Sunday, June 19, 2011

Fury by Elizabeth Miles

This review contains spoilers for the entirety of Fury. If you don't want to ruin the book for yourself, skip this review.

Title: Fury
Author: Elizabeth Miles
Publisher: Simon & Schuster/Simon Pulse
Release Date: August 30, 2011
Pages: 352 pages (hardback)
How I Got the Book: Simon & Schuster Galley Grab

The first book in a paranormal teen trilogy featuring three beautiful, mysterious girls wreaking havoc on a small New England town.

Sometimes sorry isn't enough....

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.


It's winter in Ascension, Maine and a girl named Sasha has just attempted to kill herself. Right after this is when strange things start happening to Emily and Chase. Emily is lusting after her best friend's boyfriend and shortly after they start having an affair, three strange girls keep showing up. Chase is the star quarterback of the football team and had a connection with Sasha he doesn't want to talk or think about. Then he meets a beautiful redheaded girl named Ty and he can't stop thinking about her. Red orchids mark them as targets and they will be punished for their crimes.

Oh, Fury... Where do I begin? By saying you made me furious? No, too much of a pun. How about we get right to it and talk about why I didn't think you were a good book at all.

Chase, the male protagonist, was a jerk. If that had been a character trait he outgrew as he developed, grew up, and took responsibility for his own actions, that would have been fine. It wasn't, and he never did any of that. Ty comes along and acts very suspiciously, later doing things that humiliate him. He just forgives and forgets it all. When he admits he's never felt so strongly about someone before after just one meeting, why doesn't it occur to him to stop and think about how abnormal this is and think about the blatantly suspicious things Ty does? I played with the thought of some glamour or spell that kept him from thinking clearly, but there was no evidence of one existing and no one else was affected.

Our female protagonist Emily is no better. She is so naive that it could kill someone. Zach's intentions with her were obvious from what he said and did, but Emily is so sure he'll break up with Gabby for her. According to Emily, Gabby will totally forgive her for going behind her back with her boyfriend and won't be mad at all, and they'll still be best friends. Apologizing to the girl who tried to kill herself will make the Furies leave and make everything perfect again, also according to Emily. Even when all of this is proven wrong, Emily never sheds her infuriating naivete. I don't feel Emily ever really took responsibility for what she did and doing that much would have made me like her character much more.

Was the reader supposed to know from the beginning that Ty, Meg, and Ali were Furies? Between the title, their actions upon introduction, and how they're written, it's too obvious. It just has to be intentional. If it's not and the reveal at the very end of the book is supposed to be a Big Reveal, someone has seriously failed. It's still a serious fail even it if was supposed to be obvious. Anyone that reads this and figures it out early will have to endure "Who are they? How are they able to do that?" from the main characters for almost the entire book, and enduring a character's cluelessness when you figured it out a long time ago makes for a frustrating reading experience.

Not only do I want to know why the Greek Furies are in Maine, but I also want to know why they're wasting their time on Emily and Chase. Emily made out with her best friend's boyfriend and Chase humiliated a girl, which doubtlessly factored into her suicide attempt. Their actions weren't okay, but don't the Furies have better targets to go after than these kids? There are millions of murderers and animal abusers out there, but the Furies feel these kids committed crimes more worth their time than murder and animal abuse?

Slut shaming is not okay, okay? It was not at all okay for Emily to be called a slut for kissing Zach. I hate seeing slut thrown around so easily. Homophobia is also not okay. Calling Chase a faggot after his poetry (really Emily's, but everyone thinks it's Chase's) and naked pictures of him and are posted around the school is about fifty kinds of wrong and makes me want to scream. Not all guys that write poetry are gay, thinking about how your actions make other people feel is not gay, and it's not a bad thing to be gay. This book could use a lesson in that.

Besides entertainment value, Fury also lacks logic. A girl becomes a social pariah in part because she let two boys kiss her at the same party? I call bull. What does Chase decide is a good idea the day a photo of him begging on his knees is spread around school, making it look like he's begging for money when he's really begging for Ty to get off a bridge ledge before she falls in a river? Letting Ty take pictures of him completely naked, and those eventually end up posted around school too. Then Emily refuses to tell JD that she thinks she's being followed because she's afraid he'll think he's crazy. What people think of your mental capacity stops being important when you think you're being stalked.

Here are some questions for you: If Zach cheated on Gabby multiple times before cheating on her with Emily, and if Emily is targeted by the Furies immediately after making out with Zach for betraying her best friend, why wasn't Zach targeted at the same time for cheating on his girlfriend? Why didn't the Furies target him back when he first cheated on Gabby or any of the many times after that? And why is Zach not targeted by the Furies until the final two pages of the book? Now add in that Gabby blames Emily for what happened and not Zach, and Gabby gives Zach no trouble until she catches him cheating on her herself. All of this stinks of something disgusting.

On the bright side, the writing wasn't atrocious; it was easy to read and unless I skipped over them, I didn't find anything that gave me reason to nitpick over grammar, sentence structure, metaphors, similes, and other such details. It could have been much better, but it could have been much worse too. Then there was a moment where I cheered because JD called Emily out for being a naive, spoiled little girl in regards to the situation with Zach and Gabby. That was probably motivated out of jealousy more than anything and it only happened once, but I was happy to see that it happened at all.

Overall, I don't feel like Fury was worth the time I spent reading it. Reading isn't supposed to give me a headache born out of anger and frustration like this, is it? I was supposed to be entertained, and entertainment never happened. If any of what I've discussed is something you don't want to read about in books, then Fury is not the book for you.

1 star!

What am I reading next?: Unearthly by Cynthia Hand--the first book of the H.Y.P.E. Project!


  1. awsome review, curious tho still want to read it

  2. "Was the reader supposed to know from the beginning that Ty, Meg, and Ali were Furies?"

    Judging by the names? Yes. The three main Erinyes are Tisiphone, Megaera and Alecto.

    If you want to read something with the Erinyes that really captures them - especially their "damned if you do, damned if you don't" attitude, such as with Orestes - try the Wonder Woman story "The Hikiteia" by Greg Rucka.

  3. While they really are a part of the story from the beginning, it felt like the didn't really try to manipulate people until about half way through. While we had to wait for Emily's situation to fully play itself off, Chase's "crime" had already been done. I expected them to be messing with him more.


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