This page-turning, harrowing debut is the story of a girl trying to fit in, whose obsessive new friends and desperation to belong leads her to places she’d never imagined…dark, dangerous, and possibly even violent.
In 1998, a sixteen-year-old girl is found dead.
She’s posed on a swing on her boarding school’s property, dressed all in white, with no known cause of death. Whispers and rumors swirl, with no answers. But there are a few who know what happened; there is one girl who will never forget.
One year earlier: a new student, Violet, steps on the campus of Elm Hollow Academy, an all-girl’s boarding school on the outskirts of a sleepy coastal town. This is her fresh start, her chance to begin again in the wake of tragedy, leave her demons behind. Bright but a little strange, uncertain and desperate to fit in, she soon finds herself invited to an advanced study group, led by her alluring and mysterious art teacher, Annabel.
There, with three other girls–Alex, Grace, and Robin–the five of them delve into the school’s long-buried grim history: of Greek and Celtic legends; of the school founder’s “academic” interest in the occult; of gruesome 17th century witch trials. Annabel does her best to convince the girls that her classes aren’t related to ancient rites and rituals, and that they are just history and mythology. But the more she tries to warn the girls off the topic, the more they drawn to it, and the possibility that they can harness magic for themselves.
Violet quickly finds herself wrapped up in this heady new world of lawless power–except she is needled by the disappearance of a former member of the group, one with whom Violet shares an uncanny resemblance. As her friends’ actions take a turn for the darker and spiral out of control, she begins to wonder who she can trust, all the while becoming more deeply entangled. How far will these young girls go to protect one another…or to destroy one another?
Review: 4.5 Stars
The Furies was one of my most anticipated releases of the second half of the year. I had a review copy of this book for about six months before I finally got to read it and it has been calling to me from my shelf the entire time. After having been disappointed by several of my most anticipated releases recently I was pretty nervous starting this one, but it wound up being absolutely incredible. The Furies is a dark and eerie read that is a perfect choice for the month of October.
Since this book was compared to The Craft I had expected Violet to join a coven of witches who did dark spells, while this was similar I don’t know if I would call the girls witches. They studied demonology and things like that and did try out some rituals, but I wouldn’t say the main focus of this book is purely witchcraft. This is a very dark book, with themes of desperation, a lot of drug use and murder. The Furies is a cross between a thriller and a paranormal read that felt entirely real.
The characters are what truly brought this book to life. When Violet started at the local private school she was so desperate to have friends that she would do anything to not only have them, but to keep and to fit in with them. She became obsessed with her new friends Robin, Alex and Grace. Robin was my favorite character, probably because she was so flawed and morally grey. All of these characters just felt so real and so relatable regardless of the situations that they were in.
I really loved the writing. While the pacing is slower than I typically like I found that I didn’t mind because I didn’t want the story to end. It was character driven rather than plot driven and the characters were so strong that I wish that I could have kept reading about them. My only issue is that there were certain moments in the book, including the climax, that I felt like should have packed more of an emotional punch. While I do understand the author’s choice in having Violet be detached from these events because it made her character feel a little more unhinged, as a reader I felt like it lessened the impact of these huge moments.
I still can’t stop thinking about this book. The Furies really made an impact on me and I think a large part of that is because the characters felt so real, but I also think it’s because parts of this book were so dark and chilling. This was the perfect read to start off the spooky season and I can’t wait for others to read and experience this book as well.