Mortal Danger by Ann Aguirre Review

Friday, August 8, 2014

Title: Mortal Danger
Author: Ann Aguirre (Twitter)
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Publish Date: August 5, 2014
Genre: YA, Paranormal
Pages: 384
Source: Publisher

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've been pondering on how to review this one for several days now, mostly because we all know how much I enjoy the dark and twisty stories. Mortal Danger, however, presents a unique twist onto such stories adding a very intriguing, if a bit vague, paranormal element to the mix. Author, Ann Aguirre, gives readers a lot more than they necessarily have bargained for. Giving readers a heavy-handed dose of high school reality with a chance not to just get angry - but to get even - it's the type of story that you want to get on board for…but you want to be careful not to lose yourself in the vengeance, as well.

Edie was a fantastic character from the start for me. I felt that her pain, her despair and her inner turmoil were extremely real and tangible. It was so real, in fact, that I admired the fact that she was still able to think somewhat coherently because such smothering anger and distress can be all-consuming. Yet, underneath it all, we were still able to see how incredibly intelligent and logical she was, and that was by far her most redeeming character trait. Edie knows that Kian's offer can't be as simple as it sounds, and she understands that there are consequences. For a girl at the end of her rope to logically process and accept that definitely helped me become further invested in her plight, simply because she wasn't the oblivious and blind heroine.

Kian, on the other hand, remains a bit of an enigma to me long after closing the last page of the book. On the surface, I can tell you that he's handsome - dangerously so - and he has a sort of stoic power that resonates from the page. There's a sinister sort of power lurking in the background of his being that made it inherently difficult to trust him, though it's clear that he's allied with Edie. However, Mortal Danger is careful never to reveal too much, and we don't really understand the driving force(s) behind him, the deal and the actions that Edie is going to go through.

In terms of the plot, I'll be honest and say that I thought this was going to be a pretty straightforward revenge novel. The synopsis, as well as the title, imply that the underlying theme of Mortal Danger is the actual act of revenge that Edie will be seeking. I was surprised to find that there was a new sort of depth to the plot though, which offered us more than a cut-and-dried approach to one intelligent teen girl seeking to right the wrongs previously done to her. And, in the end, that really won me over. While, yes, we're privy to elements of revenge, we instead watch in awe as Edie manages to regain power and composure through the novel and, if anything, that's the best revenge I could have imagined for a first installment in a series like this.

Overall, despite the fact that I'd hoped to learn more about the driving powers behind Kian and Edie's pact, I have to say that this book thoroughly entertained and captivated me. It's the type of novel that offers us a surprising amount of depth when we don't necessarily expect it. I give it a strong 4 out of 5, and I highly recommend it to all fans of YA, especially those who like paranormal stories.

I received this book free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This, in no way, affected my opinion or review of this book.

11 comments:

  1. I've been hearing so many mixed things about this book, I'm still not sure about whether I want to read it or not.
    I'm glad that you enjoyed it so much though, Melissa. It does look like it's a very strong novel and the protagonist's emotions sound like they are very well-written. I might have to borrow this from the library.
    Lovely review!

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  2. I really want to know more about the powers behind Kian, too. What's the game? I need to know! Now we have to wait for the next book...

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  3. Yours is another review that makes me glad that I preordered this one and I'm now hoping I'll be able to squeeze it onto the reading list soon!
    I am glad to hear it was not just about the revenge but had much more going on, even if we aren't given all the information yet.
    Great review, Melissa!

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  4. "I was surprised to find that there was a new sort of depth to the plot though, which offered us more than a cut-and-dried approach to one intelligent teen girl seeking to right the wrongs previously done to her"

    YES MELISSA! I couldn't agree more. I was really nervous going into this one - revenge stories are always a struggle for me, but I loved how Ann twisted the story around and made it something different entirely. I need the next book in my hands asap:)

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  5. I'm glad that this book didn't follow the same route of most revenge books, although I've read my fair share of these, I'm always up for books which offer different aspects. I'm thrilled that you enjoyed this book Melissa! Fab review as always! :)

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  6. You completely captured my feelings as well here. I was surprised, and captivated by the "depth to the plot." you mentioned. An almost secondary one beyond the "revenge" theme that really took me by surprise. Wow, so much happens in this book, yet - lol, so many questions as well. It hooked me and I need to know more. Wonderful review, Melissa :)

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  7. I agree! I absolutely loved this book! I was a bit skeptical because it didn't sound at all like the kind of book I would be interested in. I am so glad I got it as an ARC and was pleasantly surprised. Even though I feel like I have a lot, still, to learn about Kian, he was totally swoony! I can't wait for the next book to come out! I reviewed this book recently, too, on my blog, and I would love to get some feedback! Check it out!

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  8. I'm glad you enjoyed this one, Melissa! I feel as if the less-than-favorable reviews have been overwhelming, which surprises me because I love Aguirre's adult work and know her debut YA trilogy was wildly popular, so it's nice to see a different opinion. I'm curious about this one, though planning to wait to see how the series pans out before diving in, but I'm glad to hear that despite a few scruples you did wind up enjoying this one overall. Wonderful review, dear! :)

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  9. Another wonderful review for Mortal Danger. I feel like I should be keeping a tally about those who liked and those that didn't like this book. I feel like yours is the last review that I'm going to read and I'm now convinced that I have to try this just so I can see it for myself. Fantastic review, Melissa!

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  10. Sounds like you got more than you bargained for with Mortal Danger! (See what I did there...bargains ;)) Haha anyway, I'm glad this one had a lot more depth than expected. Edie sounds like an intelligent, calculated character that really weighs up the pros and cons of the deal, which sounds like she's well developed. Great review Melissa.

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  11. This is the second review I have read for this today, and once again it has been positive. I am glad you managed to enjoy it and got more than you expected from it. I always like it when a novel surprises you and goes a little further than you first think it will. I am definitely looking forward to getting my hands on a copy of this. Great review!

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