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Mortal Danger (The Immortal Game) Hardcover – August 5, 2014
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From School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up—High school sophomore Edie Kramer has decided to end her life on a bridge in New York City. Just as she's about to jump, stunning Kian appears and offers her an alternative—his "company" will offer her three favors now, in exchange for three favors later. After accepting his offer, Edie unwittingly becomes a player in a deadly game. Her first wish to be beautiful is granted, and the teen sets off on a quest for revenge on the prep school bullies who have made her life unbearable. However, she soon realizes that the company she's now indebted to will do anything to manipulate the future, ensuring that Edie will give them what they want later. In fact, these immortals have already been to the future via a physics breakthrough the heroine discovers in her adulthood. Meanwhile, another group of immortals is dead set against Edie ever making it alive that far in time, and any number of alternate futures may occur based on how she reacts to their mental and physical attacks. Despite an interesting premise, Mortal Danger falls prey to the danger of predictable plot points. Readers will not be surprised when the devilish nature of Kian's "company" is revealed, nor with Edie's growing romantic feelings for him. The heroine has the expected reaction to her newfound beauty and its effect on her classmates. Despite some stirring vignettes, the jumps in the time line are awkward and the dialogue is uneven. For teens with a penchant for fantasy/horror mash-ups.—Sunnie Lovelace, Wallingford Public Library, CT
“Bullied and humiliated, Edie is set to exit this life when Kian, a preternaturally attractive stranger, appears with an offer that is more appealing than jumping off a bridge . . . her inner dialogue keeps readers on track with her persisting insecurities, ensuring that readers will be fully on board as she prepares to do battle in the promised sequel.” ―BCCB
“This will be a popular, fun, and fast-read series that can encourage discussion about true beauty, friendship, popularity, loyalty, and choices.” ―VOYA
“Aguirre has crafted a sophisticated novel that combines science, horror, and romance amid the realities of high-school cultures. Readers will eagerly anticipate sequels to this frightening, exciting, and erudite celebration of smart teens.” ―Booklist
“*The story has a freshness and intelligence that puts it at the top of the grenre . . . A standout trilogy opener.” ―Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW
“An interesting premise . . . For teens with a penchant for fantasy/horror mash-ups.” ―School Library Journal
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Top customer reviews
This story is largely not about revenge. Edie is seeking revenge when she makes her first request and it's the seed as to why she accepts Kian's offer, but before long, Edie begins to realize revenge won't give her the happiness she wants. I do find it problematic that she's able to shirk a lifetime of problems rather too quickly, but I also don't think Mortal Danger endorses the idea that being beautiful makes you happier, even though it might feel like it at times. Edie thinks time and time again about how she dislikes how people treat her and how she misses who she was before. Kian expresses the same ideas. Looking good may have offered them temporary relief, but it can't change everything.
So if we're not talking about revenge all the way through, what exactly is happening in Mortal Danger? Well, turns out Edie's future is pretty important, and how her life plays out either makes her future "optimum" or she loses her potential and is useless to those who she is now indebted to. The warring factions, in the guise of corporations, are tugging her in either direction, and she, while important, is still a pawn in the game between the two. This is a fight that's gone on longer than anyone could imagine, and the roots of those in charge are simply fascinating. It's easily what I loved most about the book. I'll say it has roots in mythology and all those scary stories like Bloody Mary, but there's more to it.
And Mortal Danger is bloody--in the best way possible. Ann Aguirre is not pulling punches and is not afraid to pile up those bodies. There are eerie scenes, like something out of a nightmare or horror story, and deaths around every corner. At times, it reads like a horror, but you're still given really nice moments between Edie and her parents, Kian, and the friends she makes over the course of the book. It's never overwhelmingly scary or dark, but just enough to give you chills.
While Mortal Danger isn't a perfect novel, and I know there are and will be people who don't like it, I still enjoyed reading it. It's dark and creepy and full of shadows, but Edie is ultimately on a journey of empowerment. The setup for this world is utterly fascinating, and it's bound to only get more interesting as the series goes on. I know I, for one, can't wait to read the second installment.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
I love Kian and Edie's relationship. It's great that he fell in love with her in her imperfect form, before the makeover (her first favor). She was teased mercilessly in school to the point where she felt worthless and unwilling to go on. He makes her realize that she is important. I loved watching Edie evolve into a more confident person and seeing how it changed her relationships with others, even her parents.
I really enjoyed this book. The bullying/revenge angle combined with the immortal game is very cool. The way they explain the immortals is very interesting and something I have heard of, but I haven't seen it used like this.
Young adults who enjoy school stories involving demons/immortals with a touch of romance. This book takes the high school clique experience and bullying to the next level.
I'll skip the summary, since there are enough of those already. I will, however, echo the common sentiment that it is very hard to do this book justice in a review without spoilers, so if it seems on the vague side, that's the reason. Believe me, you do not want to be tempted into reading even minor spoilers about this book.
This is a dark book, from beginning to end, and I can't help but think the story will grow even darker as the series progresses. That isn't a bad thing, though--because the subject matter and plot are so very dark, the light that shines from within the characters is that much brighter, and really enhanced the storytelling. Edie is incredibly relatable, and I rooted for her from the very first page. Most of us know what it's like to feel alienated within our own worlds, to be picked on and ridiculed. With bullying very much at the forefront of the news today, we know what catastrophes can occur as a result. The twists and turns in Edie's story as we try to figure out if she will ultimately be saved from an even darker fate are simply breathtaking--great writing on the part of Ms. Aguirre.
The game of the immortals is truly fascinating in and of itself, scary and fascinating in equal turns--and ALWAYS leaving me wanting more. In some books, this can be a bad thing--if there's never any payoff, readers wind up disenchanted at best and feeling manipulated at worst. Ms. Aguirre strikes exactly the right balance here.
The "be careful what you wish for" theme has been done so many times, but seldom as well as in "Mortal Danger." I could not stop turning pages--I read the book in one sitting, and was utterly ticked off that I couldn't move on to the next book immediately. This book has my highest recommendation for teens and adults alike. Don't be afraid to embrace its darkness.
Most recent customer reviews
This story just moved too slowly for me to truly enjoy it.Read more