Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Review: Mortal Danger

Mortal Danger by Ann Aguirre 
Release: August 5, 2014
Source: Print ARC from publisher 

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..

When Edie (Edith) Kramer decides to take her own life, she's offered a second chance from a mysterious boy. This boy, Kian, offers Edie three wishes. So what does she wish for? Beauty. She wants to return to school to exact revenge on every person that made fun of her. What she finds out, though, is that she's a part of a larger game involving the immortal and the supernatural. It's a book with so much promise, but it failed to deliver.

The world was intriguing, if a bit confusing. There are still questions that were left unanswered. However, the plotting and pacing were spot-on, and I was not bored for a single moment. I was eager to turn the pages.

My biggest issue, though, had to do with the characters and the romance.

Edie's voice didn't always match her supposed intelligence, and I never really felt the emotional impact of the prank that pushed to her commit suicide. I also thought Kian was rather flat, making the main romance feel like insta-love. The side characters weren't fully developed, either, which is a shame. Some of the deaths would have had more impact, if I actually cared for them.

And that's the issue: I was intrigued, but I didn't care.

The best characters, in my opinion, were Edie's parents. They were such a pleasant surprise, because parents are often ignored in YA novels. While her parents aren't perfect, I know they loved their daughter. So props to Ann Aguirre for doing what so few YA authors have done!

I did enjoy Mortal Danger for what it was, but I had hoped for more. If have the time, I will definitely pick up the second book.