I’m still trying to work out my ‘ultimate’ reaction to this book: as an adult, I had a few problems with the character portrayal and lack of the moral ambiguity I so hoped to see as the book developed. But, as a reader, I was surprised by some of the relationship twists and revelations, and I found the story highly readable and entertaining, and think it would present younger readers with a sense of familiarity with characters, situations and settings.
From the book information, I was expecting to find a darker, more vengeful Edie: her desires for revenge were not unjustified, and I hoped that Aguirre would bring us to a single, or several points of moral crisis, where her CHOICE to not act on her feelings was conscious. Instead, it often felt as if she had disassociated herself from the pain and has chosen to present a light, bright and fun girl to the world. I can’t wonder if the author’s choice was to present an eminently likable character in Edie, shying away from giving her some real flaws that we like her IN SPITE of it all, rather than just an empathetic liking as we got – the story would have risen to fabulous.
But, I cannot quibble with the other characters that were presented: Kian was a wonderfully drawn ally with just enough mystery to keep him interesting, and the relationship with Edie tentative until she sorts out just what his agenda is. Edie’s parents also were a surprise: far from being ignored and forgotten despite their schedules, they do care deeply for her and the changes in their relationship, with some cleverly inset humor and advice show Edie that her parents do “care” despite her all-too-teenaged complaints. The only complaint in my characterizations comes from a rather undefined and vague “others” who seem to be the source of much angst and trouble. I hope that these rather amorphous masters of this game will be developed as the tale continues, but the threat did feel very real, if vague.
All in all, this was an interesting starter, and has me curious about the rest of the series. A book that will resonate with younger readers, and most probably with non-YA aged readers, this was a fast paced and satisfying read.
Title: Mortal Danger
Author: Ann Aguirre
Genre: Teen Reads
Published by: Feiwel & Friends, Macmillan Children's Publishing Group
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
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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, making him 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 turn 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 . . .
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.