Category Archives: Mythology

Furious – Jill Wolfson

Furious – Jill WolfsonTitle: Furious by Jill Wolfson
Publishing Info: April 16, 2013 by Macmillan
Genres: Mythology, Retelling, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: April 4, 2013

    Three high school girls become the avenging Furies of Greek legend.
    We were only three angry girls, to begin with. Alix, the hot-tempered surfer chick; Stephanie, the tree-hugging activist; and me, Meg, the quiet foster kid, the one who never quite fit in. We hardly knew each other, but each of us nurtured a burning anger: at the jerks in our class, at our disappointing parents, at the whole flawed, unjust world.
    We were only three angry girls, simmering uselessly in our ocean-side California town, until one day a mysterious, beautiful classmate named Ambrosia taught us what else we could be: Powerful. Deadly. Furious.

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I’ve always been interested in mythology even since I was a youngster, so I’ve really been into trying to pick up mythology retellings lately. When I hear about FURIOUS, I was like “HMMM. The Furies myth redone? I’m curious!” Sadly, curious was about as far as it went. I made it about halfway through before I found myself reading quickly, forcing myself to finish.

For those of you that aren’t familiar with the myth, the gist of it is that the three Furies were born from the blood and anger of the god Uranus after he was… erm, castrated (I can see why he was pissed) and they are responsible for the eye-for-and-eye type of justice in the world. In the retelling of FURIOUS, they’re three high school teenagers who are “discovered” to have the powers of the Furies deep within them and when the three hone into their skills, they can bring the high school jerks to their knees, right the wrongs of their own home lives, and bring even bigger justices to the world.

It’s hard to judge and say that this could have been done better since I’m not sitting here writing my own retelling, but I just didn’t feel like this interpretation of the myth came off well. All of the specifics and background of the myth were included in the book so it’s definitely thorough and accurate, but as a retelling, I think I wanted it to be LESS accurate. It was so integrated in the original myth that I feel like it almost got boxed in and pieces were forced to fit together that didn’t really go together. Some of the characters felt forced, the situations were the Furies use their power seemed a little silly, and I just felt like as a whole, it didn’t really come together to make one cohesive story. Personally, I would have liked to see a looser interpretation of the myth to fit more of a high school setting since it was drawn up for YA versus a more literal retelling and having some of it feel unauthentic to its setting.

As far as characters go, I didn’t really feel a connection to any of them. Except for maybe Raymond, the main character Meg’s best friend… And now that I’m thinking about it, maybe because he wasn’t a part of the myth so he wasn’t forced into a specific role? The development of the Furies’ powers and how they discover them didn’t feel natural for me and Meg as our main character wasn’t likable. I sympathized with her for the most part, but I mean, they’re FURIES. They’re mad, they want revenge, they want justice. It’s hard to connect with main characters who are basically pictured like bad guys who think they’re good guys.

FURIOUS just wasn’t for me. I rushed through the second half of the book so I could finish it, but really, I just wasn’t interested. I actually found myself not caring what happened to the end but it was going by pretty quickly so I figured I might as well finish. This was close to being a DNF for me but I pushed through it.

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Meg: Yeah, I didn’t really like Meg. She didn’t have much of a personality and once she got “furious” it made it even more difficult for me to like her. She wasn’t terrible but definitely not someone I connected with.
Ambrosia: Ambrosia seemed TOTALLY forced into this book. I think if we did without her character “guiding” the Furies and molding them, it would have been way more interesting, actually. I would have liked to see the girls figure the powers out for themselves, realize they all needed to be together, experiment in their own ways… Ambrosia’s influence and presence in the book was just way too convenient and totally unnatural for my tastes.
Raymond: I actually really liked Raymond! He was funny, outgoing, and the one character who had a real personality. If the story went a different way, it would have been so much fun to read about him but sadly he was put on the back burner through most of the book.

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Pass.

I just couldn’t get into this one and… I sadly just wouldn’t recommend it.

book_recommendations1BOOKS LIKE FURIOUS

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Dark Triumph (His Fair Assassin #2) – Robin LaFevers

Dark Triumph (His Fair Assassin #2) – Robin LaFeversTitle: Dark Triumph (His Fair Assassin #2) by Robin Lafevers
Publishing Info: April 2, 2013 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Source: Netgalley, Received from the publisher for review purposes
Genres: Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Mythology, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: March 21, 2013
Related Posts: Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin #1), Mortal Heart (His Fair Assassin #3)

The convent views Sybella, naturally skilled in the arts of both death and seduction, as one of their most dangerous weapons. But those assassin's skills are little comfort when the convent returns her home to the life that nearly drove her mad. And while Sybella is a weapon of justice wrought by the god of death himself, he must give her a reason to live. When she discovers an unexpected ally imprisoned in the dungeons, will a daughter of Death find something other than vengeance to live for?

