It’s winter break in Ascension, Maine. The snow is falling and everything looks pristine and peaceful. But not all is as it seems...
Between cozy traditions and parties with her friends, Emily loves the holidays. And this year’s even better—the guy she’s been into for months is finally noticing her. But Em knows if she starts things with him, there’s no turning back. Because his girlfriend is Em’s best friend.
On the other side of town, Chase is having problems of his own. The stress of his home life is starting to take its toll, and his social life is unraveling. But that’s nothing compared to what’s really haunting him. Chase has done something cruel...something the perfect guy he pretends to be would never do. And it’s only a matter of time before he’s exposed.
In Ascension, mistakes can be deadly. And three girls—three beautiful, mysterious girls—are here to choose who will pay. Em and Chase have been chosen.
Elizabeth Miles grew up in Chappaqua, New York, not far from New York City. She graduated from Boston University in 2004, and has worked ever since as a journalist for an alternative newsweekly. She has been honored by the New England Press Association and the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies. Elizabeth serves on the board of trustees of Portland Players, a community theater and second home. She loves pizza; she can often be found running around on stage while scantily clad; and a cold winter night in Maine is one of the creepiest and most beautiful things she can think of. Fury is Elizabeth’s first novel.
1.5 stars The pitch for this book is fabulous, and it's easy to see why it got the green light: a group of beautiful girls, loosely based on the Greek Furies, punishes teenagers for their indiscretions. Add to that an insanely gorgeous cover using a model with glorious red hair in a flowing dress, and most people are going to be irresistibly drawn to it. I know I was. Even now when I look at this beautiful girl on the cover, I want so badly to forgive her for her toxic contents. But I can't do it, my lovely girl. I just can't.
The marketing package is actually very misleading. From the synopsis and cover art, I expected a fairly typical paranormal YA novel, but what's inside is actually much closer to horror-lite. Emily and Chase are both doing naughty, naughty things during winter break, and most of the book follows one drawn-out example after the other of all the dirty little things that kids can get up to. Emily's lusting after her best friend's boyfriend Zach. Chase is constantly looking for his next hook-up and may have been involved in the death of a girl last year. Pretty much all the teens in this town have some sort of sin to atone for, with the exception of the near-saintly, handy-car-service-provider J.D.
The Furies themselves are mostly just...pretty. Seriously, there is more time spent on descriptions of their physical beauty and their clothes and the red orchids they leave behind than on any real attempt to teach anyone a lesson. Because their lessons mostly involve luring people to their deaths, which isn't really helpful to anyone. Sure, the women in the original myths meted out death like candy, but they were also monstrously ugly and their stories were really short. If you're going to expect us to sit through several hundred pages of relentless pursuit and punishment, there has to be some sort of sympathetic quality in the main characters or some sort of redemption or justice in their deaths. And while it's true that nearly every boy in this book is a jerk and nearly every girl acts like a bitch (at least at some point) and the things these kids do are despicable, none of them are things they should actually be killed for.
The writing is inexpert (most of the back story and many events are just told, not shown), the dialogue is uninspired, the story is pretty sketchy and not very well structured, the characters are one-dimensional and mostly there to drive the plot, and the whole set-up just does not work. Why aren't these girls going after kids who have abused animals or pushed someone down the stairs or something like that? Because those scenarios aren't that sexy, that's why. This book is much more interested in exploring cheap, tawdry tricks and melodramatic or titillating scenarios including: (SPOILERS BELOW)
* A boy who casually cruises for hook-ups, timing his appearance at an event so girls have had enough time to get drunk so it helps him score
* A girl who makes out with her best friend's boyfriend, and is caught with her top and bra off (fresh from a shopping trip to Victoria's Secret, of course) by a fellow classmate
* Words like "cock-block" and "slut" are casually thrown around
* Drunk driving and texting
* Numerous near-death events
* Girls throwing coffee in the faces of other girls
There is scene after scene of public humiliation, constant drinking, and disgusting behavior all around. I also despise the use of the word "faggot" for the sake of fluff entertainment, even if the people using it clearly aren't supposed to be.
There is a marginally interesting event towards the end which is clearly the set-up for the next book, but overall, this first installment in the series has very little to recommend it. The only time I've ever felt as turned off by the events in a book or as questioning of its redemptive value is when I went through the equally off-putting House of Night series, although *grits teeth* even that paranormal set-up was complex compared to this one.
I'm sure that like House of Night, this series is going to have its share of fans, however. I personally found Fury to be nothing short of infuriating.
This review also appears in The Midnight Garden. An advance copy was provided by the publisher.
ETA: Readers who are interested in a great YA version of the Greek Furies myth would do well to check out Shirley Marr's Fury, a superbly plotted, well-written, and darkly funny interpretation of this story.
Emily ist ein 16-jähriges Highschool-Mädchen aus Maine. Ihr Leben verläuft relativ normal, doch dann verliebt sie sich in Zach. Das ist ein Problem, denn Zach ist der Freund ihrer besten Freundin Gabby. Dann ist da noch Chase. Er hat sich auch verliebt - in Ty. Niemand kennt das Mädchen, es ist plötzlich einfach aufgetaucht. Doch irgendetwas ist seltsam an ihr. Und dann gerät alles irgendwie außer Kontrolle... * Meine Meinung Mir hat das Buch sehr gut gefallen! Es lässt sich sehr leicht und flüssig lesen dank des angenehmen, einem Jugendbuch angepassten Schreibstils. Die Figuren kommen mir authentisch vor. Zwar gibt es für die Mädchen scheinbar nur die Themen Jungs, Klamotten und Partys, aber es wirkt auf mich durchaus echt. Auch kann ich die Handlungen nachvollziehen. Ich fand es manchmal recht unheimlich und gruselig, und gelangweilt habe ich mich beim Lesen des Buches auf keiner Seite. Einzig eine Szene am Ende des Buches kam mir ein wenig unlogisch vor. Es geht um die Szene in der Baugrube. Mehr möchte ich hier dazu lieber nicht verraten für diejenigen, die das Buch selbst noch lesen möchten. Insgesamt hat mich die Geschichte auf jeden Fall sehr gut unterhalten, und ich freue mich nun schon sehr auf den zweiten Teil!
Em is an asshole. There's no way around it, she's weak and selfish and utterly insensitive. She tries to justify her unjustifiable actions using the Tru Wuvv Defense, but unfortunately for her, there has never yet been a convincing reason for cheating on your best friend with her boyfriend. Especially when your best friend is (shockingly) not secretly an evil bitch but a normal girl who loves you.
On the other hand, there's Chase.
Chase, while frustrating, is also by far the most interesting character in the entire book. He's got edge, but he's also a normal teenage boy with normal emotions, and all the attendant stupidity that comes of living too little and feeling too much.
Fury is an interesting story ruined by unlikeable characters. Elizabeth Miles has potential — her writing is atmospheric, and just the right amount of creepy. She manages to set the stage for the entry of the vengeful Furies in a very unusual manner. The concepts are strong, the style is decent, but the MC's characterization could use some work... and the romance(s) suck.
The book is an interesting exposé on the far from perfect lives of a bunch of teenagers in Ascension, Maine. But all their dirty little secrets suddenly begin to have consequences greater than they could ever imagine when three mysterious girls come to town, and change all the rules.
Em is in love with her best friend's boyfriend. She thinks he likes her back too, but it's not until Gabby goes away for a holiday that she finds herself suddenly involved with Zach. She's doing a terribly wrong thing, of course, but it's true love, y'all and you know what they say about love and war... But the thing is, I can never, ever connect to that sort of infidelity. Not only are you helping someone cheat on their girlfriend, but said girlfriend happens to be your best friend from childhood on? Yeah, not happening. And to top it all off, she treats her other best friend, the saintly JD, like complete shit. She uses and discards him at her convenience, ignores any opinions he has, throws a tantrum every time he says something she doesn't like, brushes him off when he tries to declare his feelings, and then, at the point where her other romantic interest falls apart, suddenly decides he's the perfect man for her!
No. Just no. This is not cool. This is so far beyond not cool, it's hell. There is literally no redeeming characteristic to Emily, and that is one of the main reasons this book gets only three stars. She is definitely going on my list of Most Unlikeable Heroines.
But Chase. For me, Chase made this book. I would happily have read the entire book from his POV. Miles writes a convincing boy perspective, which is pretty damn hard. Chase runs with the rich, popular crowd, but he's the odd man out, and he knows it. He lives with his mother in a trailer park, and tries very hard to keep his social and home lives separate. He's haunted by his lack of money, and desperate to fit in and stay cool, but when a beautiful compelling girl appears in his life, he finds everything spinning out of control, and the harder he tries to make things better, the worse it all spirals out of control.
I liked the fact that Chase has this huge secret hanging over his head, but you don't so much as get a clue as to why he's being stalked by the Furies until the very end.
