Review: Mortal Danger by Ann Aguirre

Thursday, August 7, 2014
Title: Mortal Danger
Author: Ann Aguirre
Series: Immortal Game #1
Pages: 385
Published: August 5 2014
Source: ARC from publishers for review
Rating: 3.5/5

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...

I should have known that a book that boasts of a "Faustian bargain" would eventually manage to creep me the hell out. Mortal Danger feels a lot like a more interesting Premeditated at first (girl is out for revenge on those fellow high schoolers who have done her wrong) but it eventually shows its true colors as a chilling, creepy semi-horror novel with a side helping of teenage romance. If you're a horror creampuff like myself, I wouldn't advise reading this book: while alone, at night, or by yourself in an isolated location. It's not a "true" horror novel in that it's a constantly threatening stream of events, but the occasional freaky event/person that appeared was more than enough to make me need a few breaks in the four-hours I inhaled this story.

Chances are if you don't like difficult, occasionally unlikeable protagonists, main character and narrator Edie (and Mortal Danger itself) will be a struggle for you. If you like Courtney Summers's version of main characters, Edie will be your next favorite person in that style. She's got hard edges, attitude, and a lot of bitterness. But I really liked Edie and the way she evolved though the novel. She is who she is and her goals, while not those of "a nice girl" are understandable. Her struggles to fit in, to find worth in herself are so relateable and conveyed so well. Not everyone has been in the dire situation Edie is at the beginning of the novel, but she is real and believable. And Edie grows and changes over the course of her story, which is refreshing and authentic.

I wish I was as into the romance angle as Edie and her love interest Kian are. From their first meeting, it's pretty obvious how their romance/story will proceed. It's the typical instaforbiddenlove, and while I grew to like them as a couple and appreciate their chemistry, it accelerates way, way too fast. I understand that stress and fear can create unexpectedly strong bonds between two people, but the alacrity with which Edie gloms onto Kian and vice versa was a little too much too fast for me. I could seem them being together, but felt they needed more time to know each other before the depth of their emotion could be believed or endorsed.

There were several good surprises for readers in Mortal Danger. For all that the romance was predictable, a lot of the plot and characters aren't. I really appreciated that Aguirre paints her (human) antagonists with more than one color. Cameron and Britt are more than stereotypical high school villains, which made Edie's mission of revenge a complicated one as she realizes there's more to them than she knew before. Plotwise, there was one big twist that made the book for me. All I will say, to avoid any kind of spoiler, is I love authors who aren't afraid to do the unexpected to their cast. 

For a series beginner, Mortal Danger is a strong, interesting introduction into the world Aguirre is setting up for her Immortal Game series. It's original and freaky, fun and scary, peopled with believable characters. I liked a lot about it and will be on the lookout for the next installment of Edie and Kian's struggle.


  1. All of your words are true and good. I didn't really get into this books at all for the first half (did not ship, felt like the revenge plot was sort of Walking Deadish in that she dwelled on it a lot without actually doing anything) and then just when I was considering quitting everything went bananas. I don;t know if I've ever been as scared by a book as I was by this one. Hats off to Ann Aguirre. I'm not sold on MD as a standalone but I think it's going to be a very interesting trilogy.

  2. That cover is beautiful as well! I just read Midnight Garden's review, and my curiosity is peaked!


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