Eternity by Elizabeth Miles

Just finished reading Eternity by Elizabeth Miles which is the final instalment in the series about The Furies (the others being Fury and Envy).  Whilst I can’t deny that I’ve had niggles with this series on the whole it has been entertaining.

The Furies were part of Greek and Roman mythology.  Three women, angry women I might add, deities who dole out vengeance – and at the moment they’re alive and kicking in the town of Ascension.  Warning – if you haven’t read the first two books then this review will undoubtedly contain spoilers.

The main character of the Story is Em, unfortunately she has become the target of the Furies following book No.1 and in fact has made a pact with them in order to save her childhood friend and secret love (JD – her next door neighbour).  Unfortunately Em didn’t quite realise just how serious it is to make a pact with these ladies and her life is slowly spiralling out of control.  It seems that one of the Furies has designs to do something of a life swap and Em has only a short time frame to try to knock things off course.

I enjoyed the characters more in this story – that’s perhaps because they’re all actually afraid now.  In the first two books I can’t deny that some of the characters were annoying occasionally but in no.3 it seems that everyone is finally afraid of what has been unleashed upon them and instead of wondering if their best friend’s boyfriend is trying to catch their eye or if they have the best lip gloss they’re now a bit more anxious about staying alive.

The stories are set in Ascension – an everyday town in Maine – where things are currently rushing to the conclusion.  Em trying to find a way to banish the Furies back to wherever they came from, JD trying to find what Em is hiding and Crowe – the tortured, talented and mysterious musician (who also happens to be rather fond of Em – and also has prophetic tendencies) trying to make sense of his visions.

In terms of criticisms.  Well, the ending I felt was a little rushed but that could be just me and endings.  I couldn’t help thinking that people spend a lot of time running around and agreeing to meet to sort things out and yet as soon as they actually got together they ultimately bickered and left again – it just somehow gave a feeling of very little ever being achieved.  And, yes, in the grand scheme of things I still can’t help thinking that the Furies could better spend their time and attention rather than on a bunch of teenagers whose worst misdemeanour is sleeping with somebody else’s boyfriend or wanting to be part of the in crowd.

However, in spite of criticisms I thought this was a good conclusion.  Miles has a really lovely writing style and is very good at writing to give you the chills on the back of your neck and she has plenty of scope to go at that with the Furies!

On the whole this was a satisfying ending to the series.

I’m submitting this to Stainless Steel Droppings Once Upon a Time Event.

I’m also including it as a backlist burndown book over at Tenacious Reader and an end of series – triple win!

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Envy by Elizabeth Miles

Just finished reading Envy by Elizabeth Miles which is the second in the series the first book being Fury.  Set in Ascension we again follow the story through Em with the alternating voice being taken up by a new girl to the school and neighbourhood – Skylar.  If you haven’t read the first book and intend on doing so then you should probably avoid the rest of this review for fear of spoilers.

Skylar has secrets in her past.  Secrets that she doesn’t want to reveal.  She’s been taken under the wing of the most popular girl at school – Gabby (Em’s best friend) and she has her mind set on becoming very popular.  Nothing is going to stand in her way – but her past mustn’t come out!

Em meanwhile has a number of things going on in her life – she’s changing, although she can’t quite pinpoint how.  JD – her next door neighbour and the boy that she discovered she has strong feelings for – is not speaking to her and she is desperate to restore their friendship although this is made difficult by the pact of secrecy she made with the Furies at the end of book No.1 – a pact which means she must not talk of or reveal anything about them.  She’s still best friends with Gaby but now also hangs with a different crowd, mainly Drea who helped her figure things out about the Fury’s in the first instalment and provides the same sort of role in this book, and Crow – a drop out from school who plays and writes his own music and is strangely attracted to Em.  I must admit I liked Crow and thought he was a good addition.

As with the first book, I enjoyed Envy – but this doesn’t mean that I don’t have niggles!

I like the writing style of the author.  She does a good job of conjuring up the place and of course being the second in the series we’re already familiar with some of the people and their motivations.  I like the way she manages to build the suspense.  You know that something simply awful is going to take place and you’re cringing with anticipation.  I also think, as with the first book there are a number of points where the author manages to make you feel a bit ‘creeped out’.  She has a way of making you feel that somebody is watching you, out of sight.  It’s a bit of a freaky feeling really.

In terms of criticisms.  Well, fairly similar to book number one.  Again, it’s difficult to like the characters.  Skylar is quite frankly a horrible and deceitful person with no redeeming features.  I just really didn’t like her – and again, I don’t think you’re supposed to otherwise it would be difficult to accept any kind of punishment that the Furies will eventually mete out.  Em also is difficult to like.  She’s not a particularly good friend to either of the two girls who she claims to be friends with.  She only really bothers with Drea because she needs her help and Gaby she barely sees.  She seems to spend a lot of time thinking about JD or running around looking for the Furies but never really properly engaging with anyone.  I think I also found it difficult to believe that Gaby would be so forgiving of her and still claim to be her best friend.  At the end of the day I would be very hard pressed to still think of someone as my best friend if they slept with my boyfriend – and perhaps that makes me a bad person but I just don’t see how you would still have the same level of trust?