The pacing of the book slows down considerably at times. It takes a long time for the pieces to come together, and a lot of plot points are left open-ended. In some books, I don't mind, but in this one, it was annoying. I also never got why em was so fatalistic about the Furies stalking her. It's human nature to want to pass the blame, right? Then why does she never, not once, ask why she's the only target while Zach, the serial cheater, gets off? That particular hole nagged at me for the longest time, and not even the ending of the book satisfied me.
A lot of characters also appear randomly without explanation. How does Drea know about the Furies? And why? For most of the book, she's hardly even support cast, but she gets a starring role in the last few chapters? The disconnect of that jerked me out of the story, as did the fact that Gabby so quickly and easily reverted to status quo with Em, even if she didn't entirely forgive her.
All in all, it was a good ride, but not the best I've ever taken. I may read the next book if it comes my way, but I'm not going to be waiting with bated breath for it to appear. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>
My neighbor saw me reading this, and then asked me what the book was about. So, I looked down and realized that I was halfway through it...and had no idea. And that just about sums up the entire experience.
I thought this was going to be a book about the Furies. Perhaps we would get to see things from their perspective? Maybe we would learn more about them? But no. It's a book about punishing naughty teenagers. Told from their perspective.
And why? Why were these two kids naughtier than the everyone else? What did they do that was soooo bad? Did they kill someone and hide the body?! Nope. The girl fooled around with her BFF's boyfriend, and the boy posted some personal stuff about another girl on Facebook. So, sure. It makes sense that the @!~#ing Furies would show up to exact revenge on them. Well, in some alternate retarded universe, it makes perfect sense. I can suspend disbelief with the best of them, but you gotta give me some reason to do it. Maybe if these kids' ancestors had done something horrible, and they were already on the radar? Maybe the Furies were somehow connected to the victims...? Something! I just couldn't buy it. There's a chance that since this is a trilogy, there could be some explanation coming in the next two books. But guess what? Correct! You get a gold star! I won't be reading the next one.
In Hell Girl, a mysterious girl named Ai Enma appeared in front of mortals and gained their wish by sending their hated enemies to Hell, but in return of Ai's service, her clients would also be sent to Hell once their own lives came to an end.
In the world of Hell Girl, nothing is black and white. Throughout the anime, we learn the dilemma of revenge, hatred, grudge, justice, and why people are driven to seek revenge despite of the grave consequence. (of course some people do seek out Hell Girl's service for silly reasons or send the wrong person to Hell, but all of these people live long enough to regret their mistakes)
In Fury, three mysterious, beautiful girls goes into town, and what's their purpose? They're bringing justice for a girl who was driven to commit suicide, and they're going to publish "sinners" for their wrong doing.
The first problem I have with those Furies is, why are they there in the first place? why they have to target that two teenagers in the book? Okay, nearly have sex with your best friend's boyfriend and help bullying a girl is certainly bad, but why would these "sinners" deserve the special attention from deities/mystical supernatural creatures? Just because the author said so!? Aren't there bigger fishes in the sea? Aren't there eviler sinners deserve to be punished?
And then I have problem with how those Furies "punished" the sinners, posting their photos of humiliation online isn't a cool, fair way to punish them. It only makes you look like you're some highschool bullies who have nothing better to do than bullying and laughing at people.
Comparing with Fury, the ways Hell Girl deals with grudges, and how she punishes the sinners, makes 100% more sense.
As to the main characters, none of them are likable, interesting nor sympathetic in the tiniest of sense. I will get to them one by one:
Emily: I want to like her, there're many traits in her personality that I'd have liked, I really do want to like her. But no, she's too damn stupid and naive. Plus her nick name "Em" is kind of silly, too.
Chase: A kid from a humble background who tried his best to fit into the "in-group" and be one of the popular kids. A character like this can become an understandable, sympathetic one. But no, again he turns out to be selfish and stupid, thinks-with-his-dick-instead-of-his-brain kind of stupid, and so far I don't find much in him for me to sympathize with.
Zach: Em's love interest, but oh goodness, this guy is simply bad news. He's even more selfish than Chase, far more selfish than anyone else in the book actually; plus he's a total jerk who goes behind his girlfriend's back to make out with her best friend. And not once he seems to feel guilty about it!
Sasha: A girl who was bullied by her schoolmates and committed suicide at the very beginning of the book. But whatever sympathy I may have for her vanished quickly once I learnt she called Chase a "trailer trash" in the past.
The Furies: Now I want to move to my next point: Those Furies seem to be a bunch of hypocrites who punished people with double standards. If Chase is guilty for help bullying Sasha, why wouldn't the other bullies be equally as guilty? If Emily is guilty for cheating with her best friend's boyfriend, then why wouldn't Zach be punished for the same offend? Why, just why?
***MAJOR PLOT SPOILER***Okay, in the end it looks like Zach is going to get what he deserves, but again, what makes him, Chase and Emily deserve the Furies' attention when there're many many people else who might just as guilty as they are, if not more?***END OF SPOILER***
The main problem I have with those Furies is that (1) They seem to be making a sport out of punishing sinners, there's nothing just and fair in their actions, (2) They use the sinners' compassion and kindness to punish and humiliate them, I don't think it's okay which makes these Furies nothing better than the sinners they're punishing.
I read from the interview with Ms. Miles at the back of the book that Ms. Miles enjoys Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver. I am not surprised because Fury does share some similarities with Before I Fall, but the difference is, Ms. Oliver managed to make her characters and her themes work for her, but it isn't the same case with Ms. Miles's Fury.
Remember Death Note? It's another anime/manga series that makes 100% more sense than Ms. Mile's Fury.
*sighs* So what should I do? I can't root for anyone in the book, I can't root for the Furies either, and the few characters who actually look likable and have common sense are barely there in the story. What a total letdown!
Plus, if you asked me; I would say everyone in the book except maybe JD (Emily's guy best friend), is all so full of shits that they should suffer and die a horrible death the same like those students do in Carrie.
Burn! Burn! Burn! You petty little freakers! Burn!
One hell of a frustrating book, and a poorly planned one in it! Stay away for your own good, people. Even though the cover really is glorious.
I was once again hoodwinked by another book with a striking cover. I know. I know. I should have learned my lesson with Carrier of the Mark. But let's face it: Fury's cover is really attractive. On the cover, the girl with the flaming red hair had a sly smile on her face as if she knows a secret that I don't. What can I say, cover got me curious. It drew me to read this book. I wanted to grab the book and devour its contents. The cover was beautiful. Catchy. We have to admit that most of the time we read a book because of the cover. We look at the synopsis later after the cover already caught our attention. I am guilty of that. Sadly, most of the books I've read recently that had beguiling covers were disappointing. And this book was one of them.
Aside from the cover another thing that made me want to read this book is its Greek Myth touch. I thought it would be as good as Starcrossed. Unfortunately, it was not! This book as a disaster. The only thing I liked about the book was the cover. The Furies myth that was in this book was lame. The characters were pathetic except for JD was the only decent person in this book.
The story mostly revolved around Em and Chase. Em was struggling with her feelings toward her best friend's boyfriend. Chase was obsessing over a beautiful girl he barely even knew. Both of them did something bad and now the Furies wanted them to pay. They want vengeance. The other one gets killed while the other one has to make a decision: to be tied forever with the Furies or let another person die.
God! This book was horrible. If it wasn’t for the pretty cover I would have rated this book a one. I hated how it all seemed very Gossip Girl to me with a touch three goddesses who seek vengeance for people's wrong doing and it gives you Fury! Em fooled around with her best friend's boyfriend while she was away (wasn’t that like Serena and Nate sleeping together without Blair knowing about it?) Chase was looking for a girl to sleep with. (Chuck Bass is that you?)
One of the main issues I've had with this book was its characters. They were so f*cked up! Especially Em! Em was the type of character I hate. She has this nobody-loves-me character. She was selfish. Insensitive. Her best friend Gabby loved her so much but what did she get in return? Em hooked up with her boyfriend while she was away. That just sucks. Em you suck! You don’t do that to your friend.
"But sometimes she felt like Zach deserved someone a little bit deeper than Gabby. Someone a little more like Em."
This line just drew the line for me. How could you even think that way? That boy is your best friend's boyfriend. HELLO?! Do you even have a heart? Did you even think how your best friend would feel? And she even thought Gabby would understand. I mean come on! Who in the right mind would be okay after you find out that your best friend hooked up with your boyfriend? Get a SHRINK Em! You're totally distrurbed. She was a selfish little b*tch! Sorry but that's really how I see her. There wasn’t even a part in this book that redeemed her of that imagine. What makes matters worse was how she could quickly jump from Zach to JD. My GOD that was so low!
Then, there's Chase. I think he was pretty okay but I still found him so stupid for obsessing over someone he barely knew. A pretty girl shows interest and he thinks he's in love. He was like a lost puppy every time he doesn’t hear from her. Pathetic. Look where that has gotten you Chase?!
