ARC Review: The Furies by Katie Lowe

You’d kill to be one of them. 1998. A sixteen-year-old girl is found dead on school property, dressed in white and posed on a swing. No known cause of death. Four girls know what happened. And until now they’ve kept their silence.

In 1998, after a tragic accident claimed the lives of her father and sister, she joins Elm Hollow Academy, a private girls’ school with an unpleasant history of 17th century witch trials. There she is drawn to Robin, Grace, Alex and their charismatic teacher, Annabel; she is invited to join them in their advanced study group.

There they learn about art, literature and the grisly history of the school. Though Annabel claims her classes aren’t related to ancient rites and rituals, she warns them off the topic, describing it as little more than mythology. However, the more the girls learn, the more they start to believe that magic is real, and that together they can harness it.

But when the body of a former member of the society is found on campus nine months after the she disappeared, fingers are pointed at those closest to her. Leading Violet to wonder whether she can trust her friends, teachers, or even herself.


I gave it 2 stars.

I would like to firstly thank the publishers for providing me with a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. My opinions have not been influenced by this in any way.

The Furies by Katie Lowe has all the right elements to make me love it, and that was what I expected would happen. Unfortunately, that was not the case. In fact, I could not even finish reading it. I am writing this review after having given up on reading this book at 67%.

What I Liked:

I loved the setting, this allusive and alluring dark academia in a British coastal city. It worked perfectly to the tone of the story and it made it so much more intriguing and somewhat dreamy in its dark atmosphere.

The mystical and feminist aspects of this book and the way they are interconnected in the story were very well-done and I thought it was a very interesting aspect.

The writing is amazing. It was intensely descriptive and just overall perfect for this kind of book.

I can also really appreciate the idea, the whole concept behind this story, characters and the idea of “the furies”.

What I Did Not Like:

The first and foremost thing that really hindered my enjoyment of this story was the characters. Violet, the main character, is a bland, seemingly apathetic girl throughout the first half of the story. She can’t connect or fit in with most of the girls at her school, except Robin and she clings desperately to her and her other friends even as her life gets exponentially darker. Robin was the overly-dramatic, reckless girl prone to excess and bad decisions. Grace was the quiet, somewhat beatified victim and Alex was the rich girl who loved these two, essentially. These were not particularly interesting characters, and aside from Grace I could not find any justification for their actions – in the part of the book I did read, that is.

Although I did love the writing, I do think it failed in one aspect. There’s little emotion in this first-person perspective novel even as horrible things happen to Violet. I never felt the characters’ emotions, I never even felt remotely moved (though I did feel horrified with what Tom did).

The prologue was what initially made me incredibly intrigued and even slightly enthralled by this story. However, it also foreshadowed some actions and events that would otherwise be shocking and disturbing. It made all of those things predictable, and consequently duller.

In short, there were some aspects I really loved about this book but I didn’t enjoy reading it at all. I don’t like giving up on books, but I always felt a little forced, and I didn’t want to know the ending, or what would happen to these characters. I simply could not continue with it.

Nevertheless, I still recommend this book. If you think it might be interesting than I fully recommend giving it a go and seeing for yourself.

4 thoughts on “ARC Review: The Furies by Katie Lowe

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