I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
by Ann Aguirre Series: Immortal Game #1 Published by Feiwel & Friends
on August 5, 2014 Pages:
ARC Source: the publisher Goodreads
Revenge is a dish best served cold.
In Ann Aguirre's Mortal Danger, 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.
TRIGGER WARNING: This book can be considered a trigger book. Meaning, if things such as depression, suicidal thoughts and suicide upset you, you might not want to read this book; therefore, you might also want to skip reading this review, since I discuss the main character’s experience with bullying and suicidal thoughts/tendencies in relation to the plot.
I’m very conflicted over how to review Mortal Danger. On the one hand, it was amazing! Creepy, bullying gone wrong, revenge taken to a deadly level. On the other hand, parts of the book were morbid, upsetting and borderline emotionally traumatizing. Not to mention the fact that it took me 18 days to finish it – In the beginning, that was totally me and not the book. But near the end? It was definitely the book. Certain sections dragged, certain sections felt like filler and the pacing slowed down a lot.
Edie was an… interesting character. But for the most part, I liked her. She wasn’t a strong, take-charge character in the beginning. She was ready to end her own life, to end the bullying she had experienced – the truly horrible and and heinous bullying. And then she makes a deal with the devil to take back her “life” and even the score with her tormentors. And, of course, this doesn’t end well for anyone involved – and even those not involved. As the story goes on, she gets a little bit stronger and more confident, but she still isn’t very take-charge. I can understand why, given the circumstances, but I hope this changes in book two. I have the feeling Edie is a fighter.. She just hasn’t shown us that side of herself yet.
Despite all that, Edie was definitely a relatable character. For the most part, everyone experiences bullying in some form or another at some point in their lives. It’s easy to picture yourself in her place and wonder, “What would I have done?” Edie goes through some truly horrifying things and she DOES some truly horrifying things in the name of revenge. You never want to think you’re capable of any of the things she did. But in her shoes, it really makes you wonder.
Edie’s relationship with Kian was confusing and hard to grasp. One minute, she loved him and the fact that he loved her before her “changes.” The next second, she’s questioning his loyalty. Five seconds later, she’s swooning over him. I know a lot of people hated this back-and-forth. For the most part, I was fine with it. It felt realistic that she was conflicted. Honestly, I’d be concerned if she HADN’T been conflicted. But near the end, after suffering through almost the whole book with her indecision, it did start to grate on my nerves. I didn’t like going back-and-forth, wondering if I could trust him or not. It distracted me from the story. It especially sucks because I LOVED their chemistry in the beginning, but it just unravels throughout the whole book.
Kian himself.. Meh. I found myself swooning over him in the beginning, but then he got dull and weird. Plus, Edie constantly questioning him made ME question him, which made me not like him as much.
It became very apparant very quickly that Edie was in over her head. It was so easy for her to condemn those that had bullied her. She literally sold her soul to get back at them. But just as they didn’t know her, she didn’t know them. She didn’t know what was going on in their lives to make them behave that way… Everyone has a story, even bullies. You just never know and can never assume. It doesn’t make it right and it’s not an excuse.. Not at all. But still. This was the case for almost every member of, as Edie called it, the Teflon circle. And as the story went on, Edie learned this lesson the hard way.
There were a LOT of secondary characters in this book, so I’m just going to touch on some of them briefly. I loved, loved, loved Vi, Ryu and Seth. I really liked Davina and Jen, though I never completely trusted Jen and I don’t feel like we got any resolution on that – Hopefully we will by the end of book two! I wanted to bitch slap Allison and Brittany. I REALLY wanted to punch Cameron and Russ a few times. Some of the characters, though… I wouldn’t wish their fates on my worst enemy.
The last sixty or so pages were really hard to read for so many reasons. Honestly, if it hadn’t taken me almost three weeks to read and if I hadn’t been so close to the end, I would have DNF’d the book. There were two twists that weren’t shocking or twisty at all. I could see them coming from a mile away. And while I usually don’t mind that – I love having my hunches validated – in this case, I felt really annoyed and let down. It was SO predictable, it wasn’t even fun to get that confirmation.
Overall, I still recommend this book. I had a LOT going on in my personal life, which is the main reason it took me so long to read it. And I’m sure that’s also why some things hit me really hard, emotionally. I still loved the book, despite everything. What annoyed me may not annoy other people. I will warn you again that this can be considered a trigger book so be cautious if you’re easily upset by the previously mentioned trigger warnings.
Basically, this book ripped my heart out and stomped on my feels. If you’re looking for a semi-scary/creepy/horror-type book, then I definitely recommend this. Though I had some issues with it, I’m still excited for book two and can’t WAIT to get my hands on it!