Mortal Danger by Ann Aguirre
Series: Immortal Game #1
Published on August 5, 2014
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Revenge is a dish best served cold.
In Ann Aguirre's Mortal Danger, 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 head 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.
This book has been sitting on my shelf for longer than I care to admit, but with the sequel coming out, I figured this was the perfect time to pick it up. The synopsis is pretty vague in comparison to the actual content of the book. Either way, it pretty much sold me at “deal with the devil”.
“People can be monsters too.”
Edie is on the verge of suicide, and makes a Faustian style deal with the devil that is going to change the course of her life completely. It starts out simply enough – being bullied and the need for revenge. Kian, the deal bringer/hero/love interest offers her a way to get that payback she so desires, but there are many rules and bargains to be carried out with this deal. She is in for way more than she ever could have expected, and honestly, so was I.
I honestly have no idea how to classify this book. It is this outrageously strange and well done story that includes plenty of science (like, actual scientific language and elements, which I appreciate), plenty of pop culture references (which makes me *so* happy!), and then Greek mythology (and many other cultures), and urban legends… I mean, this book has a lot of elements at play. The whole idea behind the mythology and legends, even local legends and stories you have passed around a campfire, is that all of these Gods or creatures from our nightmares are real. The more humans think about them, and put faith in their existence, the more real they become and the more power they have. I am a sucker for mythology and legends, so I loved every second of this insanity.
“Humans have long breathed life into nightmares and creatures of legend. Some fade. They break apart as a new God arises. Others are eternal and immutable, once unleashed.”
So while all of that is amazing and casts an awesome darkness over the book, I still felt unsure of everything else. Like Edie and Kian. Edie just kind of fell flat for me sometimes. Like her personality changed too much. It wasn’t gradual enough of a change, instead it was almost immediately after her deal was struck. So while she did develop as a character, I feel like she just developed too quickly. Kian is as sweet as can be, but I didn’t get attached to him the way I normally do with a love interest (this might be a result of my love for villains and anti-villains, the bad boy). I think the friends she made are great, though in this book you have to wonder who can be trusted. Everyone is questionable.
There are a few sad elements to this story as well, though I won’t go into detail. But they are bit heart wrenching. it seemed like every time Edie turned around, something terrible was happening, and it all seemed to be related to her. Like her revenge was being gotten, but not in the way she planned, and definitely not by her. By the end of the book, Edie has finally started to understand some of the rules that the men in charge and things in the shadows play by. Now it will be time for her to step up her game. On to book 2!!
“You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else.”