Monday, April 27, 2015

Steven James: Fury

By Kelly Bridgewater

From Amazon
Back Cover Copy:

The disturbing visions that helped Daniel Byers solve a deadly mystery have finally quieted, and the sixteen-year-old basketball star is looking forward to things settling back to normal. But when his father mysteriously disappears, Daniel realizes that the key to finding his dad rests in deciphering his chilling hallucinations.
Soon, long-buried secrets begin to surface, revealing clues that could help him locate his father. But as the past collides with the present and reality begins to blur around him, Daniel faces a race against time to save his dad before it’s too late.

My Thoughts:

Steven James is my all-time favorite writer. I was first introduced to him when I was wandering the library aisles and needed something to read. I knew the majority of the Christian publishing company names, so I was browsing the spines. I came across The Rook. It was printed by Revell, and the book was pretty thick. I slid it out and read the synopsis on the back. Sounded good. I took it home and devoured it in one day. Looking on-line, I saw there was two more out and another one about to come out. I rushed back to the library and checked out the other two and read them in the next two days. With James’ second Young Adult novel, Fury, I am still not disappointed in his writing.

James proves why he is a great storyteller. He captures my attention from the first word and doesn’t let go. I anxiously turn the page, wrapped up in the blanket of the story, waiting to find out what happens next. James is a master at throwing his character under the bus with twists and occurrences that I didn’t see coming. Fury is no expectation.

James’s main heroes are characters who are rememberable. Fury is told in the third-person point of view, so I felt like I was running alongside David, trying to keep up and figure out what happened to his father. With Patrick Bowers, Jevin Banks, and David Byers, James strives to create realistic, flawed, and intelligent characters who I can relate to.

Just as conflict and characters are important, the author’s writing must be exceptional to keep me focused. James has a skill at describing places that seem normal to me, but he shows me what he wants me to focus on to draw attention to the decaying of a building or the sleek lines of a research lab. He captives my imagination, sparking the surroundings to take over my home and place me in the center of a field, glancing toward the dilapidated barn and the shell of the house. Along those lines, he shows the weather, making me feel the cold and stillness of winter. James is great at using short sentences to grab my attention, begging me to turn to the next page. The dialogue and prose from David sound like a sixteen-year-old boy. Never once doubted his age.

Another writing aspect that I notice James does is find some really unknown aspect of science and throws it in mostly every book. He did it in the Patrick Bowers and Jevin Banks series too. In Fury, James introduces me to the idea of chronobiology, which is making someone experience hundreds of years in less time. I always learn something new while reading his books.

Fury is a completely original and unpredictable book because I had no idea who the villain was. As James dragged out the final scene, allowing me to see who the villain was, I wanted to flip the pages faster to find out who it was. When he/she walked onto the page, I gasped. Didn’t see that coming. This book will appeal to fans of Steven James’s writing, from the Patrick Bowers series (LOVE them) to Jevin Banks to Blur, the first book in this Young Adult series. I read the entire book in four hours, could not put it down. Another hit for Steven James.

A word of caution for there are a number of violent occurrences when David flashes out, such as a demon, worms burrowing into the skin, and an incident with a hand in a garbage disposal. I would allow my teenager to read this book, but that’s just me.

For the spiritual element, the discussion of God and demons come up in a conversation between two sixteen year olds. It is natural and sounds like the curiosity of two teenagers, trying to figure out how the world and faith collide. Not preachy.

As with all Steven James’s novels, there are plenty of chills and a hint of mystery that will keep readers glued to the page. While the blurs that are taunting David are creepy, readers will not be left without hope or moments of glee. But be prepared for an ending that will leave the readers wishing the third book was at hand.

I received a complimentary copy of Fury from Skyscape Publishing and the opinions stated are all my own.  

My Rating:  5 out of 5 stars

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