Criticisms aside – and it does look as though I have a few.  I did enjoy the book.  This series is very readable due to the writing style.  The content is also fairly original – well, being set in high school and having all sorts of love triangles going on is not necessarily original.  But, if you’re reading YA you have to expect that.  What is original is the tale of the Furies.  I like the use of Greek Mythology in the story and the Furies really don’t come across as the type of avenging goddesses who will be easily appeased.  To be frank I think that the presence of the Furies in these books is underplayed and they should have more exposure.  They definitely bring the horror element out a little more and manage to conjure a ‘Carrie-esque’ style ending to Envy.

I will definitely read No.3 – I need to know how this all ends now.

Greek myth/goddesses, horror and creepiness – I’m submitting this for my R.I.P. event.  Check out the details here.

Fury by Elizabeth Miles

Just finished reading Fury by ElizabethMiles.  I must say this was a very engaging read, well written, quite unique and compellingly different.  I didn’t really know what to expect with this book but the whole Fury concept based on ancient Greek mythology was great.

The story is based around Em, Chase and Zach – or at least they are the primary characters – and is a tale of revenge (actually I think it’s more a tale of retribution).  Em is part of the ‘in crowd’ and her best friend Gabby is the pack leader and girlfriend to the school heartthrob Zach.  But Em is lusting over Zach and he appears to return the feeling so when Gabby goes away for a winter break she leaves the door wide open.  Chase is also one of the popular guys, even though he’s from the wrong side of the tracks, but he’s always very aware of how precarious his position is and how easily he could be brought down, plus, he has a bit of a grim secret.  So, the scene is set and in walk the Fury’s.  Three beautiful girls but they’re not really all they seem and they’re intent on payback.

I suppose the school scene at Ascension is nothing we haven’t seen (Mean Girls) or read (Before I Fall) before.  You basically have your in crowd run by bitchy girls who have the ability to make some of the other students’ lives hell.  I mean, the girls in this book don’t come across as bad as some but to be honest scheming to take your best friend’s boyfriend is pretty low and frankly just wrong and yet Em doesn’t seem to feel hardly any guilt at all.  Zach is just basically a low life, wealthy, privileged and spoilt and who sees every girl as another notch on the bedpost – even the best friend of his girlfriend.

Em’s next door neighbour and not so secret admirer is JD.  JD is an excellent character who I really liked.  He is a genuine friend and tries his best to help Em and keep her from falling foul of Zach’s design.

On top of this we have an alternative storyline revolving around Chase who seems to be slowly unwinding – especially when he learns that one of the students from school has tried to commit suicide.  When Chase meets a beautiful red haired, green eyed girl he thinks his luck is picking up but in actual fact his luck has just run out.

I definitely had conflicting feelings reading this book – Sometimes I really didn’t like the characters and then at others I found myself feeling sorry for them (not Zach – I never liked or felt any compassion for him at any point during the story).  There’s Em who has basically proved herself to be the worst type of friend but who does eventually see the error of her ways and does try to redeem herself.  Chase – sometimes I was appalled at his duplicitous behaviour – he was ashamed of his mother and felt degraded by his living conditions.  I can understand him having aspirations but I never felt that he had any family love at all.  That being said I was literally cringing over his eventual downfall and to be honest I think price he finally paid just seemed harsh – I just couldn’t help feeling sorry for him.

What I particularly liked about this book was the writing.  Such a lovely writing style that flowed so well.  It really is difficult to believe that this is a debut novel when the story telling is this good.  On top of this we have a really dramatic ending and there are some genuinely creepy, hair standing up on the back of your neck moments.  I also liked the Fury’s they’re sort of deliciously bad.

In terms of criticisms – I think that one area that people will struggle with when reading this book is their dislike of the characters – it is difficult to like them because of their own mean spirited behaviour.  That being said, personally I think that’s the point.  You’re not supposed to like them otherwise it would be difficult to accept their eventual come-uppance.  But, it is a struggle sometimes to read a book where you’re just naffed off with the characters or staggered by their naivety or downright stupidity.  Also, it’s difficult to accept the level of retribution that is eventually dished out and you can’t help wondering if the Fury’s couldn’t find a better focus for their attention rather than boyfriend stealers!

Criticisisms aside though I really enjoyed this.  I was gripped with all the build up and it put me in mind of a sort of mild horror where you’re watching what’s happening between your fingers, you’re thinking ‘no don’t do that’ but you know it’s inevitable.  So, thinking more than you should about your best friend’s boyfriend or acting mean or cruel and making somebody’s life miserable – well, maybe you should think twice about your actions – you have been warned!  Apparently what goes around comes around.

I would have no hesitation in recommending Fury and I will look forward to No.2 with eager anticipation!

 

Fury

Fury