This was just a sad, sad book. The author's writing was actually pretty good. The concept was good. Pretty much it was the characters that ruined everything. Also, there were a lot of loose endings like why did Drea know about the Furies and why just Em and Chase first? I mean what Em did wasn’t so bad but why her? Why not someone else who killed people? Those were somehow still a mystery to me.
I would have to give this book a 2 mainly because of the cover and the Greek-myth touch even though it wasn’t really elaborated.
I really thought I would love "Fury." I usually strongly dislike paranormal reads, but this sounded like Courtney Summers' "Some Girls Are" with a lovely nasty twist. Instead, it is a bland, irritating, anticlimatic mess.
She cheats with her best friend's boyfriend. She constantly tries to use the Trueeeee Loveeeee excuse as a good reason why she should fuck around behind her best friend's back, but frankly, it doesn't wash with me. Her problems are all such fucking First World Problems - she's rich, she's popular, she has a beloved best friend and a male best friend who might become something more...oh, come on, what planet are we all from? Of course it eventually becomes something more. He's an Unlucky Childhood Friend she mostly ditches to be popular. But somehow we're supposed to sympathise with her? Now, I've sympathised with a lot worse. Regina Afton from "Some Girls Are" is worse. Hamish from "Violence 101" is a lot worse. Sethe from "Beloved" is a lot worse. And yet I feel nothing but love for these horrible, complex characters. There is absolutely no complexity to Em. One of the things I sorta like about the "Furies" myth is watching someone who may or may not deserve it get their comeuppance, where we can watch and ask if it's too much or not enough. "Some Girls Are" is like that - she's the kind of character that you want to see suffer, but as her suffering becomes darker and deeper, you start wondering - does she really deserve this? 'Fury' is nothing like that.
Both of the lead characters are goddamn repetitive. I want to slap Emily across the face for her idiotic behaviour regarding Zach. But, worst of all, there is absolutely zero tension. None. Nothing. Not at any point was I worried about what would happen to Emily and Chase; okay, it's in third person, but neither of them have any distinctive voices or original thought. To be honest, I think this should have been in first person to invest us in Chase and Emily's experiences. Other than that, I just felt really distant from them. The creepiness was all so...half-hearted to me. Especially the stuff with the red flower. None of it really made me afraid, and I am the easiest person in the entire universe to scare. Also, don't the Furies have slightly better people to track down? Chase I can understand (it is the kind of crime the Furies would pursue you for - they particularly liked going after men who had wronged women), but Emily??? You're telling me that a girl who almost slept with her BFF's boyfriend (for some reason, Miles makes it very clear that they do not have sex or even get below the waistline) is as bad as, I don't know, unpunished rapists or serial killers?
The 'paranormal' elements are incredibly weak and kind of thrown out there. Other than them, this seems like a very half-baked contemporary novel; because of the bloated writing and Emily's third-person distance from us, her mental breakdown is poorly written, because all that happens is that she's given a flower over and over. And her best friend finds out about her kissing her boyfriend. That's pretty much it, until the final ten pages - which earned it the half star for giving me a genuine surprise, in the line "come with me if you want to live." That went in a place I genuinely didn't expect, but J.D.'s fate after that made me drop it down from the 2 stars I would have given it if Miles had had the guts to follow through.
The Furies are just pretty. There's no more depth to them really. A lot of time is devoted to how shiny and pretty they are, but that's about it. There's no particular fear or tension there because they just seem like slightly malicious Barbie dolls. They have no depth and, for characters apparently so sexy, there's absolutely NOTHING between Ty and Chase. And Miles really needs to take a few lessons in show v. tell: we never really see Emily's parents ignoring her, but she tells us that they do about fifteen times, which weakens this (I suppose?) Freudian excuse to the point where it just about falls apart, as does most of the characters' 'depth.'
Speaking of which: Chase. If Chase was a girl, we would have our new Bella Swan on our hands. Ty is an obnoxious cardboard cutout and, guys, because there must be some of the male pursuasion reading this: do all men really think so exclusively with their penises? Ty REPEATEDLY humiliates the supposedly quite intelligent Chase - once by standing him up, then posting pictures of him 'begging' her to everyone, THEN finally posting naked pictures of him which ruin his reputation and (in standard teen-angst mode) HIS LIEF! I'm kidding, Goodreaders, I know that having naked pictures posted of yourself all over the school is a truly terrible move. BUT SERIOUSLY. He is the biggest effing moron that ever lived when it comes to Ty. Though they do not seem to have done anything physical (although he has seen her naked), he will go after her to a bridge? He was just such a doormat that I felt myself pulling my hair out by the roots. If his emotional dependence on Ty had been built up a bit better with a more psychological focus (all those references to a 'wanting', which apparently traces back to his alcohol father - what the hell? - never extend past the sexual and there's no depth to it whatsoever.
And therein lies my problem with Fury. It's the poster child for the book you would hold up to show that YA literature is superficial, childish, shock over substance and full of pathetic, angsty, immature and irresponsible characters. There is nothing scary or edgy about it. You should know that I don't believe anything of those things and I'm a huge advocate for the importance of YA. (Not that I'm opposed to lots of fluff.) But there's just...nothing in "Fury." It's a testament to a bunch of annoying, brain-dead characters with zero depth or interesting qualities who 'suffer' with things that seem outside of what is relatable for teenagers and Miles never tries to ground it in human interest. It's just a bad, boring book.
In the midst of reading a demanding (yet awesome) book for my book group I received an ARC of Fury by Elizabeth Miles. It seemed the perfect book to read while wooing my other one. So yesterday on my day off I cracked it open and read almost the entirety of the book in one setting. Yeah. It's the absolute right choice to have picked up to intersperse with another.
In Ascension Maine everyone is gearing up for the holiday. Em is sad that her best friend, Gabby, will be in Spain for Christmas. However, Gabby has tasked Em with the job of entertaining her boyfriend, Zach, while she is away. Em complies, partly out of loyalty, and majorly out of a selfish desire to see him. Even though she is her best friend's boyfriend Em has had feelings for him for some time; feelings that she equally feels guilty and giddy about.
Elsewhere in town is the football captain, Chase. Chase wants everything to be perfect. Most of all he wants people to forget where he comes from - a lowly trailer park. When he meets a beautiful girl named Ty he begins to do things out of his depth for her...even though they don't fit into his great plan.
Fury is one big tease, but a good one. It's all sly smirks and feathers on skin and whispered secrets. It's a subtle yet bold book. I adored every bit of this. It's a very clever book that manages to keep the reader interested in the reveal even if it doesn't happen until the tail end of the book. I loved this narrative. I appreciate any book that deals with cause and consequence, where characters have to own up to the sum of their actions. I want to know where it's going. It's awesome. I loved it. I want more.
I was a little unsure what to expect as I picked this book up and although it was a bit slow to start, I ended up loving it! I'm always a fan of anything based on any sort of mythology and this was definitely in that vein. I loved the idea of the Furies even though I was a little confused at first. Once I finally grasped the concept, I fell totally in love with it and this book. My only complaint about this book really is that Emily did grate on my nerves a bit. But with the twist at the end that I totally did not expect, I'm excited to see how her character develops and where the story goes!
Ok...I dont know where to begin. I have read the first 33 pages of this book and I felt like gagging. Correction: I was gagging! I don't know how the cover and genres were so deceiving! It looked good, the titles was awesome and the plot-let's not even go there!
The prologue was beautiful! I felt like I was on that bridge, but what did you do to your writing? It turned from suicide to karma? What the heck? What type of fury is that? I weas utterly deceived and I am angry for it! I didn't even finish it, nor do I want to!
There wasn't any action. It was basically based on snotty, stuck-up teens with social and internal problems. Not my type of book! I think I have been thrown into a "prep pit!"
This was boring! I hate it! I thought that they were goin to have sword fighting and girls with red hair, butt kicking 24/7. How could I have been so wrong? Ha! I am going to find a book that I will enjoy-I need to be in my paranormal world! I am already living on Earth, and trust me, it's extremely boring for my liking! Well, there's my review! And that's what I think of this book! Please, let me go find a book that wouldn't have words that would burn out my irises!
P.S. This is how I feel like right now and I am not exaggerating!!!!!!
But I am certainly not picking up this book again!!!!!!!!!! ;'(
There are so many characters that I want to kill here that I might as well become a serial character killer. The only people I'd probably NOT want to kill are the adults, Melissa, and J.D. That's it. Almost everyone else can go DIE and burn in Hades for all I care.
Including the stupid, stupid, stupid Furies themselves.
It's like there's a contest for stupidity. Everyone's practically VYING for it! But wait, let me slow down. I'm being blinded by my rage of the stupidity of it all.
