ARC Review: Fury by Elizabeth Miles

Posted July 2, 2011 by Carmel in / 3 Comments

Title: Fury
Series: Fury #1
Author: Elizabeth Miles
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Published: August 30, 2011
My Copy: Simon Schuster

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.

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.

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3 responses to “ARC Review: Fury by Elizabeth Miles

  1. “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?”

    Exactamundo! I couldn’t agree more. Yes, these things happen in real life, but some YA authors need to be a bit more conscientious & responsible of how they incorporate these issues into their stories. They should not be afraid to take a clear stance on them either, and they should most definitely address the consequences involved. At times, I feel like some YA books send very mixed messages to young readers. Worse yet, some seem to only include topics like underage drinking and sex for shock value or to make the story seem more “gritty”.

    Anyways, thanks for the great, in-depth review.

  2. I liked this one alright, but it definitely wasn’t as good as I thought it should be, considering all the publisher buzz.

  3. Marg K. – Thanks for backing me up! I felt guilty writing this review. It was a tough one!

    Ashley @ Book Labyrinth – I hate it when I get sucked up by the buzz and it doesn’t meet expectations. 🙁