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DarkTriumph

Maybe I needed someone to fangirl with while I read this. Maybe my hopes were too high. Maybe I shouldn’t be allowed to read long books on my Kindle because for some reason they feel like they take forever. Maybe I needed help from the Recaptains to remember what exactly was up with Sybella in GRAVE MERCY — But for whatever reason, I was SO BUMMED that I didn’t enjoyed DARK TRIUMPH as much as I had hoped. That’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy it, because I really did; I just hard a hard time getting into it as easily as I fell into GRAVE MERCY.

I was incredibly excited to jump into the Sybella’s story in DARK TRIUMPH since her side of the story seemed much darker and mysterious than that of Ismae in GRAVE MERCY and I was not disappointed with the tragic details of Sybella’s past as well as her difficult current assignment for the abbey. For some reason I just had a really hard time getting totally sucked in like I had with GM. I honestly feel like if I had read this as a hardcover instead of ebook, I would have had a better time with it. It sounds stupid, but I just felt like I was not making any progress with it on my Kindle (which is another reason I sometimes have a hard time reading ebooks) at a point where I felt a lot of reading pressure, and I really felt like it wasn’t fair to the book. Excuses aside, I still felt like I should have felt more enthralled than I was.

A few of my closest blogging friends absolutely loved this one, so I know it’s not that DARK TRIUMPH was a bad story — Aw hell, even I don’t think it was a bad story, BUT Sybella’s life is very different from Ismae’s. Once her life starts to intertwine with the fate of Beast (remember him? Duval’s light-hearted right hand man?), the reader can immediately see the potential for a romance there, but the romance just didn’t capture me as much as I had hoped it would. Since Sybella & Beast are quite different than our original romantic couple, Ismae & Duval, their relationship develops in a vastly different way and I felt developed even slower than the slow burn of the first book. I think I felt like it took a while for that romance to start and although I wasn’t keen on rushing it, I also think I needed a bit more of that earlier on to really tug on my heart strings and pull me in.

The other issue I had was the chase. Why is there always a chase in book two? WHY? Our beloved characters are on the run, fleeing injustice, hiding from bad guys, and camping in the woods… And clearly this is something in books I have come to loathe. I think it’s the act of not having a grounded setting? Maybe? I’m not 100% sure, but characters on the run creates a lot of action, but scenes that just don’t hold my attention. Unfortunately, this made up the first half of the book, so maybe that’s why it took me so long to get into DARK TRIUMPH.

All complaints aside, DARK TRIUMPH is another great addition to the collection of books that make up the HIS FAIR ASSASSIN trilogy. Robin LaFevers does a great job with this historical fiction (considering that’s not usually a genre I enjoy at all) and the language is easy to understand considering it’s written as the 15th century and there’s quite a bit of humor as well. Although book two didn’t quite sell me as much as I’d hoped, this was clearly a personal issue (stress? personal preference? Kindle?) and not a plot or character issue so I think GRAVE MERCY fans will still fall in love with DARK TRIUMPH!

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Sybella: Sybella definitely has a crazy and difficult life. Even after seeking shelter in the abbey, she still doesn’t quite fit in. She’s never been accepted wherever she goes, so it was really interesting to see her reactions to various predicaments in DT. I really enjoyed how different she was from Ismae and that Robin LaFevers was able to create such a different POV for the readers to follow and enjoy.
Beast: I’ve always loved Beast! He’s just so much fun, he’s honest, he’s fierce. Beast is a pleasure to read about and it was great to see his interactions and developing relationship with Sybella too. I was really glad we got to see him in the spotlight in DT!

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Buy it!

GRAVE MERCY is still my favorite so far but I really enjoyed DARK TRIUMPH as well! I think I need to re-read these books someday after they’ve sat for a while. I’d love to see how my feelings change or stay the same with a re-read!

book_recommendations1BOOKS LIKE DARK TRIUMPH

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