Series: Immortal Game #1
Published by Feiwel & Friends on August 8, 2014
Genres: Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult
*This book was provided by the Publisher for review. No compensation was provided and all opinions are strictly my own.
Revenge is a dish best served cold.
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 heady 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...
What happens when you take that Faustian bargain
Edie, the main character of Mortal Danger, is on the edge, literally about to jump off a bridge and commit suicide when a devastatingly handsome young man stops her and offers her a bargain. Sound familiar to you? Yes – it’s a “devil’s bargain” with all the expected strings attached. Meaning you get to know little to nothing about who you’re making the bargain with, what they can ask for in return and to make it even worse your wishes, er favors have a shelf life. But is Kian a devil? It doesn’t appear so. Since the favors don’t come without a price, Edie if she agrees, which of course she does cause where would the story go then right, over a ledge, has to give them favors in return. (More untold, unspoken strings attached come later.) Admittedly the ones giving the favors weren’t who I initially started to believe they were and that was at least refreshing. Unfortunately, as I continued reading I found myself less impressed or even interested with the mysterious faction or company that makes a business of finding these extremis people (those about to snuff themselves out) and striking bargains with them as part of a larger plot for ‘The Game’.
Let’s make up our minds where the focus is going to be
Mortal Danger was a quick and easy read which usually I enjoy about the genre. However I do still expect there to be some focus. Is it a romance? Is it a drama? Is it about Edie getting her revenge or about these immortals and their ‘Game’? Don’t get me wrong multiple plot points and focus in a novel are great! Here though, none of them seemed to work for me or flow together quite right. Initially the focus for Edie was revenge, but then it completely shifts and becomes about finding out who the players in this game are. The focus does spend a large amount of time centered around the high school drama and yet I just didn’t get into any of the story. I didn’t like Edie’s interactions with the other students, maybe because all of them rang flat to me (seeing as how all of them used to bully her I’m not surprised on that point because who really wants to identify with a bully). Anyways I found Edie’s personality to be inconsistent, the other characters to have no true impact on the story, and the secondary main character of Kian felt like a non presence the entire time. Not only did it seem like this story was supposed to have a chilling aspect to it, and of course the drama but it’s also a romance. But did I feel the romance? No my dears I did not – there just wasn’t any impact or reality when it came to the romance between Edie and Kian. No staying power shall we say.
And if my use of devastatingly handsome wasn’t enough to clue you in
That’s right you’ve got it folks, almost instant love here. Instant attraction I can somewhat understand. But Edie has a thing against the beautiful people so when she soo easily falls for one and then of course she becomes one herself that just rankled me. There is something about this entire story line and how being beautiful is such a big part of being successful and attractive that just gave me a sour stomach. Do I really want to believe that such intelligent people would almost all of them want to have everything physical about them changed? I’d like to think that people aren’t that superficial regardless of the proof that we sometimes see otherwise. Anyhow so Edie becomes one of the beautiful people, and pretty much instantly falls for Kian, the guy that saved her (cuts the deal with her.) He’s beautiful, but was once was an ‘undesirable’ himself – is that supposed to make it more understandable that she would fall for him? – that’s the line thats pitched to get us to believe it. It sure as heck didn’t make it more palatable for me. Especially considering the fact that this guy has pretty much no presence for me in the novel. He makes no lasting impression or impact via personality or any real addition to the plot line other than shuttling Edie back home from school most days.
High School from hell would be an understatement
Mortal Danger might be a big lesson for me as to why I need to start shying away from any high school drama paranormals. I know I have enjoyed some of them in the past, though I’m suffering to try to find an example right now. Suffice to say I’m finding I enjoy them less and less so lately if they are set in a contemporary setting. This one was just a shambles for me. When things are set in a fantasy world I find it so much easier to suspend belief and roll with things. But when its a paranormal in a contemporary setting I tend to get picky. There was a lot that was totally realistic. It was well done that the author didn’t make the parental units complete idiots or out of the picture. All of them were very much present and involved in the lives of the teens in such ways that parents are, curfews, discipline, etc. But lets get to the school faculty. I can’t imagine some of the crap taking place that was eluded to in this book. Does bullying that bad really happen in high schools? I’m sure it probably does – however where the heck was the faculty when some of that crap was happening to Edie? When I was in highschool and a teen was put in a garbage can there was such a huge crackdown campus wide by all faculty that teens could barely sneeze in another’s direction without getting reprimanded. So I ask – where were the LEGAL ramifications that would have come about for what the ‘beautiful people’ did to her? Also its rather anticlimactic that you don’t find out the heinous thing they did to her that caused her to finally break down and want to kill herself until very far into the book.
Overall, I have to say Mortal Danger was not a winner for me. It wasn’t terrible (despite how harsh I may sound in my review) I was just so sorely disappointed seeing as I’ve read other works by this author that I have seriously enjoyed. Will I continue with the series, no. But will I continue to read her other books, most definitely yes. I’d say if you’re open to reading both young adult or adult science fiction and fantasy pick up one of her adult books instead.