I genuinely thought I would love this book when I first started it. The premise sounded simply amazing: witchcraft, murder, and teenage hijinks. But what I found was a book that wasn’t sure what it wanted to be. Is it an angsty teen drama, creepy witchcraft story, murder mystery? What it really is is a story about peer pressure and misbehaving teenagers.
Set in a seaside town in the UK in the late 90s, The Furies follows present-day Violet, looking back on her teenage years. Following a tragic car accident that kills her father and sister, Violet gets a scholarship to prestigious private school, Elm Hollow. There she attracts the attention of Robin, Grace and Alex and their eccentric teacher Annabel. Before long she finds herself invited to join their coveted study group. There they dive into the schools grim history, most notably the 17th century witch trials. The girls become fascinated with the notion of witchcraft and decide to try it for themselves. As their actions become darker and things begin to escalate, Violet must decide who to trust and how far she’s willing to go to protect her friends and herself.
I wanted so badly to like this book, but I struggled to get through it and found it rather pretentious, when it tries to market itself as scandalous and witchy. It features some intriguing anecdotes about the history of witchcraft and the Greek inspirations were interesting, but the way they were littered in felt contrived and unimportant.
I struggled to get through the story, believing that the amount of setup might pay off in the end. While the ending surprised me, the execution of it was poor and the shock value wasn’t there. Overall this was not an enjoyable book for me.
Thank you to Netgalley and St. Martin’s Press for the review copy!