- Paperback: 256 pages
- Publisher: Ember (May 14 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0375872434
- ISBN-13: 978-0375872433
- Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.5 x 21 cm
- Shipping Weight: 222 g
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
Fury's Fire Paperback – May 14 2013
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About the Author
LISA PAPADEMETRIOU started working in children's publishing as an intern at The Horn Book Magazine and The Horn Book Guide, while still a junior at Vassar College. Upon graduation, she moved to Guatemala City and taught high school English in a bilingual school. When she returned to the United States, she accepted a job as an editorial assistant at Scholastic, Inc., and has since worked in an editorial capacity at 17th Street Productions, HarperCollins Publishers, and Disney Press. She has written over 30 books for young readers.
From the Hardcover edition.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
Ice begets ice and flame begets flame; Those that go down never rise up again. --Sailors’ proverb
An uneasy weight hung on Gretchen’s chest as she looked around the dim room. I was dreaming something--what was it? Gretchen’s mind cast about for a train of thought but clutched at emptiness. She couldn’t remember. She knew only that she was glad to be awake.
It was that moment before sunrise when the sky has begun to turn gray and the world is filled with shadows. The room was still, but the yellow curtains near her bureau fluttered slightly, and fear skittered down her spine with quick spider steps. “Who’s there?” Gretchen asked.
There was a sound like a sigh, and Gretchen’s chest tightened in fear. Something was there. By the window. A dark presence. She could almost make out the shape of a man behind the yellow cloth.
Her voice tightened in her throat; she couldn’t scream. Someone was in her room. Gretchen’s mind reeled, searching for an answer. It was Kirk. Crazy Kirk Worstler--the sophomore who babbled incoherently about seekriegers and angels--had come to kill her. He had stolen into her room once before, to give her a painting. It was a picture of mermaids, a coded message that only he could decipher. . . .
“Kirk?” she whispered. Her voice sounded loud in the still and silent room.
Gretchen sat up. “Kirk?” she said again. She blinked, and the light shifted. The dimness of the gray lifted, like fog burning away in the sun. Suddenly, everything looked different, and she could see clearly.
There was nothing there.
The curtains sagged, and Gretchen understood her mistake. The folds fell at odd angles, suggesting a human form. But the presence she sensed earlier had disappeared completely.
“Dream cobwebs,” Gretchen said aloud. That’s what her father, Johnny Ellis, called it when you woke up and still had traces of your nightmares clinging to your mind. She pushed back her covers and swung her legs over the side of her bed, and something tore at her ankle.
Gretchen screamed, jumping backward as her cat, Bananas, tumbled from beneath the bedskirt. The feline rolled onto her back playfully, then sat up and curled her tail around her feet, as if nothing had happened and she had no idea why Gretchen was acting so dramatic.
“Cat--” Gretchen started.
Bananas just looked at her, then nonchalantly began to groom her paw.
“Licking my flesh from your claws?” Gretchen asked, rubbing the scratch on her foot. It wasn’t bad, really, but it did itch. As if she was offended by the question, the orange and white cat turned and strutted out the half-open door.
As the striped tail disappeared, Gretchen again glanced toward the window. It was just a dream, she told herself.
The light shone through the curtains now, and she could see the shape of the tree beyond the window. There was nothing left of the dark presence . . . nothing but the feeling of dread that still sat in Gretchen’s chest.
Gretchen yanked off her nightgown and pulled on a pair of red running shorts. She tugged on her sports bra and then ducked into an ancient T‑shirt advertising the Old Mill, a cafe in one of the neighboring towns. When she’d lived in Manhattan, Gretchen used to run along the reservoir in Central Park. It was near her Upper East Side apartment, and Gretchen enjoyed running beside the water . . . and the fact that an enormous chain-link fence surrounded the reservoir. She could see it, but she couldn’t fall in. Gretchen didn’t like water.
Gretchen had never run much at the summer house. There were no sidewalks along the street by her house, so it wasn’t really convenient. But now that she and her father were going to be living here full-time, she would have to find a way. Running was what kept her head clear in the cold months. And even though it was only the end of September, the mornings were already turning chilly.
“What are you doing here?” Gretchen asked as she tramped into the kitchen. Her father was sitting at the Formica table, sipping from a cup of coffee and halfheartedly skimming the New York Times.
“I live here, remember?” Johnny said. He smiled at her, but it was a smile like a heavy weight--as if it was an effort to make it happen.
