Review: Mortal Danger by Ann Aguirre

August 3, 2014 2 stars, Book Review 30 ★★

Review: Mortal Danger by Ann AguirreMortal Danger by Ann Aguirre
Series: Immortal Game #1
Published by Feiwel & Friends on August 8, 2014
Genres: Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 384
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher

*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.

Stalk me!

Tabitha (Pabkins)

When I'm in the zone I can flip book pages faster than the eye can see - screaming "More Input!" I'm a book, yarn, & art supply hoarding goblin who loves to draw, make toys and craft all sorts of creepy cute things. My current habit is to listen to audio books while I'm arting it up!
Stalk me!

Latest posts by Tabitha (Pabkins) (see all)

30 Responses to “Review: Mortal Danger by Ann Aguirre”

      • Jessie H.

        Her Enclave series is nothing like this one. I really enjoyed it and it’s one of those trilogies that everything gets answered and wrapped up by the end of the last book. No loose ends! I really liked Bronze Gods but I still need to get Silver Mirrors! Her Sirantha Jax series is enjoyable. Not the best but still a fun read.
        Jessie H. recently posted…July 2014 Wrap-UpMy Profile

  1. Kristen

    I am so glad I DNF this one at page 50. Kate was trying to prod me to read the rest, but I was so done with Edie after she got pretty as well as super overconfident. Ugh, so many expectations of this book went down the drain.
    Kristen recently posted…Book Review: ExtractionMy Profile

  2. Jeann @ Happy Indulgence

    Thanks for the warning, Tabitha. When you said this: “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 totally agreed, I got super frustrated at lack lustre paranormals that were mainly insta-love romances that I got into a massive reading slump afterwards. Now I’m a bit more careful and avoid it when I get a whiff of it. It’s a shame, because Mortal Danger sounded like it had so much potential. Lovely review!
    Jeann @ Happy Indulgence recently posted…Addicted To You by Krista & Becca Ritchie Review: I’m officially addictedMy Profile

  3. Kirsty-Marie

    Yikes, jumble jumble and no focus. I mean, it’s supposed to be centred around revenge right? So focus on revenge! I like a good revenge plot, come on, more revenge! Yeah, the whole “beauty” and that being the thing that gets you anything you want, was what annoyed the hell out of me in The Dolls (but hey, it makes a fun rant, rant away)Okay, I’m glad that the parents are actually present and have a role in the kids lives (you know, like normal people and not how YA shows it) Ugh, I do find bullying in YA a little over-the-top. Especially when it comes to suicide, now, I know it does happen, but I mean, there has to be something in their lives that pushes them towards that too. No one was really that bullied in my school, so maybe that’s just me but I just don’t get it. We had some, but nothing psychical that could hurt anyone. Booooo, I was really looking forward to it as well, haven’t read a good revenge one for ages (if you haven’t guessed by now, I like revenge!) 🙁
    Kirsty-Marie recently posted…Review: Between the LivesMy Profile

    • Tabitha (Not Yet Read)

      I totally think I might be reaching the point where I don’t want to read highschool settings these days. But then sometimes I love them so it is very dependent on the book. Wait I still love YA but I think I don’t like when they are set mainly in school. Better when its summer break or something like that.

      I tried starting Evil Librarian this weekend and it went in describing some class and I just shut the book within the first page. I know I’ll give it a chance again, I might just wait a month. THen shy away from books with that setting in future requests/acceptances of review books LOL. At least for me personally I’ll see if any of the other ladies want them.
      Tabitha (Not Yet Read) recently posted…Only the Good Die Young by Chris Marie GreenMy Profile

  4. kim { Book Swoon }

    Aw, I think I enjoyed this one much more than you did, Tabitha. This was my first Ann Aguirre read, and although I agree on many of your points, the book and Ann’s writing just grabbed me. I ate up all the weaved in paranormal, urban legends and the game stuff she put into the story. I will say, that for me being a die hard romance junkie, that the love/romance aspect was my least favorite aspect. 🙂
    kim { Book Swoon } recently posted…Young Adult Book Review: Mortal Danger by Ann AguirreMy Profile

    • Tabitha (Pabkins)

      Well I’m glad you enjoyed it! I just couldn’t click with how fast she recovered from her mental and emotional and hell physical abuse. It just happened too quickly. A pretty face will not fix all of your ‘issues’ and hell that relationship what was supposed to be a romance – non existent – no spark, no zazz just nothing there for me.

      And this was supposed to be revenge and yet she was just letting them get over on her and finding excuses to be friends with them or forgive them. not bloody likely.
      Tabitha (Pabkins) recently posted…Review: Only the Good Die Young by Chris Marie GreenMy Profile

  5. Sarah P.

    Just when I thought I’d finally read Mortal Danger because I’ve been seeing good reviews lately, your review comes along. Now, I’m on the fence again. Instalove can make me turn my back on a book real fast. Then there’s the thing about Edie wanting to be beautiful. Some liked it, some absolutely detested it. I don’t know Tabitha…I think I might just read this book so I can form an opinion myself. Thank you for your honest review!
    Sarah P. recently posted…Review: Half A King by Joe AbercrombieMy Profile

  6. BookaholicCat

    I like Ann Aguirre’s books, especially Sirantha Jax and Dred Chronicles series. I also enjoyed Razoland series. I was excited when I hear she was coming out with a new series, but after reading some reviews of this book I realized it’s not for me. The things you didn’t like about this book are the things I don’t like about YA. So, I think I’ll keep my distance.
    Thank you for the honest review.
    BookaholicCat recently posted…Top Off Tuesday: Riddle of the Sands by Geoffrey KnightMy Profile

  7. Jessica @ Rabid Reads

    Boooooo. I only skimmed, b/c I’m supposed to read this too, but the ratings I’ve been seeing are not making me think good things. Sorry it was such a disappointment, but it looks like the Sanderson book is going much better for you 😉

  8. lynnsbooks

    Aww, that’s a shame – I liked her series that starts with Enclave. I must admit that I’m kind of burnt out with certain YA – particularly the whole insta love.
    Will probably avoid this one.
    Lynn 😀
    lynnsbooks recently posted…Fan Art UpMy Profile