Young Adult Book Review: Mortal Danger by Ann Aguirre

Title: Mortal Danger
Series: The Immortal Game #1
Author: Ann Aguirre
WebsiteTwitter | Goodreads
Genre Type: Paranormal
Publication Date: August 5, 2014
Pages:  384
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley / Publisher
Publisher:  Feiwel & Friends

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...

Balancing on a Razor's Edge

At the moment of darkest despair, a pivotal moment where our heroine is on the cusp of ending her life, Edie Kramer meets a stranger who offers her a tempting choice. A Faustian compact, one that will bring her deepest desires to fruition ... But in this dark game, nothing is every given for free and the price is beyond anything Edie could have ever imagined.

Faustina Compacts, Acts of Revenge and a Mysterious and Deadly Game

At the heart of the story is Edie, tormented and relentlessly bullied. This seemingly endless cruelty from her peers drives Edie to make a bargain with the enigmatic Kian, a stranger who shows up at the very moment she is literally on the edge, to strike a bargain with her. One that grants her desire to take revenge on the "beautiful ones" at Blackbriar Academy. After a summer spent away she returns her senior year transformed on the outside, beautiful and confident, ready to take revenge on old enemies. What she does not expect is the bitter taste revenge leaves, nor can she fully comprehend just how far this deadly devil's bargain will go. No one is safe. As danger threatens those she cares about and an unexpected romance blooms, Edie will have to learn the rules fast in order to beat this deadly game she has just signed herself into.

Shades of Grey, Emotional and Thought-Provoking

This is the kind of story that because of the very nature of some of its themes, causes us to ponder, think, and feel uncomfortable even. Death, despair, and cruelty. What Ann Aguirre has done is given the reader the beginnings of a story where we are drawn into a series of situations and choices through Edie. Would we react the same way, would we make those same decisions? There are many of shades of gray here to explore. Although I did not agree with all the choices Edie makes, I felt all the ups and downs right along with her. And, it was the journey that she makes, not perfect in any means, from her deepest despair to realizing certain truths about beauty, compassion, love and family versus the cost of revenge that held me to this book. It was intense and emotionally compelling.

"The Immortal Game is messy and convoluted, full of monsters and magic, science and sacrifice."
Ann Aguirre, Author's Note, Mortal Danger

Without giving away too much, within this story about a girl making a Faustian type bargain in order to take revenge, is a strange mix of magic and science, blended with elements from Urban Legends and Horror. Creating quite the brain teaser. There's hidden agendas from the 'company' and an almost chess like game going on between mutable figures. So, it's layered and I'm not completely sure what to make of it all, other than I liked it. And, I want more. More myths, more legends and more "delicious awfulness" that makes your heart pound with emotions and fear. Mortal Danger was my first experience with Ann Aguirre, and I completely enjoyed her writing and I'm looking forward to reading much more of her!

My Rating: 4 stars. I really liked it!

PLEASE NOTE: A courtesy review copy of this book was provided by Feiwel & Friends in exchange for my fair review. Thank you Feiwel & Friends for the review opportunity!