Review: Mortal Danger by Ann Aguirre

Mortal Danger
by Ann Aguirre

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... 

(cover image and synopsis lifted from Goodreads)

Series: Immortal Game #1
Publisher:  Feiwel & Friends
Publication date:  August 5th 2014
Source/Format: ARC won from Fay of Bibliophile Soprano. Check out her review here.
Purchase link: Book Depository
My Rating: ★★☆☆☆

My Thoughts:
Edith Kramer is dead set on jumping the bridge that morning because of something that happened to her in school but Kian stopped her. Apparently, Edith has an “exceptional potential” and she will become someone great in the future so she must not die yet. Kian claims that he is some sort of an emissary to  the “other beings” and offers Edith to ask for three favors now in exchange for three favors in return later. Edith, feeling that she has nothing to lose anymore anyway AND (more importantly) mesmerized by Kian’s good looks, agreed to the Faustian compact.

I buddy read this book last year with Lauren of Seriesous Book Reviews, read her review here. We agreed to read together some of the titles we both have on our TBR piles and I suggested that we pick up “Mortal Danger” first because her book blog is mostly about book series.  I decided to blog about the book just now because I recently found my notes about it lying around the house. It just feels such a waste of note-taking energy if I will not write something about it. So here goes. At the beginning I am genuinely intrigued by the Faustian compact and the revenge premise of the book. Both Lauren and I expected something badass like “Death Note” and “Black Butler” but we were disappointed. Honestly, there are lots of times when I wanted to quit the book but I kept going because of the buddy read.

My deep disappointment stems mostly from the fact that the book focuses more on romance rather than the revenge plot. The romance is not even that good to begin with. It’s INSTA-FREAKING LOVE. Plus, Kian is not good for Edith. The book established early on how smart Edith is, so I expected her to be cold, cautious and calculating, like Light Yagami and Ciel Phantomhive, but I was let down time and again by her blunders all because of her blind devotion to Kian. Her main motivation and efforts are driven by her attraction to this guy. There are these extremely annoying times when they are discussing something important, for example how the Faustian contract works, but then Edith will suddenly see how handsome Kian is and then they will start kissing. The revenge plot took a backburner. The vengeful bad things happened but it is on auto-pilot, ergo, unsatisfying.

Edith’s other relationships are shallow, too. Her newfound friends in summer school are just for convenience. Her parents are emotionally uninvolved at the beginning then suddenly showed concern near the end to bid for the readers’ emotions over some devastating thing that happened. Her anger towards her classmates that she’s supposed to have vengeance on is so weak that later on, she starts feeling sorry for them.

Aside from the revenge plot, Faustian compact and the romance, the book has other things going on: cross-culture mythology, paranormal, sci-fi on teleportation and plastic surgery and a bit of magic. These things are pulled and assembled from stories of old, and then placed in our modern world. The romance as a focal point and all the other elements as a backdrop does not entirely hold together.

The only redeeming thing about “Mortal Danger” that I can think of are when some paranormal elements of it managed to scare the living hell out of me. There were really creepy stuff here that involves mirror reflections and dancing shadows. And that’s that. The book ended with a lot of things still hanging. Edith has already exhausted all three favors in this book. It remains to be seen what “the other beings” will ask in return from her, but I do not think that I care enough to continue with the series.
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