The Furies by Katie Lowe is one of those books that I was so excited to read based on premise alone but I didn’t hype it up in my own head. I’m glad I didn’t do this because otherwise I would have been really, really disappointed instead of like…meh.
In all honesty, The Furies is a solid 3 star read, but it really could have been so much more, and that’s what’s bummed me out about it. I listened to this on audiobook and thought that the narrator did an amazing job considering the material given to them. Basically, whilst I’m glad I didn’t buy The Furies I am glad that I’ve read it.
But before I get into the meat of the good and bad ‘whys’ of my opinion, let me tell you a little bit of what The Furies is about.
So The Furies is pretty much centred around Violet, our 16 year old teenage outcast protagonist. When she was younger she survived a car crash that killed her father and sister. She’s been left with her mum who is practically lost to grief now. Since then, she’s used the payout money from her family’s death to attend a prestigious all-girls boarding school where she can get a fresh start.
Desperate to fit in, she is quickly (and surprisingly) taken under the wing of Robin, a bad girl in every sense of the word, and her 2 other friends. The 4 girls quickly become tight with each other and are even all part of a secret class taught by their compelling art teacher, Annabel. These lessons involve the history of the school – which involves witch trials and executions -, Greek mythology and the arts and literature. (It’s all a little old-school pretentious to be honest).
These lessons are where things start getting a little dangerous with the girls as their lessons involve women in the occult and powerful and oppressed women throughout history…and you know…the occult is massively mentioned a lot.
From there, Violet discovers a darker side of herself and the world as she begins to drink, smoke, take drugs and have sex – all heavily manipulated by Robin – and constantly makes sure she is doing what Robin wants in order to fit in.
Oh yeah, there’s a missing girl and murder involved too…but honestly they kinda take a back seat here.
Okay, so that’s the gist of The Furies – so what did I think?
Eh. 3 stars. There was such promise here, and there are elements that could have been absolutely amazing…but the negative parts of the book overshadowed them.
Let me talk about characters first – pretty much just the 4 girls. Let’s go from most meh to most irritating and unlikable.
Alex and Grace. The two truly interchangeable characters in The Furies. These two girls make up 50% of the private little clique in the school. They are there for set decoration only really, because the story is really only about Violet and Robin.
Robin. What a psycho, crazy bitch! Wow. She wasn’t that likable. And 100% toxic. She was cruel, manipulative and mean and…for what? Don’t get me wrong, I know people like this exist, I went to an all-girls school –trust me, I know they are out there. But Robin was on Bitch Steroids or something. She almost became a caricature and it became unrealistic for me.
Violet. Urgh. Violet seems to be smart but does dumb things. At least, I think that’s what Lowe was going for but Violet is not clever. At all. She does all these stupid things – that she causes – and then gets pissed off at everyone else. Argh! Biggest example: She basically let Tom have his way with her and then got mad about it, as if he violently raped her…okay… Violet is also desperate to be accepted, especially by Robin and girl…the desperation is real. Get a backbone, bitch!
And here’s the problem for The Furies – especially when it comes to Violet and Robin: The Furies is a slow burn character based story told from Violet’s point of view, and the narrative focuses a lot on the relationship between Violet and Robin. Also, we got a lot of telling and not a lot of showing when it came to Violet. I guess that’s why I didn’t care about her. At all.
Also, these girls have a very toxic relationship where Violet is constantly manipulated by Robin…which is awful, but I didn’t care. Because Violet didn’t seem to – or at least she didn’t try to do anything about it. Thank you, next.
Ok, that’s enough about characters. Let’s move on to everything else in The Furies.
I have to admit that Lowe does a pretty good job at showcasing teenage angst and insecurities, especially with how these can, and often do, lead people to make ill-fated decisions.
The prose was quite pretentious at times – especially all the school-lesson bullshit. Honestly, there were pages of just teacher dialogue, during a lesson! It was so boring! I did my time! Don’t make me go back to school! Speaking of the prose, as intelligent as it was at times, it was often plumped-up, overdressed and lacked any real heart.
But the dialogue was believable – I have to give credit where credit is due. The teenagers spoke like teenagers, so at least there was no cringe factor here!
I have no idea where or when The Furies is set to be honest. I mean, I do, I read the blurb. Some sleepy coastal town and in the 1990’s. But there was none of that in the story! Ok, there is no Snapchat talk or anything, but other than that this really could have been set anywhere at any time.
I don’t beelive the ending –at all, and I hate that there were no consequences for any of the characters. I mean…they didn’t even care about the things they did…
And final point, honestly the whole book could have been at least 25% shorter and be better for it. It lost my attention multiple times.
But I like the witchy vibes and there is some solid story behind all the fluff – even if it is a bit derivate – so it’s a mixed bag if truth be told.
So yeah, those are my thoughts on The Furies – glad I read it, glad I didn’t spend money on it.
Oh yeah! There was a missing girl and murder and shit wasn’t there?! Well, the fact that I forgot about it all until now should tell you everything you need to know about that!
If you’re looking for a female-led revenge story, i’d highly recommend Sadie.
Do you want to feel the fury of The Furies? You can buy it here with FREE worldwide delivery!
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