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Saturday, August 27, 2011

Review: Fury by Elizabeth Miles

Author: Elizabeth Miles
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: August 30, 2011

Goodreads summary (edited):
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 Em and Chase have been chosen to pay.

Why I wanted to read this book:
1. The cover.
2. Characters with flaws.
3. The cover.
4. Mythological creatures from Greek Mythology
5. The cover.

*sigh* Yeah, it was the cover. I am getting a little tired of seeing covers with girls in fancy dresses, but this one just spoke to me. That fiery red hair all over the place. I know that I, personally, would not do well with hair like that, but it speaks to my youth. Yes, there was a time when all I wanted in the world was a Barbie Doll with hair that came down to her ankles. Maybe that's what all these "girls in dresses" covers are about - speaking to our inner Barbie. They need to realize, it's not just the dress - it's the HAIR!!! :)

But back to the review:

I would have to say that Fury is probably not a book for everyone. First of all, the characters are rather unlikeable, and for some, that may be hard to get past. We learn in the second chapter that Em is in love with her best friend's boyfriend and despite her insistence that she loves Gabby, she plows forward with those feelings regardless of how wrong it is. Then there's Chase, who when we meet him seems intent on nothing but securing the hottest date for his very important sporting event/dinner. He's ashamed of his mother and his trailer park digs. He's shallow and conceited and every time his perfectly preppy attire was mentioned I felt like strangling him with a shoelace. The only "nice" character in the whole book was JD, and he was so classically cliche that I had a hard time getting interested in him.

Yet, it was because I had heard these characters were flawed that I wanted to give the book a chance. I do love flawed characters when they are presented in just the right way, with voice and maybe some justification as to why they are that way. When they feel like "real" people with faults. But, the characters in Fury just seemed dim to me. Even so, while I was reading Fury, I was asking myself, why is it that I've come to expect YA characters to be either incredibly likeable or to have "understandable" unlikeability? I found myself comparing these characters to those of Stephen King. Back when I used to read King religiously, I never thought about whether I should put a book down because the characters were unsavory. I LIKED their darkness. I LIKED their rawness. I LIKED it that I was only see surface features, dimness (maybe because that made it more fun when the monsters got them?). I'm not sure when that changed or if it even did, but while reading Fury, I decided that for once, I wasn't going to care that the characters were infuriating (no pun intended). I was just going to keep reading because of the mystery.

And Fury did have some mystery to it. When I downloaded the book several weeks ago, I had forgotten what the story was supposed to be about. This was good, for me. When the mysterious girls showed up, I was anxious to figure out who they were, and since it's not spelled out right away, I was left guessing through most of the book. It kept me going when the characters were making me feel like I wanted to tie them down and stomp all over them. Thankfully, by the time I did figure it out, the characters had changed somewhat, and I wasn't quite so anxious to see them as roadkill. I've purposely eliminated any spoilers here so that you can have the same reaction if you decide to read - provided of course that you haven't read any other reviews.

One other word -  or warning - about Fury. It's sloooow. And loooooong. At 340-some pages, it could have easily been cut down a bit without losing anything. Nothing interesting happens until page 60, and even after the interesting things start,the sequence of events just crawls at a snail's pace. The big reveal doesn't happen until the last 50 pages or so, and by then I was getting frustrated that I wasn't being given any clues as to what was really going on. The pacing just If it weren't for my insistence to finish what I've started, I probably would have stopped reading it.

My final reaction: it was different than most paranormals I've read. A lot of cliches and common plot devices used in other paranormals were lacking, and that was refreshing. But there were plenty of other things, the characters and the pacing, that make me hesitant to recommend it without some caution. Some may like it, some may not. There's a sequel in the works, but I probably won't be picking it up.

Thanks to Simon Pulse for providing this e-galley.




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