Friday, August 22, 2014

Mortal Danger by Ann Aguirre

Title: Mortal Danger
Author: Ann Aguirre
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal
Series: Immortal Game #1

Hardcover, 372 pages

Publication: August 5, 2014 by Feiwel & Friends  

Source: I received a review copy from the publisher/author in exchange for a honest review. 


Edie Kramer has a score to settle with the beautiful people at Blackbriar Academy. Their cruelty drove her to the brink of despair, and four months ago, she couldn’t imagine being strong enough to face her senior year. But thanks to a Faustian compact with the enigmatic Kian, she has the power to make the bullies pay. She’s not supposed to think about Kian once the deal is done, but devastating pain burns behind his unearthly beauty, and he’s impossible to forget.

In one short summer, her entire life changes and she sweeps through Blackbriar, prepped to take the beautiful people down from the inside. A whisper here, a look there, and suddenly . . . bad things are happening. It’s a head rush, seeing her tormentors get what they deserve, but things that seem too good to be true usually are, and soon, the pranks and payback turns from delicious to deadly. Edie is alone in a world teeming with secrets and fiends lurking in the shadows. In this murky morass of devil’s bargains, she isn’t sure who—or what—she can trust. Not even her own mind.
Who doesn’t like a good revenge story? While I was initially drawn in by the beautiful simplistic cover and interesting summary…Mortal Dangers’s main plot line turned out to be wholly different than what was stated in the synopsis. However, the misrepresentation of the plot turned out to be a deliciously dark surprise into the sinister world in which our main heroine Edith a.k.a. Edie has found herself in the middle of. 

As the summary stated Edie makes a deal with the devil (so to speak), where he grants her three wishes in exchange for three favors to be used for whichever he pleases at a later date. Unsurprisingly Edie’s first wish is to be beautiful. At the start of the story readers learn of Edie’s years of torment and bullying by The Beautiful People (popular kids, Teflon Crew)…bullying and tormenting for being smart and ugly…Every. Single. Day. And the only way to react revenge upon The Beautiful People is to infiltrate the group from within, which is why she asked for beauty. Many reviewers were put off by Edie’s sudden change/transformation and how once Edie was beatified everything was better for her and she got everything she wanted. I can see that. It’s true. Edie skyrocketed to being the hottest girl in school, flirtatious to the point to getting what she wanted, exuded a confidence that put her tormenters to shame, and gained a hot boyfriend all in the same day…believable? Definitely not but Edie didn’t change personality wise.

Edie might have changed her looks (she wished for an ‘ideal version’ of herself, it’s not as if she looks like a totally different person mind you) but underneath she’s still the same person, in my opinion.  Every time she spoke or did something she was terrified inside. Edie hasn’t forgotten that these are the same people that made her life a living hell but instead of staying silence she stands up for herself. Everything Edie does is a front. From the outside appearance she may seem like a superficial B- but she’s really still the same broken/scared girl. Obviously if Edie showed any vulnerability, the Teflon Crew will swarm her like a shark at the sight of a drop of blood. For the most part I like Edie. Again, in my opinion she stayed true to who she was except now she had beauty and brains. I loved that she still did well in school maintaining her A+ status and that she enjoyed reading and watching horrible Science Fiction movies like Sharknado.

While the summary promised sweet revenge, there wasn’t much of it…at least not intentionally by Edie’s hands. Edie was hell-bent on bringing down the Teflon Crew but in the process of it she got to know her tormentors. What she finds is that behind the beauty and popularity they’re just your average high school students and that she could even relate to a couple of them. One by one the Telfon Crew begins to drop like flies and you’d think Edie would be happy that she’s getting what she always wanted but instead she starts to feel guilty. While I don’t want to spoil the main plot for anyone, there’s a bigger picture in the scheme of things regarding Edie. When Edie made the deal she thought it couldn’t be as bad since she was planning to end her life anyways but really the future and the lives of her family and friends depended on her making the deal. A future that the immortals Gods and Nightmares you dream about will do everything it takes to ensure it happens…and Edie is the key. Edie is The Queen in the ‘game’ of chess that she didn’t know she was playing till it was too late.

The paranormal/magic aspect of the book wasn’t as fleshed out as I liked. The author used a lot of urban legend/myths in regards to the scary monsters that lurked in the shadows, many of which were unknown to me. The only one I knew was Bloody Mary (horrible, I know lol). While I found the overall world building structure lacking and vague the author made up for it in hitting all the points in creeping me out! From the description of Mary in the Mirror, the bag man and two blood splattered children outside her window to Brittany and her deteriorating face was enough to give me goosebumps and the shivers. While I don’t often get scared, I wouldn’t recommend reading this a night like I did. Creeeeppppy. 

Overall I really enjoyed Mortal Danger and I’m looking forward to seeing where Aguirre takes this trilogy. I highly recommend this series to other YA lovers and those who are already familiar with Aguirre work. I’ve read both of Aguirre’s adult series, and I can say this YA series is just as good. There are quite a lot of reviewers on opposite camps regarding this book; they either loved it or hated it. I suggest readers that are interested in trying this book to download the first 5 chapters (FREE) to see if they like it. Although, the plot doesn’t truly get interesting till the halfway point. Mortal Danger isn’t about a girl going from an ugly duckling to a swan overnight and getting what she wants…it’s so much more than that. Mortal Danger not only touches on the enigma of beauty in this day and age but also subject of suicide. Aguirre did an excellent job incorporating this important topic in her story, I thought it was well done and written. (Be sure to check out the Author's Note at the end of the book, in which she talks about how this book hits close to home.)

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