Okay, Fury is basically about Emily and Chase. Emily is in love with her best friend's boyfriend. Even though she really tries to hold it in, she can't. She wants Zach sooo much she's not thinking straight (if she was even ever thinking straight...). So when her best friend leaves, she takes the chance to get to know Zach more. Chase is the school's star quarterback. He is indirectly involved with the suicide of his childhood friend (whom I do not really care for myself because she dumped him the moment she got rich). He is desperate to find a fate for the Feast. He meets Ty and thinks she's the one, even though there's something obviously off with her. Ty and her sisters are unnaturally beautiful and they seem to be up to something. And this something will change the lives of Emily and Chase... for the worse.
Well then, shall I go through the stupidity of the characters?
Idiot Number One: Emily. God, why in Heaven's name did you allow the author to create such a despicable, thick-headed person? WHY? There are enough despicable characters in the world and Emily is maybe around the top ten, if not top five. I still have not decided. She really thinks Zach will break up with Gabby for HER, and expected Gabby to be happy for HER. And even when it was obvious Zach was playing with her, she refused to believe it. And when the problems started piling up, she thought a simply apology of a sort would clear things up. Amazing. My trigger finger is already twitching, girl, begging to let it shoot you.
Idiot Number Two: Gabby. She believed the words of a stranger she has never met before in her life faster than you can say, "Giant lollipops are evil because they make you want to eat them with their lollipopness but they can't fit your mouth!" Maybe she has a reason to suspect Emily, but I can't believe she didn't blame Zach too! If a guy doesn't want a girl, he can easily refuse! The fact they managed to make out means he was totally okay with it! And the Furies didn't try to kill Zach earlier? He's worse than Emily and Chase in my opinion! Which of course leads me to Idiot Number Three, Four, Five...
Idiot Number Three, Four, Five: Ty and her "cousins". Other than the fact that they are unnaturally beautiful, omniscient, and omnipresent, there's nothing "godly" about them! Their tactics in getting into Emily and Chase were sooo high school! Subtle remarks (although I didn't really find them subtle), incriminating pictures, and all that. They're like popular girls trying to get revenge on someone standing up to them. Ugh. I have to admit though they do look beautiful. If Ty is the girl in the cover, then yes she is very beautiful. But that's it.
Idiot Number Six: Chase. I feel bad for him, to be honest. It must be hard to be poor and go to a school where rich kids are. Anyone would do anything to fit in. Perhaps I can understand why he's into Ty. As I said before, she IS beautiful. Unnaturally so. She may have used her magic to charm him that way. That's why I made him Idiot Number Six instead of Idiot Number Two. Stripping for a girl you like was stupid, but still understandable. Men aren't good at resisting advances on hot girls who they happen to like. His stealing Emily's poems and his hatred for his traitor of a childhood friend were still understandable. But his reaction to things AREN'T. It's obvious from the first picture where he's kneeling for Ty that she's bad news And yet he still tried to win her. He overreacts. He can't control himself. His selling point is that he's realistic. A little too realistic that I still want to hit him. Not as hard as I'd want to hit the girls above though. Not even close.
Idiot Number Seven: Sasha. Oh please. Don't give me the drama that she doesn't deserve to be Idiot Number Seven. She does. She was stupid to simply throw away others because she "upgraded". She was stupid to try too hard. She was stupid to commit suicide when it was all her fault anyway. It's unfair that the Furies are on her side when she is just as bad as Chase. But since I don't know much of her, I delegate her to Idiot Number Seven instead of Six.
Idiot Number Eight and Beyond: the rest of the student population. They cannot seem to think for themselves. They're like sheep, willing to follow anyone who'd guide them. They think a guy is a faggot for writing poetry. They call someone a slut when they're just as guilty themselves. Stupid, stupid, stupid!
Elizabeth Miles, shame on you for writing this book. Shame on you!
Enough of the stupidity.I'm wiped out with being pissed off. I'm off.
*Sigh* What can I even begin to say about this book? The cover looked so intriguing, I loved the faery-esque clothing and startling red hair that turned to flames....it looked so good.
And then I started reading the book. Totally did NOT live up to the cover's expectations. I didn't find the characters believable and I often wondered at their mental states. I didn't get why the Furies were in our world and got to decide who needed punishment and who didn't. I also Did Not Agree With Their Punishment Methods. Most were overly cruel/scary/humiliating/and disturbing.
I thought Chase was an almost worthless character. I never cared for him and felt he was extremely underdeveloped. I didn't like him one bit. His personality and how he acted just made him the kind of guy I would never want to be associated with, much less read about. I also thought he was stupid because he kept going against his better judgement and trusting certain people who the reader could see were Clearly not to be trusted. I didn't like the shallowness of the characters. I kept thinking, are you really going to portray all the teenagers in lump stereotypes? I saw some dimensionality, but for the most part I was just annoyed whenever any of the guys opened their mouths (except for J.D.).
Now, let's talk about the content for a little bit shall we? R-rated language, R-rated sexual content, and definitely a lot of disturbing images ladled in for good measure. It was a bit much. I was expecting a fairly light-hearted read with elements of the fantastical and strange, but this was Very dark. The ending picked up and the last several chapters felt like a speeding train heading for broken tracks over a bridge. I just didn't understand how these girls had the power to influence so many people and why they spent their time handing out justice to whoever they pleased. Also, there was some parts that weren't developed at all. Why was that one girl (drat, I forgot her name, but she was the random girl with all the answers) so cryptic in her help and where did she get her information? Hm? That was not explained.
My reaction to the ending: What? That's how you're going to end it? In that UnSatisfying Way? Ugh. Ugh. Total waste of my time. I'm not sure why I finished it.
As you can probably imagine, I will not be reading the second. I would advise you to do the same.
After reading three hundred pages of agony inducing melodrama, I found myself repeatedly asking, “But why?” Three hundred pages of a mundane story should have provided sufficient, satisfying answers for my question and then some, but it seems as though the author was preoccupied with the promise of a trilogy. Regardless of my theorising, the fact of the matter remains that there were some overarching questions left unanswered (which is really quite unacceptable), and thus led me to my conviction that Elizabeth Miles desperately needs to rewrite her novel, Fury.
Whilst the initial premise of this book was interesting – mythology meets the modern teen world – Fury ultimately read like a sketchy first draft begging for a decent editor. The Furies, whose presence was required to punish the transgressions of fickle teenagers, was underwhelming as a result of going vastly unexplored. There was no tangible substantiation as to why exactly the Furies were hunting down these pseudo-sinning boys and girls and meting out unbefitting punishments for the crimes that had been committed. Emily almost had sex with her best friend’s boyfriend – yes, truly a tragedy, but how is this case of almost adultery a crime that requires death as punishment? A better question: why were the Furies really even targeting Emily? “Because cheating is bad” is hardly a satisfactory answer. If that were really the reason behind pursuing Emily, then logically it should follow that the Furies target Zach for committing the same “crime”, and yet he escapes unscathed. Furthermore, surely there are better times to occupy the wrath of the Furies? None of these staggeringly important questions central to the plot are actually answered properly. As a consequence, the element of believability (which is a necessity for any work of fiction), ceases to exist in Fury, thereby diminishing the story’s overall value.
Show, don’t tell. Unfortunately for the overall quality of Fury, Elizabeth Miles failed to utilise this in her story. The actual storytelling aspect is clunky and awkward. Instead of being mellifluously woven into the prose, the plot’s focus points are presented as bland statements and details that perhaps would have fared better in the hands of a master. My perception of the relationship between JD and Emily was at best, a manipulative friendship – Emily uses JD as a chauffeur to popular parties, and JD uses Emily to feel validated. I never did expect a romantic tension to blossom, simply because those seeds weren’t sewn. Sharing silly French phrases and a string between windows is not a precursor to falling in love. The statement, “Em was in love with JD”, almost has a paranoid feel to it, as though the author isn’t sure whether this is obvious to the audience so she writes it explicitly, just in case. This does not work in Miles’ favour – the ignorance toward showing the audience something implicitly only goes to show how inexpert the writing is, and further decreases the quality of Fury.
Elizabeth Miles writes herself into a corner when it concerns the Furies – the story can’t progress if there is no force or character to challenge their presence, and what is the likelihood of the protagonist being able to come to the conclusion that the presence haunting her must of course be a mythological creation? How to solve this? Meet Drea Feiffer, also known as Fury’s deus ex machina. As Emily crashes her car under mysterious, magical circumstances and almost dies, the only person in all of Ascension, Maine, who just happens to have intimate knowledge concerning the Furies just happens to stop by and happens to save Emily. She just happens to know all about fixing cars, and therefore happens to be able to deduce what is happening. She just happens to know exactly what happened of Chase concerning his unfortunate encounter with the Furies. She just happens to have large tomes on the mythology of the Furies, and happens to be dedicated to the research. Thanks to Drea Feiffer, Emily is now fully aware of what is happening to her, and better equipped to save herself from a premature death – doesn’t that work out just fabulously?
It is for these reasons and more that I found Fury to be virtually intolerable as a work of fiction. Fury is a paper-wasting, cheap foray into the world of YA fiction, and I can only hope that Miles’ future works significantly improve after this lower-than-sub-par effort.
