Review | Fear and Fury – Jamie Jackson

About the Book

Meet Megaera, Meg for short. She’s like Deadpool, except for funner.

For a girl with the power of fear the recruitment attempts from both sides are never-ending. A self-described not-a-hero, villain-leaning humanoid, Meg just wants to live her life, work her dead-end job and have everyone else (especially the heroes) leave her alone. But when a bigger fish who can turn superpowers back on their users enters the picture and threatens the person Meg loves the most (herself), she must turn to the last group of people she would admit she needs help from. 

Forced to team up with the heroes she despises (but won’t murder, because let’s face it, orange is not the new black), Meg will have to face the choices from her past that she won’t get therapy for. Self-centered, snarky, sarcastic and a little bit dramatic, she’s going to have to save the world, even if that wasn’t her intention. And try not to get shot in the process. Because that shit hurts.

186 pages
Published on May 9, 2021
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I don’t even know. 

I mean, where do I start? 

You know how sometimes you read a book, and it kind of hits you like a punch to your solar plexus? It’s like that. 

Honestly, I couldn’t put this book down. If you want to talk about undiscovered diamonds, this is one of them. Fear and Fury really worked for me in absolutely every respect. As an added bonus, it’s not terribly long, which makes the whole getting-sucked-in thing that much more manageable. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I love getting sucked into books, but when you’re sucked into an 800 page book, that can dominate about a week of your time, if not more. If you get sucked into a book that’s about 200 pages long, it’s a lot less time you have to say, “Okay, I’ll do that, after just ONE MORE CHAPTER.” 

Meg is a character after my own heart. I related to her in so many ways, it was almost ridiculous. She basically has this uncanny ability to say all the stuff I routinely think. The fact that this is a first-person story allows me to get into her head in a way third-person wouldn’t have allowed me to, and that made reading about her an absolute thrill. Not only due to what she goes through and the events she finds herself in throughout the book, but also because her inner voice is just as caustic, if not more so, than what she shows to the world. I honestly felt like I’d met a kindred spirit. It was fantastic. 

Meg basically just wants to be left alone. She’s got powers, gifts that make her unique, and both the villain and hero side of the magical world want her to work with them. Meg, however, wants none of it. Her big life goal is to work her dead-end job as a customer service representative and keep her head down so eventually both the heroes and the villains forget about her. Though, it’s not that easy. Nothing is, right? 

I’m not a big superhero fan. I mean, I can get into them, but I don’t really go out of my way to enjoy superhero movies, books, or whatever else. It’s just not really my thing. So, to be honest with you, I was quite surprised by how much I ended up loving this book. Part of it was due to Meg herself. Her snarky, sarcastic, dramatic voice was fantastic. The stuff she says had me laughing out loud occasionally, and the stuff she thinks is… *chef’s kiss*. More than that, though, she’s complex. Sometimes it’s easy to overlook her complexities due to her hard façade, but she is a rather layered character. Though she never loses her sarcastic, biting voice, eventually you do begin to see a bit of her softer side, and her vulnerabilities.

It’s these complexities that make superheroes interesting, and it’s part of why superheroes tend to bore me. I think a lot of the time, when I run into stories featuring superheroes, so many of them tend to forget the human complexities that need to underscore the superhero persona in order to make it interesting, and Jackson never did that. In fact, Meg’s struggle to remain herself in the face of both the heroes and the villains trying to convert her to their side is evident from page one. Her reasons for desiring to stay independent are also obvious and elaborated upon. When things get hot, and Meg finds herself in danger and she is forced to make a choice, there’s personal sacrifice there. 

All of this made Meg interesting to me. The nuance and complications might be easy to overlook in the face of her louder-than-life persona, but they are there, and it made the entire book feel so much more real and balanced. Instead of someone in a lofty position raised up even further by unforeseen powers, here we have a sarcastic customer service representative—your everywoman, if you will—who just wants to be left alone and yet, can’t be. It was brilliant, and I loved it. 

Fear and Fury is a short-ish book. Clocking in a less than 200 pages, there’s a lot that needs to happen in a little amount of time, so the book is breakneck, and the writing speeds you along. Being inside Meg’s head makes the entire thing feel more personal, and the humor that infuses the book balances out the darker moments with bursts of sarcasm and light. 

With humorous dialogue, caustic wit, a unique twist to superhero lore, and an unforgettable protagonist, Fear and Fury grabbed me by the throat and wouldn’t let go. I had more fun with this book than should be allowed. 

5/5 stars