Monday, August 29, 2011

Review: Fury by Elizabeth Miles

Fury by Elizabeth Miles

Series: Fury (#1)

Pages: 352
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Published: August 30th, 2011
IBSN: 9781442422247

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.

In Fury, two teens misbehave and are, of course, punished. The Furies -- figures you'd recognise from Greek mythology -- come for Em and Chase, seeking retribution.

Though, for a story about retribution, you would expect redemption as a theme, wouldn't you? Our characters' are trying to escape punishment, but aren't trying to make up for their actions. Our characters were relatable in their mistakes, yes, but not particularly admirable.

The paranormal element to the story was subtle and threaded smoothly into the story. The author's reimagining of the Furies was intriguing and well-adapted to a modern setting, while keeping it recognisably similar to the original. The Furies themselves were eerie but with an odd allure, creepy but curious.

I can't say there was anything noteworthy about the characters (the third person narration kept us at a certain distance to them) or the writing style that told us everything rather than showing us but the story was presumably intended to be plot-driven anyway.

While overall I'd say that Fury was an entertaining read, the pacing proved a problem for me. The first half of book tells a story concurrent to and important to the future of Em's, but that it was stretched for so long made its ending awkward. The main story -- her story -- sat quietly in the background waiting for Chase's to finish when they could have ran together.

While I understand the point of the plot device -- sometimes characters need to exist or things need to happen just so that the story can happen
 -- those devices shouldn't be just dropped into the story where they're needed. They need to be  weaved in as not to interrupt the flow. Drea's help and Em's revelation about JD were employed at convenient times but not entirely justified. I found myself flicking back thinking I'd missed something when they came up out of nowhere.

I did find that the ending skilfully tied up the loose ends in a realistic manner, and the different perspective in the epilogue left room for the rest of the trilogy that the main story did not.

Fury was, overall, an well-plotted story with an intriguing premise, but the flawed pacing took away from it. My prediction is that now that the scene's been set and the main complication's been introduced that the rest of the series will pick up.

I give Fury a 3 out of 5.