I went into this novel totally blind. I knew that Lauren Kate loved it and that Elizabeth Miles and Lauren Oliver are friends and that the cover was gorgeous. That was it. In case you need more than pretty covers and excellent author recommendations/connections, here goes. This is a paranormal YA novel. The students in Ascension (small Maine town) are on winter break. Emily is excited because her crush is spending time with her. And Chase is happy because he's met this gorgeous girl and she seems to be into him.
Except Emily's crush is her best friend's boyfriend. And Chase's crush has something going on that she isn't telling him. This cannot end well.
This is a clever, unsettling book. I enjoyed both aspects of the book (the paranormal and the contemporary---I think the story would've worked as either aspect) and the characters are real. They seem like people you'd be friends with (or pointedly NOT friends with, as the case may be). But none of the characters are perfect. Everyone's at least a little flawed, but nobody's all bad, either. (That's a hard line to walk, I'm sure.)
This is the first book in a trilogy (yay!) and I cannot wait to read the next two installments. Goodreads says they're all coming out this year, but I suspect that's a mistake (I am not that lucky).
Finally, let me say this: I am NEVER going to Maine. Not ever. Between this, Carrie Jones' novels and 99% of Stephen King's books, I am convinced that only bad things come of spending time in Maine. (And even without the supernatural happenings, there's a lot of snow there! I hate snow.)
You should absolutely read this. Even though it's the end of August, I guarantee it'll feel like winter for you while you're in Ascension.
Now I understand why most reviewers gave it average to low ratings. I think I also share the same negative sentiments. There are things in this book that are really wrong for me. Take the book cover as an example, what did you see? A feisty looking girl with fiery red hair will give you an impression that you’re in for a kick-ass story with equally (based on the cover) kick-ass heroine. Well, I’m dead wrong. For one, the female lead, Em is the dullest heroine I have the displeasure of reading. No seriously, she was. She’s the complete opposite of the girl in the cover. She’s utterly weak; I don’t think she carried the novel well, even if it was in third POV. I still don’t even know why she’s the main lead. She fell in love with her bestfriend’s boyfriend, screwing with him while her friend was gone (turned out the guy was a jerk). While I know why she did it and why ‘that’ is vital to the plot, I still didn’t like how it was presented. Well, that’s just my opinion.
Second, the concept of furies, I’m no stranger to furies, while I may not be as knowledgeable as others when it comes to Greek mythology, but thanks to reading (and bit of researching—er, googling) I encounter enough to know the basic. I think it worked in Starcrossed and Percy Jackson, here… it wouldn’t sink in.
In this book they are sort of Karma, basically they serve the same purpose as they are in greek mythology, goddesses of revenge who punish people who commit crimes. I get that, what I didn’t get is from millions of people who probably did worst (or eviler for that matter) than the characters did in this book, why them? What made them special that warrants their attention and time? That’s my question. Not that I’m saying people shouldn’t be punish just because the mistakes/crimes they did are measly compare to others. Crime is still a crime, no matter how small it is. But this is a book, there’s got to be a reason why they specifically targeted by the furies. It didn’t bother to elaborate so I feel kinda lost.
In fact, if Em didn’t have an almost car accident and Drea (I think) didn’t come in the picture, she probably didn’t know what trouble she’s in for. But even that, I found it out of the blue. The information sort of popped in. Like ‘hey you’re in trouble and there’s people from greek mythology who is hunting you.’ See? Of course I just exaggerated a bit but that’s how I felt. Information shouldn’t be presented this way, it was really anticlimactic. So for me, it was kind of mind-numbing. No offense really, but I’m just being honest.
The characters? Well, they are soooo flat, soooo boring I don’t even know what to say. Do I need to describe them when they hardly left an impression? Probably not. I only remember what mistakes they did but even that are still not enough to draw a impression for their characters (you know, clever ones). They are bunch of nothingness I want to forget.
And for the romance… what romance? There is a romance? You mean JD and Em? Oh my, that’s not a romance. So with that peeps, I’m keeping my mouth shut. Besides, I don’t want to drag this review any further.
So I’ll end this one with a question for myself. Will I read the sequel? Based on the ending, maybe not. I didn’t enjoy this book so why bother torturing myself by reading the sequel. *shrugs*
Gosh, this book sounded hecka awesome. I love retellings and especially if this one is about a Greek mythological deity! Awesome, no? Hah. I was so misled. It’s not, not, not.
First of all, both of the two main characters are jerkbags! Emily is a bitch who totally has no qualms about hooking up with her best friend’s boyfriend behind her back when she was away on a trip. Even if he was interested in her, there are some rules here! And obviously not trying to get with your friend’s boyfriend is one of them! I hate cheaters and want to slap their faces in when I see/read about them.
Chase is a total dickwad. He does something pretty damn terrible and is fake as you can be. The only reason he was interested in the furie girl was because he wanted to have a quick fuck. Loser! Screw you, man. What a shallow bastard. I hate both of these characters. I could not dredge up any sympathy for them even when the oh shit moments for them came.
And I just looked up furies and apparently furies are the name given to them in Roman mythology and Erinyes is what they’re called in Greek mythology. What were they referred to in this novel? I totally forgot. Otherwise that would be some… research fail? Perhaps?
Also these erinyes, If they’re out for vengeance, why the heck are they choosing these two for such petty reasons? I mean, wouldn’t they want to go after baby killers instead? That’s totally someone who deserves their comeuppance. Why would they want to target a cheater and a liar? Ugh. If that were the case I think everyone in that school would get it. I get that the “what goes around comes around” theme of this story is supposed to be shocking and what not but when it actually started to show up in the book I was not amused. It seemed harsh and over exaggerated. I really doubt someone needs to… die for transgressions such as those.
I didn’t care for the supporting characters either. Emily’s friend was mean, bitchy, and annoying. Chase’s friend and the as mentioned before boyfriend was even more of a douchebag. Secondly, the random gothic girl who showed up near the end and somehow knew all the answers. What?! This smells like a lazy, convenient way of getting the plot climax to come faster. Beh.
This book has an open ending that would obviously serve as a basis for the forthcoming books. Definitely not one of the stellar books to be published this year.
Talk about getting karma coming around to get you! I mean this book really makes you thinks twice about doing something to someone and really thinking about the consequences of it. Imagine, if that really happen? If Furies went around making people pay for what they did to others? I mean holy cow, this book is goood. So good, that I want to read it over and over again!
The story line is amazingly good. I really enjoyed watching both characters go through hard times and watching them pay for their mistakes. There is so much going on in the story that you are blown away by the meanness of the Furies. I liked how they stepped into people lives unexpectedly, seduce into thinking that they are friends and then BAM! You get me I get you back! I have to admit that I am on the Furies side. I am old school person, eye for an eye.
The characters were also great. I like the growth that the characters went through. You saw them make mistakes, and learn from them. Some learn at the last minute while others learned right away. What I also enjoyed is how easily the point of view switches were smooth and transitional. Ms. Miles did a great job describing both point of views with the right amount information. Nothing was lost, so the reader wasn't confused during the switch. I am really picky with pov swtiches cause sometimes the writes loses me, confuses me, or just jumps to something completely and entirely different and then I get angry. Ms. Miles makes it easy for the reader to see everything without lost or confusion.
Have you ever done anything mean to someone without thinking about it? Read this book and I can guarantee it will make you think twice about being mean to someone. Fury is the Boom Diggity! It will entice you. Grab you into the story feeling the hurt and anger that the Furies feel. The Furies in this book will generate fear and pierce it into your very soul, chilling you from the inside out.
I’m pretty sure that the Furies (not to be confused with furries, gross), mythical women-spirits who enact karmic justice, are near the top of my list of things that are bad ass. I read Fury by Elizabeth Miles as a horror story – subsequently I enjoyed this debut novel VERY much.
This is a fabulous book - I ripped right through it, and am already eager for the next in the series! Really exciting plot, with lots of threads, but her writing makes them easy to follow. Some great turns of phrase - including laugh-out-loud lines, even in this drama. Absolutely enjoyed it - and as a man, it presented a solid account of the male teen experience too. Go Elizabeth!
So this was not at all what I expected. While I wasn't sure what to expect - the description explains just enough without being vague but not enough for you to know what's going to happen - it certainly wasn't what I thought I would get. And wow was I surprised.
We are introduced to Em and Chase - our two Fury victims (though they don't know it yet) and the two narrators through alternating chapters. Em is crushing on her best friend's boyfriend, and the thing about Miles' writing and Em's character is that though you know it's wrong, that Em is wrong, you can't help but want Em to succeed and get what she wants. And then we have Chase who, up until the last of his chapters, we don't actually know what he did wrong.
