aidanadia's Reviews > Fury

Fury by Elizabeth  Miles
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Jul 31, 11

bookshelves: unpalatable-literature, fooled-by-the-cover, ya-paranormal
Read in July, 2011

SPOILER ALERT

After reading three hundred pages of agony inducing melodrama, I found myself repeatedly asking, “But why?” Three hundred pages of a mundane story should have provided sufficient, satisfying answers for my question and then some, but it seems as though the author was preoccupied with the promise of a trilogy. Regardless of my theorising, the fact of the matter remains that there were some overarching questions left unanswered (which is really quite unacceptable), and thus led me to my conviction that Elizabeth Miles desperately needs to rewrite her novel, Fury.

Whilst the initial premise of this book was interesting – mythology meets the modern teen world – Fury ultimately read like a sketchy first draft begging for a decent editor. The Furies, whose presence was required to punish the transgressions of fickle teenagers, was underwhelming as a result of going vastly unexplored. There was no tangible substantiation as to why exactly the Furies were hunting down these pseudo-sinning boys and girls and meting out unbefitting punishments for the crimes that had been committed. Emily almost had sex with her best friend’s boyfriend – yes, truly a tragedy, but how is this case of almost adultery a crime that requires death as punishment? A better question: why were the Furies really even targeting Emily? “Because cheating is bad” is hardly a satisfactory answer. If that were really the reason behind pursuing Emily, then logically it should follow that the Furies target Zach for committing the same “crime”, and yet he escapes unscathed. Furthermore, surely there are better times to occupy the wrath of the Furies? None of these staggeringly important questions central to the plot are actually answered properly. As a consequence, the element of believability (which is a necessity for any work of fiction), ceases to exist in Fury, thereby diminishing the story’s overall value.

Show, don’t tell. Unfortunately for the overall quality of Fury, Elizabeth Miles failed to utilise this in her story. The actual storytelling aspect is clunky and awkward. Instead of being mellifluously woven into the prose, the plot’s focus points are presented as bland statements and details that perhaps would have fared better in the hands of a master. My perception of the relationship between JD and Emily was at best, a manipulative friendship – Emily uses JD as a chauffeur to popular parties, and JD uses Emily to feel validated. I never did expect a romantic tension to blossom, simply because those seeds weren’t sewn. Sharing silly French phrases and a string between windows is not a precursor to falling in love. The statement, “Em was in love with JD”, almost has a paranoid feel to it, as though the author isn’t sure whether this is obvious to the audience so she writes it explicitly, just in case. This does not work in Miles’ favour – the ignorance toward showing the audience something implicitly only goes to show how inexpert the writing is, and further decreases the quality of Fury.

Elizabeth Miles writes herself into a corner when it concerns the Furies – the story can’t progress if there is no force or character to challenge their presence, and what is the likelihood of the protagonist being able to come to the conclusion that the presence haunting her must of course be a mythological creation? How to solve this? Meet Drea Feiffer, also known as Fury’s deus ex machina. As Emily crashes her car under mysterious, magical circumstances and almost dies, the only person in all of Ascension, Maine, who just happens to have intimate knowledge concerning the Furies just happens to stop by and happens to save Emily. She just happens to know all about fixing cars, and therefore happens to be able to deduce what is happening. She just happens to know exactly what happened of Chase concerning his unfortunate encounter with the Furies. She just happens to have large tomes on the mythology of the Furies, and happens to be dedicated to the research. Thanks to Drea Feiffer, Emily is now fully aware of what is happening to her, and better equipped to save herself from a premature death – doesn’t that work out just fabulously?

It is for these reasons and more that I found Fury to be virtually intolerable as a work of fiction. Fury is a paper-wasting, cheap foray into the world of YA fiction, and I can only hope that Miles’ future works significantly improve after this lower-than-sub-par effort.
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Comments (showing 1-7 of 7) (7 new)

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Emily S. Yes. Just yes. I was SO excited for this one and found myself increasingly horrified at the awfulness of it all. Honestly, I'm having a hard time thinking of something I liked. Most certainly didn't live up to its gorgeous cover and all the hype that surrounded it.


aidanadia Hey, thanks for your comment! I'm completely with you here (just in case it wasn't obvious). I was hard-pressed to find anything I liked as well. When I finished reading Fury, all I could think was, "Okay, so what?" The cover is so misleading, such a disappointment - last time I judge a book by its cover!


message 3: by Deja (new)

Deja Ouch.


Wendy Darling Completely agree with your review.


message 5: by Frankie (new)

Frankie That's just depressing. Although I must say, your review was rather entertaining.

Thankyou for dissuading me from reading this book. The cover is so awesome.


aidanadia Thanks Kim! Glad I dissuaded you - the pretty cover is all it has. Don't trust pretty covers, ever.


message 7: by Frankie (new)

Frankie but...it's worked for me most of the time. except for like...new teen fiction. they keep trying to make fail series. =/


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