Pick up Portland writer Elizabeth Miles’ first novel, “Fury,” and you might wonder if Stephen King once drove to her house from Bangor, sprinkling handfuls of “Carrie” dust along the way.

In truth, however, the world of “Fury” is Miles’ own. Despite its focus on high schoolers and its aura of menace, “Fury” is by no means a child of King’s first published book. It takes its inspiration from writings much older than that. Miles reaches into ancient tales of Greek mythology and mixes them with a fondness for modern horror movies. What matters to readers, especially the young adult readers Miles is targeting here, is that the mix is a good one.

It’s no easy achievement. How do you bring the mythology of ancient Greece to Maine, especially into Miles’ fictional small town of Ascension, where young people are into electronic cameras and games, sports, friendships and crushes far more than into guideposts for moral living?

Ascension’s young people, whether from prosperous homes or rundown trailer parks, are deeply self-centered. Most are very much into how they are perceived by others. They inhabit the same physical world as their parents — when those parents are around — but it’s as though they think and feel, move and talk in totally different dimensions.

And sometimes, given Miles’ characters, they really do.

At the heart of the story are the three Furies: Immortal, shape-shifting creatures of myth who have come to Ascension to see wrong-doing (as they perceive it) punished, and justice (again, as they perceive it) satisfied. Readers learn, page by page, how radically those perceptions may differ from their own.

Decoding starts early, with the book jacket. Sometimes you can indeed tell a book by its cover. This one features a young and beautiful woman with a fiery mane of red hair swirling around her. Hard-eyed and seductive, she is a force of nature. A Fury.

And, as we see in the story that unfolds, justice is sought and delivered on her own terms. As the jacket also warns us, “Sometimes sorry isn’t enough.”

Two high school juniors in Ascension, Em and Chase, are caught in the eye of this fiery storm. They have been selected by the Furies for punishment for hurts they have inflicted on friends. The transgressions range in calamity. But the punishment is always serious, as Em and Chase learn. And the resolution of their crises becomes ever more complex.

Beyond that, the sense of threat and danger is heightened by Maine’s winter weather, which, as Miles has suggested, “always makes things a little bit creepier.”

In this case, however, the threat and turmoil the Furies inflict contrast vividly with the self-centered lives of the high schoolers and the mundane outward appearance of their lives. Greater forces are at work here than raging teenage hormones. Greater achievements are at stake than basketball games or going steady. And greater consequences await than any of the young people of Ascension can envision.

Elizabeth Miles is a writer who likes contrasts. Among the breakfasts she has enjoyed since finishing “Fury,” she says, is one that featured tortilla chips with salsa and a “spoonful of peanut butter.” Fiery and smooth — the same descriptions are at work in her book.

Move over, “Carrie,” the Furies have come to town.

Nancy Grape writes book reviews for the Maine Sunday Telegram.