Publisher: Simon Pulse (2011)
Format: Hardcover | 370 pages
Genre(s): Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Description (GR): "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."
WARNING: Contains minor SPOILERS!
"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 its 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 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). I also didn't care for JD, he didn't have much personality.
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 interested in knowing what will happen next and am waiting eagerly for the sequel!