“Don’t pretend like you’re some kind of early riser.” Gretchen reached for a banana. “It’s six-thirty.”
Gretchen frowned. “That’s not good.”
Johnny shrugged. “It happens.” He took another long pull of coffee. “I’ll feel better once everything arrives.”
He meant the things from their Manhattan apartment. Once Johnny had given up the lease, it had taken only two hours for the building manager to find a new tenant. They had been replaced in true New York City style--immediately and without mercy. “When do the movers get here?” Gretchen asked.
Gretchen nodded. She would feel better once her things had arrived, too. Even though she would miss living in Manhattan, she was ready to close that chapter of her life, to write The End above it instead of having the pages go on and on with no clear purpose. Besides, she thought, we need the money.
When her mother had moved out, she had kept custody of most of the funds. Yvonne was an heiress and knew about investments; Johnny had never been in charge of the finances before. So, for a few years, things went on exactly as they had before: Manhattan private school, expensive rent for the apartment, trips abroad. Then, quite suddenly, Johnny realized that they were out of money. A few bad investments and several years of living beyond their means had left them in terrible debt. As a result, they were abandoning the apartment and living in what Gretchen liked to think of as “the ancestral home”--the old farmhouse her grandfather had bought more than half a century ago, which Johnny had inherited, and which he owned free and clear.
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Another thing that I liked a lot was the growing romance between Gretchen and Will. They finally crossed passed that "friend" line and realized that they felt deeper feelings for one another. It wasn't one of those overly sweet fakey romances either. It was believable and flawed, which made it perfect. I also liked that the new character, Mafer. She was a great compliment to the story, even if she didn't have a large part. I hope we see more of her in the next book. Another character I want to see more of is crazy Kirk and Angus. Kirk adds so much to this story that it's hard to imagine a book without him. Angus is just nice comic relief.
I have to admit that the biggest surprise I found in Fury's Fire was the mythology element. Yep, that's right: Mythology. Gretchen had a run in with Calypso in Siren's Song, but now she is battling against Circe. Oh, and don't forget the HUGE role that the Fury's play in this tale. Now that was a complete shocker--and I'm usually pretty good at figuring out plots. I knew there was something special about one of the characters, but I never guess that outcome. I geek out over mythology and mermaids, so when you combine the two, I don't know how to handle myself. I thought the inclusion of Circe as an antagonist was clever and well handled.
This is not the series for you if you want rainbows and kittens with your mermaid story. These mermaids are hardcore killers bent on destroying men. In fact, the seek them out and slice them up with their razor sharp teeth and claws. How's that for the warm fuzzies? If you like darker stories that develop slowly, then you should give Fury's Fire a try. You might find yourself pleasantly surprised.
I liked both main characters, Will and Gretchen. But the relationship bet ween them is where I found myself losing interest. Will is over protective, deliberately hiding things from Gretchen and acting possessive and jealous. As for Gretchen, I couldn't understand why she was with Will. There are no thoughts about their relationship. All of that comes form Will, making it seem very one sided and I wasn't invested in their romance because of this.
What kept me from giving this 4 stars is the over use of dreams and retelling of the past. I lost track of how many chapters started with a dream or memory, and even the ending seemed to be disconnected. After the main action, there is no aftermath, just an epilogue that tells me what has happened in the weeks since. I also had a hard time understanding why the villain in this story always went for the public kill. There were plenty of opportunities for the villain to get to Gretchen when only the two of them were present. It just didn't make sense to me.
Overall, Fury's Fire is an interesting read, and even though I wasn't sure exactly what happened in Siren's Storm, Papademetriou fed in enough back story so I was able to fill in enough details to figure out what was going on. She had a clean style that kept the plot moving at a nice flow, and the book was a very quick read.
I think the biggest thing the drew me back to the story was that I don't think Getchen fully knew who she was. And if she doesn't know who she is, how can she possibly understand what she is capable of. She had too many holes in what happened towards the end of book one. Will may have witnessed it all, but he seems to hesitant to believe what he really saw. And how can he tell Gretchen what he think really happened?
I understand when characters go through some changed when major events happen. But, for some reason Will and Gretchen feel off in this book. Gretchen seems to blame Will for every little thing that happens. Will tiptoes around her afraid of what she might do or say. Plus, he hides things from her. It's never better to let someone learn the truth in some other fashion.
I did like the story behind who Gretchen really is. There's a lot of mythology woven into it. Sadly, the last battle seems week and the story took to long to get there.