The characters were well developed and I can definitely call this a character driven novel rather than plot based. While creepy things would happen in far intervals throughout the beginning and middle of the story, nothing paranormal or Fury related really began to happen until the end. So the readers are left following Em and Chase as they make mistakes or pay for the mistakes. And I wasn't bored one bit. Partly because of Miles' fantastic writing which was concise and wonderfully crafted and partly because of the array of characters she created. Em and Chase are so completely different. Em is smart, plain but still beautiful, a little childish sometimes, and determined. Her friendship with Gabby is refreshingly real and you can't help but feel Em's pain as she realises her feelings for Zach are wrong. Then you have Chase who is a perfectionist. There is no margin for error. He's trusting - too trusting, and handsome, and emotional. He's the poor one in his group of friends and they all know it. He can't afford to screw up too.
The Furies themselves are wickedly enthralling. Creepy but beautiful. Evil yet good. They are characters in themselves and not just the bad supernatural guy. I would love, if there was another book in the series, to find out more about them. Watching as Em and Chase both react to them is weirdly interesting. Especially with Chase who isn't sure of what is happening like Em is.
The only things I didn't like was that Em was only really sorry when she was caught and when she realises the Furies were after her. She only realised how wrong her actions were when something bigger was at stake. It felt a little hard towards the end to feel sorry for her. Which is strange because during the beginning and middle, as readers we are rooting for Em to get what she desires.
The other thing was the goth girl who seemed to hold all the answers. I'm not one who instantly dislikes characters getting help from other characters, but it needs to be somewhat realistic. IF there is a sequel, Drea's involvement needs to be explained in a more elaborate manner because something was hinted at but not explored. Right now, her involvement was very convenient.
I give this 4.5 stars out of 5, but it was very close to a 5. I recommend to people who enjoy a creepy tale set in a cold, snowy backdrop with well developed characters. I thoroughly enjoyed this.
This book is very misleading. The cover and synopsis make it out to be a Paranormal Young Adult novel but for me, the story came up short in the supernatural department. I’m not a fan of YA per-se but when paired with an otherworldly plotline and/or characters I quite enjoy them. Fury would have been the ideal read had I been looking for a high school themed book. I was interested in the Greek mythology aspect, and that was severely lacking.
Two characters commit acts that are deemed severe enough to warrant being on the Furries’ radar. I understand why Chase was targeted by these lethal ladies. The punishment he receives for his crime made sense in a karmic full-circle sort of way. However, Emily’s did not. She’s not subject to the full wrath of the Furries but ultimately they wanted to punish her in the same way as her classmate. Cheating behind a friend’s back with their boyfriend isn’t uncommon in today’s society and there are probably many other instances of it in Ascension. In high school, “cheating” entails only kissing instead of outright adultery. So, according to these three deadly vixens, kissing another girl’s man warrants the death penalty? To me, their logic in choosing their victims just seemed flawed.
Another thing that bugged me about this book was the lack of Paranormal content. The Furries don’t really make their presence known until towards the end of the book. They make appearances in various chapters and I knew from the get-go who they were. There’s definitely something peculiar about these three girls but it could easily be mistaken for simply being awkward teenagers. I thought they’d have some distinguishing powers or something but they’re more like ghosts who trick the living. I kept waiting for them to unleash hell but on the final page still… nothing.
This novel covers taboo topics such as absentee parents, underage drinking, bullying, homophobia and sex among high school students. I understand that these things happen but when you chose to address them in a Young Adult novel shouldn’t there also be a lesson to be learned? Something that acknowledges the problem but that also offers support to teens faced with similar obstacles. This book seemed to promote these activities rather than condemn them. None of the characters grew nor did any of them take responsibility for their actions. I found this aspect of the story troubling. It just seemed like their entire ordeal was for naught.
There’s nothing wrong with Fury writing-wise. The story follows a natural progression and the sentence structure is sound. It just wasn’t what I was expecting. I went into this book hoping for a nice mix of Young Adult and Paranormal fiction but what I got was high school drama and a story with no “bigger picture”. Unless drastic changes are made to the second installment, book one is where this trilogy ends for me.
Elizabeth Miles’ Fury is one of those paranormal books that cross over into horror and it was remarkably done. It was action-packed, riveting, eerie, and fast-paced. I must admit that the beautiful cover lured me in and I was even more hooked as I buried myself between the pages.
The opening of the story starts off slow but you can’t help but to continue reading as you know that something was rigorously wrong and things weren’t going to end well. The story follows two high school students, Em and Chase, who are tormented by Furies for their misdeeds. Miles’ character build-up of Chase was believable. She is like any human as she makes mistakes and sometimes isn’t the greatest friend. Miles’ writing style is unique as she is very detailed. It was distinctive and gripping. She built in words an environment that is very tangible that it literally sucks you in.
The creepiness level in this book is way up there. I didn’t expect it to be but there were times I had to make sure I was reading a fictional work just so I won’t be frightened. Miles’ is an expert at choosing words to express feelings in the reader. Her depiction of the girls and furies was absolutely eerie. The edge-of-your-seat adventure that Miles’ take you on is worth the read. I guarantee that it will be hard to put this book down once you start. You will be eager to learn how the Furies would choose to torment Em and Chase.
Fury is about two high school students, Em and Chase, who are tormented by the furies for their misdeeds. Elizabeth Miles’ writing really captivated me and I just did not want to put the book down. It had a dark, slightly creepy feeling to it which I absolutely loved. Part of what kept me so interested in the book was my desire to find out how the Furies would choose to torment Em and Chase, as well as what their final punishment would be.
Even though I was fascinated with this story, I do not agree with the Furies’ actions. In punishing their victims, the furies are not just punishing the guilty—they are also punishing everyone who cares about their chosen victim. Elizabeth Miles’ does a wonderful job of showing the futility of revenge in this series—a concept that echoes the motif of Wuthering Heights, one of my favorite gothic novels. While her book has an eerie feel to it, her message is beautiful: “An eye for an eye makes the world go blind.” Fury is a must read for fans of gothic literature, mystery, and mythology.
Ana: I approached Fury with a mix of excitement and trepidation. Excitement because I love Greek Mythology and I love the idea of the Furies as personifications of vengeance and one of my personal favourite stories of all time features the Furies: Neil Gaiman’s The Kindly Ones (Sandman Volume 9). Trepidation because I’ve read some really bad Greek retellings of late and have become wary of what seems to be the latest YA fad. I did not need to worry. Fury takes its Greek inspiration as it should be: dark and unrepentant and then adds awesome contemporary YA issues to the mix to create one of my favourite novels of 2011.
Thea: I, too, was a little wary when I picked up Fury, but also incredibly excited and optimistic. Yes, many of the so-called Greek “retellings” we have read of late have been disappointing (to say the least) – but I couldn’t let that deter me. And wouldn’t you know it? I absolutely LOVED Fury. Brutal, vindictive, and utterly merciless, these furies are the real deal. It’s not the furies that make the book, though, but the protagonists. I don’t know if it’s one of my favorite novels of the year, but it’s definitely on the notable list.
On the Plot:
Ana: Anyone looking for cookie-cutter story about likeable characters better look elsewhere now: Fury is nowhere near anything like that. It is definitely more horror than paranormal/fantasy and unlike your typical paranormal YA, the danger is real and the characters suffer.
It features two main protagonists, Emily and Chase, who narrate this story in alternating chapters. Both are extremely unlikeable characters who have done horrible stuff (more on that later) and who start being following by these three girls. Chase becomes increasingly attracted to and obsessed with one of them whereas Emily is haunted by another. Soon enough it becomes clear to the reader that these girls are otherworldly until eventually it is revealed that they are the three Furies of the Greek Mythology out for vengeance for wrongdoings and Chase and Em are only their latest targets.
Here is the deal: I love the idea of the Furies but not because I condone vengeance/revenge but because it is a great way of dealing with this very topic and I can’t express how well Elizabeth Miles did this with Fury. The Furies are expertly incorporated into the story: first of all, they are as merciless and ruthless as they should be, and then there is the fact that their presence is very subtle as they are there in the background meting out revenge almost insidiously. Their presence creeps up little by little in the lives of Chase and Emily. This is psychological torture and horror at its best because it messes up with people’s heads, really pushing over the edge those who were already feeling guilty.
And this is what is awesome about this book: it takes the subject of crime and punishment and it opens it all up for discussion. It is not about glorifying vengeance at all, quite the contrary. Emily and Chase are terrible people who have done terrible things and they are guilty beyond any doubts. But do they deserve being punished like they are by the Furies? Do they deserve being punished at all? We are talking about flawed characters, teenagers just starting to live their lives and have made really bad choices and there is a real discussion to be had about the limits of forgiveness and the limits of punishment and whether people deserve second chances or not.
The author does make the Furies true to their Greek form but she also wrote the humans true to theirs as well: flawed, complex, prone to mistakes and also, prone to fight for their right to not have their fates decided by someone else. And that is really, really cool.
