is all the better for that distinction.
Story: For 2-3 days every year, 19 year old Josephine changes, turning into a killing monster of anger and destruction. She has managed to fly under the radar for the last several years, escaping from a series of horrifying foster home situations in her early teens and living off the streets. For in this world, most adults have been ‘cured’ – given a remedy to keep emotions in check and especially control anger. But clearly things have not gone as planned for the Cured – many die, some become ‘zombie’ like creatures called furies, and others face a life as a detached drone. Then one day Josephine is approached by a man named Luke – older, more mature, and surprisingly willing to help the suicidal girl. But things are not as they seem for either person – and saving a girl who temporarily turns into a death machine may seem like the right thing to do in a very wrong world.
There is just enough world building to keep the mystery but not leave a reader mystified. And certainly, enough to keep one very curious about answers to come in the next book. From the premise, one might assume this is a derivative of Lauren Oliver’s Delirum series. Certainly, there are a few superficial similarities; however, Fury is the adult answer to Delirum – a more mature, believable, and robust storyline with richer characters and a lot more emotion. Oddly enough, I was also greatly reminded of another YA dystopian – Teherah Mafi’s Shatter Me. Again, although similar, the depth of emotion and believability of storyline are much richer in Fury. best of all, no psychic abilities.
The story is told through three POVs: Josephine, Luke, and Anthony (her psychiatrist at the asylum). Each bring a unique viewpoint to the story and all three are very needed with none of it feeling overwritten. All three have suffered in the society yet responded in very different but very believable ways. What really worked for me in the story is how the ‘Cure’ was so unpredictable from person to person – and how it dulled, confused, or exacerbated reactions and emotions. Characters behaved in shocking ways that made complete sense within the framework of the world that McConaghy has written. The author clearly didn’t just put “cured people are dull and unemotional” and leave it at that.
As noted, this is a romance and I have to admit, I fell hook, line, and sinker for it. I don’t usually rave about the love interest (too often he will be either an over idealized knight or lovesick puppy) but I love the character of Luke. He had just the right amount of faults and positives, weaknesses and strengths. And for once, his POV made perfect sense and didn’t ruin any of the appeal. As well, there’s no drag in the middle as the couple get to know each other. The POVs were very cleverly written to keep interest throughout.
I am rating this a strong four stars instead of five due to a few small quibbles about plot points that didn’t necessarily work for me. A few will likely be explained in future novels. .
Reviewed from an ARC.