Monday, October 29, 2012

Book Review The Fury and the Terror by John Farris

The Fury and The Terror by John Farris

***** Tor 512 pages

It has been to long since I read a John Farris novel, I am big enough fan that I have a dozen well worn paperbacks on my shelf with his name on them. This novel is the long awaited sequel to his 70’s classic The Fury. It was his biggest hit and Farris himself adapted the novel for Brian DePalma film that starred Amy Irving and Kirk Douglas.

I read the first novel many moons ago and thought I would have no trouble jumping into the sequel as I have seen the movie many times. First things first I forgot how much Farris and Depalma simplified the story for the movie. The movie was a sopy thriller about psychic spies and the father that tries to find his teenage son Robin who was kidnapped by the supernatural spy agency MORG.

Robin we learn has amazing psychic abilities that include mind control, telekinetics and the ability to create an astral doppleganger. He is not alone, he also has a psychic twin Gillian. The first novel is basically about the twins and their attempt to understand their power, the government spy agency that wants to exploit them.

This sequel takes place in 2001 after a nuclear bomb has blown up Portland Oregon. Yep, my town was blown up some time before the events of the novel takes place. In many ways I felt like you are thrown into this story having missed about 50 or so pages of story. I found myself checking a couple times to see if I had missed a book.

The story follows Gillian’s daughter Eden Waring, who was raised apart from her. As she is about to graduate from college she has not even discovered that she has the same power as her mother. While she has traveled in the astral plain during her dreams she had not become aware until she interrupts her graduation to warn the crowd of a plane (still miles away) is coming to crash on top of them.

It’s not just any plane, it’s a MORG plane taking the captured Avatar(most powerful psychic) back to their secret compound. The Avatar while seditated manages to cause the plane to crash and creates a situation that forces Eden out into the light. Hence a race begins between the various agencies and powerful people who want to control Eden.

Farris crafts a near perfect horror/ espionage thriller. There are several entries in this cross over subgenre including King’s Firestatrter( which has been called a weak rip-off of the Fury) and my favorite being Lumley’s early Necroscope novels. The strength of The Fury and the Terror is the political intrigue.

Rona Harvester, the first lady in the novel is a cold hearted but wonderfully composed villain. You just can’t stand her, but at the same time you can’t wait to see what she does next. Farris also created another powerful who is perfectly set up for the third book in the cross dressing showgirl assassin.

Of course the story includes an attempted coup, terrorist attacks, psychic warfare, astral projections, psychic doppelgangers and an out of control black funded government spy agencies. Great stuff.

Farris remains a graceful story teller, I am glad he returned to the Fury, a story that deserved a sequel and I am glad to say he did it justice.

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