Thea: I completely agree with Ana. If you are looking for some typical teenage paranormal romance, in which a fury falls in love with, like, this HAWT high school dude because they are both just, like, misunderstood, think again. This is a brutal book that isn’t afraid to have ugly protagonists or go against the trend of romantic drivel so omnipresent in YA “retellings” today. No, Fury doesn’t flinch or sugar-coat anything – in this sense, it is as vindictive as its eponymous harpies.
Elizabeth Miles essentially writes a psychological thriller with a paranormal edge with her debut novel – as Ana says, the terror builds gradually over the course of the book for the dual protagonists. Em has harbored a long-standing crush on her best friend Gabby’s boyfriend and finally acts on that attraction when her bff is out of town; Chase is literally from the wrong side of the tracks and will do anything to fit in – even when it comes at the cost of those around him. Then, three beautiful girls arrive in their small, wintry town, and begin to insinuate themselves in Em and Chase’s lives…
As Ana says, the message of this book is NOT one of glorifying furies or vindictiveness. Rather, Fury is a smart novel that stays true to the furies of Greek myth, as well as the very familiar flaws of humans. Even though Em and Chase have done horrible things, they are rendered as sympathetic because they are people – and readers, privy to their thoughts and emotions, understand their motivations and know that they are just regular people, struggling to make their way in the world. So who, then, has the right to judge them or punish them for their actions? Is it OK for Furies to mete out their particular brand of cruel justice? In Fury, the answer is a resounding no. I love that Ms. Miles doesn’t try to glorify or romanticize furies in any way, but rather critiques and explicates the mythological creatures.
From a pure writing perspective, Elizabeth Miles does a fantastic job of building tension and letting the horror of this novel unfold slowly – a glimpse of a girl here, a crushed red flower there. Tautly written and suspenseful, Furies does stick with familiar tropes – but the book also takes some huge risks. By the second half of the book something BIG happens (completely unexpected and practically unheard of in YA books, especially of the paranormal persuasion), and things kick into high gear. Furies builds up to a frantic crescendo of action and reaches a heartbreaking conclusion. I cannot WAIT to see what happens in the next book.
On the Characters:
Ana: With regards to the characters, the most outstanding quality of protagonists Chase and Emily is how unlikeable they are. Even though I couldn’t stomach the two, I could see they were really messed up teens, Chase most of all. That doesn’t excuse their truly regrettable behaviour (Chase was a bully and a jerk; Emily was stealing her best friend’s boyfriend) but they both had a degree of earnestness and naivety that made them almost sympathetic.
In fact the vast majority of characters in the book were just a huge bunch of creeps, bullies and bigots and the important thing is that they are not represented as heroic or in any way even remotely positive. I mention this because I read a few reviews on Goodreads calling out the slut shaming and bigotry – but I thought these were portrayed as BAD things and not condoned by the text in any way.
Finally, I need to mention my favourite character: Drea. She is a very secondary character who eventually helps Emily to figure out who the Furies are and someone, whom, I hope, will have her own arc in the sequel. Out of all characters, Drea is perhaps the only one who could be described as truly heroic in a more traditional way and I loved that she is the one to voice what this book is really about:
You don’t know anything, Emily Winters. All you know is your own little world and your own little life. But listen. The Furies aren’t doing anything good. I don’t want them to do anything other than disappear. Because what happens when I make a mistake? Who decides my fate? Me. Or at least the people around me. Not some otherworldly demon-goddess chick hell-bent on destruction.
Thea: I actually disagree with Ana because I found both Em and Chase to be extremely sympathetic characters, despite their actions and missteps. The thing is, no one is perfect. Everyone screws up. People cheat on their significant others, they laugh at the expense of someone else, they say cruel things, they bully, they fight, and they backstab. In high school, this is even more true as teens are just realizing the scope of their actions and struggling to grow up. I actually applaud Ms. Miles for this ugly, unflinching look at the actions of teenagers – so many times, high school feels so sanitized in YA novels (especially when there are vampires or whatever paranormal entity involved). Everyone has done something they are not proud of, and we just happen to be watching Em and Chase when they do those things.
Chase’s actions are much more dramatic than Em’s, but even though he has been a colossal asshole, reading his narrative, one understands his fear, and anger, and sense of impotence in a world where his friends get everything they want, while he has to pretend and struggle so hard to fit in. A poor kid living in a trailer with his mom, Chase has fought tooth and nail his way up the social ladder at school, and will do anything to protect his standing – and this is from where Chase’s motivations stem. Proud, desperate, and with enormous abandonment issues, it’s easy to see where Chase is coming from.
Em is also laid bare for the world with her narrative. Although she acts on her off-limits crush, Em isn’t just a backstabbing bitch that gleefully throws herself at her best friend’s boyfriend, Zach. Even though she does a horrible, horrible thing by betraying Gabby’s trust, we see that she feels incredible guilt for her actions and justifies the relationship because she genuinely thinks that Zach loves her and not Gabby, and will break the news to her soon. It’s a familiar tale, and I loved that instead of judging these teens for their actions, Ms. Miles shows them as real people. We understand these characters, we sympathize with them because they are reflections of reality. Fury certainly doesn’t condone their actions, but these characters aren’t demonized, either. And I think that is what sets the novel apart.
Final Thoughts, Observations & Rating:
Ana: Fury is an edgy, dark Paranormal YA which incorporates elements of Greek Mythology in a way that blew my mind away. THAT’s how you do Greek Mythology-meets-Paranormal YA, folks. Highly recommended.
Thea: I wholeheartedly agree. Fury completely took me by surprise, and is the perfect antidote for lackluster retellings and paranormal mediocrity. Absolutely recommended.
I thought this book sounded like it would be pretty good, but I had no idea how amazing it was going to be! I absolutely loved it!
This book is creepy and freaky, but not in the usual way. This book has been classed as paranormal horror, but it didn't scare me like a horror would. I had no problems reading it at night, it didn't give me nightmares, I wasn't jumping at every little noise - though there were definitely scary parts in it, what with random girls suddenly showing up in windows. No, this book scared me because I didn't know what was going to happen. Furires punish the wrong do-ers, but what they consider "wrong" isn't set in stone - for a completely unrelated to the book example, the furies would punish you just as harshly for dropping litter as they would for kidnapping. Not oly is the definition of wrong very loose, the punishment, what they consider "justice" for what you did isn't predictable either. For the litter example, going arond wearing a bright jacket picking up other people's litter isn't as likely as you being "dropped" in some way, but what could "dropped" mean? There are hundreds of possibilities. You just don't know what the furies are going to decide you deserve. And that's what I found scary, not being able to work out, or even make a guess, at what would happen, or when. With every turn of the page, I was on edge, waiting for god knows what, just something bad. Yet having to read on because it is so exciting!
As I said, Fury didn't scare me in the traditional horror sense, but I was definitely freaked out by some of the furies behaviour. As readers, we know these mysterious, beautiful girls are furies - blurbs, descriptions, even reviews tell us so. Yet the characters in the book don't get any kind of inkling of something not-quite-human until quite a ways into the book. So the behaviour of the Furies, the things some of the characters see, not knowing that Furies exist, believing them to be human... the torment is freaky, and I was empathetically freaked out.
Yet I kind of loved them, like villians you love to hate. It sounds kind of right to have something that goes around fixing wrongs, something that dishes out karma. I'm sure plenty of us have wanted bad things to happen to bad people - I think it's natural with some of the things we see on the news. And these ladies are making sure those bad things happen. When said like that, I did feel there was a strange kind of "rightness" to them. But then you read on and see how messed up they are and things start to change. What if the furies were real? What mistakes have you made? What would they think you need to be punished for? And how? It's freaky and creepy, but all kinds of briliant!
When it comes to urban fantasy, there's a certain progression that I expect. By the time I put the book down, not matter what the story, or if it's in a series, I just expect a certain kind of ending. There tends to be a lot of action in urban fantasy, and the constant threat of danger to our main characters and narrators. There are fights, people get hurt, and you're excited, and sitting on your edge seat in suspence. But eventually, the book will still have that ending, even if there's a cliff hanger. The main characters are a little bruised and roughed up, and plan to try and kick some paranormal butt the next time book two comes along, or at least try to live a normal life until paranormal butt comes a-knocking again. You expect certain things to go a certain way simply because that's how these thing go. It's like urban fantasy law or something. A little over half way through Fury I realised that the ending I expected - without even realising I expected a certain ending, becaus you don't expect the moon to come after the sun, it just does - wasn't what I was going to get. On a second read of this book, I would probably react differently, but the first time round, there was just complete shock. I was shaken. Miles tore up the urban fantasy law book, slapped me in the face and left me reeling. I believe my thoughts were along the lines of "WHAT?! But that can't happen!" I read on for a little while in a daze, sure there was a mistake, or some sort of joke, and things were going to change and sort themselves out. They weren't. Which makes me SUPER excited to read more of Miles books, because not only do you not know what to expect from the furies, but you don't know what to expect from Miles' writing either! I was completely blown away.
