Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Book Review: Mortal Danger by Ann Aguirre

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...

Agh, this was a tough one to review. I went back and forth, unable to decide if I wanted to rate it with 3 or 4 stars. In the end I went with 3, because even though I had a hard time putting it down, I felt the story had its flaws.

The beginning definitely hooked me with Edith being so depressed from bullying that she was prepared to jump to her death. As a huge advocate of anti-bullying, I really wanted to see her life turn around.
Still, I wasn’t completely satisfied with the idea of her being granted “wishes”, and changing her physical appearance to become happier. While I get the concept, because who wouldn’t want to wish for something like that, I wanted to see her overcome her issues in a different way. Because even though this is paranormal fiction, we’re seeing a real problem solved with an unrealistic solution, and I hate to see any teenage girls struggling with their identity think there isn’t any hope.

I liked the cast of friends Edith hung out with, though I’m still on the fence about “cat-like” Kian ever since the author described his eyes as having a feline slant. I kept picturing him as the guy from Sleepwalkers. Plus his intent wasn’t clear throughout the story, as we were reminded by Edith. Numerous times.

Without giving too much away, the stories with the Teflon crew (one of many Mean Girls references) were what kept me the most interested, making a person think twice about revenge. The sub-plot towards the end dealing with Edith and her father felt a little forced, and I felt Edith’s “wishes” really weren’t well thought out from beginning to end considering how smart she is pimped out as being. I loved the occasional glimpses of horror and wish there had been more of that instead of an occasional scattering.

This was mostly a fun read, but I don’t know that I’ll read the sequel.

*I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion.


Anonymous said...

The cover is eye-catching. I'm picturing Kian as Magnus Bane from The Mortal Instruments with his cat-like eyes.

Heng Lim Tan said...

what confuses me is i dont get what allison is and how she fits into the death of russ and is jen a traitor or smtg??

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