If I ha any kind of criticism, at some points, some of the characters just seemed a little too young for their age, a little too naive, but it's a very small thing, and can easily go unnoticed in all the excitement.
Fury is a phenomenal debut novel, absolutely brilliant, and I cannot wait to read book two, Envy, when it's released next year. It's going to be incredible. If you haven't read Fury yet, you need to read it now!
* I received Fury by Elizabeth Miles free from Simon & Schuster Canada
Fury is a story about high school students on winter break in the wake of one of their classmates attempting to commit suicide. There are some interesting supernatural elements, but the author uses this to tell her realistic story rather than shaping a story around supernatural creatures. You'll love it if you've ever:
-had your heart broken by a player - struggled to fit in because you couldn't afford cool clothes -been bullied -fallen in love with your best friend's boyfriend - felt pressured to be mean to maintain your social status -believed in karma -or had a love of Greek myth
Em is a very believable character. She makes mistakes and isn't always a great friend but I liked her because I understood where she was coming from. Miles does a fabulous job of making everyone's motives very clear, the characters make realistic choices in fantastical situations.
For librarians, teachers & parents:
Fury is a fantastic book to have in your collection because it deals with
-bullying (both in person and cyberbullying) -the dangers of sexting and sharing sexy photos -peer pressure -poverty and class divide in terms of how it effects a teen's ability to fit in -suicide
The novel explores the consequences of these issues from people on both sides. How does a bully feel when the kid they pick on jumps off a bridge? Without being overly preachy this book emphasizes the concept of what goes around comes around, and encourages teens to think about the huge ramifications a few words they say or a picture they post can have on someone's life.
The cover is breathtaking (gorgeous woman with fire for hair), and the mysterious supernatural story will go off your shelf like hot cakes, but because of the issues it deals with it's also an ideal book for a book club. Lots of discussion to be had!
Lang und breit Was fang ich bloß mit diesem Buch an? Ich bin mir nämlich nicht sicher, ob die ganzen Kritikpunkte, die ich gleich auffahren werde, nicht vielleicht von der Autorin gewollt waren, ob das ihr gewählter Stil war, um die Geschichte zu erzählen... aber selbst wenn dem so ist, muss mir das ja nicht gefallen.
Erst mal zum Guten: Worum es in dem Buch geht, darum macht schon der Titel kein großes Geheimnis. Fury, das sind zu Deutsch die Furien, griechische Rachegöttinnen. Dem Leser bleibt somit nicht viel Freiraum, um selbst herauszufinden, wer Ty, Ali und Meg sind und was sie im Schilde führen. Dennoch fand ich die Idee erfrischend und habe sie noch nirgendwo anders verarbeitet gesehen. Auch die Art, wie die Furien langsam eingeführt werden, hat mir gut gefallen. Sie tauchen hier und da ganz unvermittelt auf und erinnern in ihrem schaurigen Setting hin und wieder an einen atmosphärischen Gruselfilm. Trotz des Titel-Hinweises hab ich mich als Leser gefragt, worauf genau diese mysteriösen Mädchen hinauswollen. Spannung blieb das ganze Buch über erhalten, aber gegen Ende war ich genervt, da ich erst auf den letzten 50 Seiten nähere Informationen zu den Furien erhalten habe (und selbst die sind mehr als spärlich).
Fury stach unter den Neuerscheinungen für mich vor allem heraus, weil Lauren Oliver (Autorin von Before I Fall und Delirium) das Buch hochgelobt hat. Kein Wunder, so ist Autorin Elizabeth Miles doch ihre beste Freundin. Leider verbirgt sich dahinter meiner Meinung nach blinde Freundschaftsliebe. Elizabeth Miles’ Schreibstil hat mir nämlich überhaupt nicht gefallen und er ist im Vergleich zu einer Lauren Oliver geradezu stümperhaft. Elizabeth Miles schafft es lediglich eine düstere Atmosphäre zu erzeugen. Den Rest der Seiten erzählt sie einfach viel zu viel, erklärt alles, anstatt die Handlungen und Gesten ihrer Figuren sprechen zu lassen. Sie vertraut ihrem eigenen Schreibstil nicht. Alles, was ich über die Charaktere erfahren konnte, wurde mir gesagt, nichts konnte ich selbst aus ihren Gefühlen und ihrem Handeln ablesen. Gerade zu Beginn wird viel über die Vergangenheit der Protagonisten Chase und Emily erklärt und zusammengefasst. Darin befinden sich wichtige und auch interessante Informationen, aber ich fand sie äußerst schäbig verpackt.
Somit wäre ich auch schon bei den Charakteren. Emily und Chase blieben mir bis zum Ende hin fremd. Das mag einerseits an der neutralen Erzählperspektive des Er-Erzählers liegen, andererseits an dem erklärenden Stil. Genau hier frage ich mich, ob die Autorin beabsichtigt hat, dass man mit Chase und Emily zwei nichtssagende 0815-Teenager vor sich hat. Ob sie wollte, dass der Leser seine Distanz zu ihnen wahrt. Aber am Ende habe ich das arg bezweifelt (auch in Betracht dessen, dass Emily die Hauptfigur der beiden Fortsetzungen sein wird). Während Chase durchaus noch seine interessanten Seiten hat, ist Emily die Unsympathie in Person. Das fängt schon damit an, dass sie mit dem Freund ihrer besten Freundin hinter deren Rücken ein Verhältnis anfängt. Mit solchen Voraussetzungen ist es unheimlich schwer einen Buchcharakter überhaupt noch sympathisch zu gestalten, aber bei Emily hat mir alle Reue nichts genützt. Dazu kommt, dass sie keinerlei interessanten Eigenschaften an sich hat (es wird ständig behauptet, dass sie viel liest, aber ganz im Stil der Autorin bleiben das nur Behauptungen). Sie war mir von Anfang bis Ende egal und deshalb habe ich auch keine Lust mich ein weiteres Buch lang an ihrer Seite den Furien in den Weg zu stellen.
Kurz und knapp Ein Buch, das meinetwegen im Buchladen versauern kann. Das mythologische Grundkonzept ist super, aber darüber erfährt der Leser viel zu wenig. Dazu kommen die mehr als fremden, geradezu unsympathischen Hauptfiguren und ein unausgereifter Schreibstil. Finger weg.
"She pulled the sleeves of her sweatshirt down around her thumbs and bit them - a habit from childhood, from being freaked by scary movies and ghost stories. That's what this was: a ghost story." "Fury" by Elizabeth Miles - pages 314-315
For me, this is one of the sentences that best describes this book. A ghost story. A horror story of sorts. Even with all it's predictable cliches it manages, nonetheless, to touch some pretty uncomfortable subjects like teenage bullying and peer pressure.
I confess I was expecting a completely different story. I also confess I was enticed primarily by the gorgeous cover and didn't pay as much attention to the blurb as I should have, possibly. Still, even if I got something different, it was still good. At least I liked it.
When I started reading this book, I was expecting the main female character to discover some powers and eventually realize she was a fury. I kid you not. Who can blame me for expecting that? I mean, that's how most YA paranormal books go these days. Girl is a werewolf; girl is a descendant of a Greek god; girl is an ancient goddess. And so on.
I was pretty thrilled when I realized "Fury" was different. It was like reading "Lost Voices" again, discovering a hidden gem, an original story... even if the plot isn't that original once you actually think about it. It's just the novelty of reading about main characters who are completely human and so very flawed. It was amazing. The characters are deftly constructed to represent entire cliques and niches: Chase is the typical jock and Em the mean, bitchy popular girl; but at the same time, there is another layer there that makes them multidimensional and... human. There is reason behind their behavior. The author gives us an uncomfortable insight into the motivations of the characters we usually despise (popular people, basically). The Furies, on the contrary, were pretty one-dimensional. They were just means of pointless and unfair revenge but, again, it felt that there was more to them and that it just wasn't time yet for the reader to know about it.
To sum it up, I loved the story of this book. Ok, so it's mostly a pretty typical horror story, with psycho girls stalking the protagonists, but there was something else too. Did Chase and Emily deserve what they got? Were their victims redeemed? Why did the Furies chose teenagers as the objects of their revenges? You see, in any other book these questions would be frustrating if left unanswered (especially the last one) but the way Miles wrote the book I felt there was more to the whole thing and that the happening in this first book were just "the tip of the iceberg".
I didn't like the fact that Emily was generally pretty clueless and didn't fully understand what was going on until she bumped into Drea. Drea seemed to be there only as a source of information, at least in this first book (I think there is more to her, as well).
Overall, "Fury" was a great read. I liked the author's take on the Furies and how very inhuman they seemed (I mean they chose to attack teenagers... weird). The characterization was unusual and appealing. The story had a horror movie" kind of feel which didn't bother me much as I felt there was more underneath. I'm interesting in knowing what will happen next and am waiting eagerly for the sequel!
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.