Saturday, August 9, 2014

Review: Mortal Danger + Nocturnal Quotes

Mortal Danger (Immortal Game, #1)Author: Ann Aguirre
Series: Immortal Game, #1
Published: August 5th 2014
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Lenght: 384 pages
Buy: Amazon

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...

In my experience, all the best books come from the most genuine of places. Of course, fiction is always fiction and I wouldn’t want it any other way, but the underlying emotion has to be honest. Authors don’t always draw from acquired knowledge and experience; after all, their characters can have a very different set of values, but the very best authors rely on emotions that are familiar and true.

Among such authors, Ann Aguirre is queen.

In the interest of full disclosure, I was a beta reader for this book. (It’s hardly a secret, just check the acknowledgments.) I saw its birth firsthand and I know how much it took from Ann. She is the type of author who always feels everything right alongside her characters, so when Edie suffered, Ann suffered as well.

That said, it’s almost impossible to read Edie’s story and remain cold-hearted. Regardless of who you are, an author, a beta reader, a regular reader or a witch’s familiar, you will be deeply touched by this girl. Suicide is no laughing matter, and these days, when we see more and more of it, strong messages of hope are more important than ever. As Edie herself said, It Gets Better Project is extremely important, but it only gets us so far. It is my firm conviction that fiction we care about can take us the rest of the way.

I’ve seen people complain about the importance that is placed on physical beauty in this book. But to a girl who’s been bullied most of her life because she doesn’t look like everyone else, a girl who’s been abused and suffered things no one ever should, beauty seems like the solution to all her problems. In the end, I admired Edie for seeing past outer beauty, her own and that of others, especially Kian. It means much more when someone like her realizes the insignificance of superficial things.

There are, of course, parts of Mortal Danger that are pure, undiluted entertainment. The second part of the book will appeal to lovers of all things creepy. I myself am a big fan of nightmare-ish creatures and urban legends, so when Ann decided to bring them to life, I was basically a kid in a candy store. Here’s a small taste for you:
Across the street, I saw the old man with the bag, and it bulged with a new and hideous weight. Beside him stood the two black-eyed children. The girl-thing’s pinafore was smeared with blood.


Make sure to read Ann’s Author’s note and please be kind and smart enough to listen. Most of us have had (or are still going through) similar experiences, and if not to that extent, we’re certainly none of us strangers to emotional pain.

And now for the news. Starting today, I'll choose a favorite quote every week and post it on Saturday. I don't usually post on Saturdays (a girl needs her day off) but there won't be much writing for this new feature, and my beautiful, brilliant sister-in-law has agreed to help me. She's the one responsible for my WoW banner, our gorgeous (upcoming) Something Wicked Strikes banners and buttons, and most other pretty things you see on this blog. I'm responsible for the ugly parts. Duh.

So first she did this loveliness for me, and I do hope you like it, you'll be seeing it every week! She'll do a poster with my favorite quote every Saturday, and I'll post it here for you. She's a trained professional so I'm leaving you guys in good hands.

For this week, I picked a quote from Mortal Danger. There were so many to choose from, but I decided to go with something creepy and gorgeous, just like the book itself.

There you go! I think the creepy elegance of it fits this book perfectly. I really hope you like it.


  1. You're right--I've heard my fair share of complaints towards this installment--but I know you can be counted upon to give your honest opinion, Maja. Aguirre's debut YA trilogy didn't work for me at all, though I absolutely love her adult books (read Perdition BTW--just too good!--and I'm currently reading her New Adult works and enjoying them!). Still, I think I might wait to see how this trilogy pans out before diving in. I really like that it has a strong message at its core and the creep factor is definitely appealing to me as I'm slowly beginning to enjoy those types of novels these days, so this is certainly on my TBR...I just won't be rushing out to buy it on release day like I will with Havoc (I NEED IT SO BADLY!). ;)

  2. I love the new feature, Maja! Definitely something to look forward to every Sat. I've been seeing Mortal Danger everywhere and reviews of it are really polarizing. I am still on the fence right now but I'm glad you explained one of the things that I feel apprehensive about--the importance given to physical beauty. It's also exciting to know about the really creepy scenes since I like getting creeped out and scared. Thanks so much the honesty and the lovely review, Maja!

  3. Oh I heard great things about this one but I have many books to read by the author and I'm a little late with them but I'll try them soon so I can read all the others after that. Glad you had such a great time!

  4. I absolutely felt for Edit when I read this one. You can really feel how defeated she was, and I actually felt teary-eyed when I felt her frustration down to my very bones. I don't actually have any qualms about her strong emphasis on beauty, and how she wanted to be absolutely beautiful. She was bullied because of her looks, and you're right, someone like that will only see the one thing she lacked as the solution to her problems. What I did have a qualm though was her rather insta-love-ish feelings for Kian. I really felt weird about that, but it's a minor detail in the grander scheme of things.

    And yes, the second part really was bloody creepy! I can still remember all those creatures *shudder*. Do you know Persona 2? A game on the Playstation? It reminds me of that. Persona 2 is about summoning bizarre creatures to fight for you (demon-ghosts) and I got the same vibe here!

    Faye at The Social Potato

  5. I so need to read this one! Yay for another person loving it!
    Wonderful review Maja. Have a nice rest of the weekend!!

  6. This definitely sounds like a fabulous read, I have not actually heard of the author before, but I definitely want to get my hands on this! I like a little bit of gore and creepiness, and I think the emotional aspect, which I feel I will be able to relate well to, will work out well!
    I also adore the new feature and quote graphics. They look really good and I am excited to see them in the future. You are definitely lucky to have a sister who is able to help you out with all the graphic side of things!
    Great review!
    Liv - previously @NerdyBookReviews

  7. Every time you review one of Aguirre's books I feel a pinch of guilt for not reading any of her books. I will, truly read something soon. But I'm so glad you loved this one and when a book makes me feel things then I'm a really happy camper.
    P.S. I'm so happy that Something Wicked is back! :D

    Great review, Maja :)

  8. It sounds good but at the same time I do not think it would fit me

  9. LOL, this is at the top of my TBR right next to Gates of Thread and Stone. So again, I'll have to come back and read your review fully after I'm done with my own, but I'm greatly encouraged.

  10. Maja, I completely agree with you on so many points. I wish more readers would have read the "Authors Notes" which explains so much and is so heartfelt. I'm a new fan of Ann, and I was surprised by how many readers took the beauty aspect so differently than I did. I'm all for "inner beauty" but, in this case I completely understood how Ann was showing the transition that Edie needed to go through, and the realization of what is really important - and it was NOT outer beauty in the end at all. Yay! And, as a fan of Urban legends and Horror - Wow. I can't wait to see what she has in store next. Thanks for your thoughtful review, Maja :)

  11. I saw your name in the credits when I read it. I am not sure why this book is hit or miss with readers. I was drawn in by it. There were a few issues but overall I think Aguirre has set up another fantastic series. Love the quote banners. I was planning on doing Saturday Quotes a couple of years ago and never got around to it. Great minds think alike.

  12. I still haven't read this book, but it's there on my Kindle library! I read the 5 chapters sampler and I will be reading it hopefully very soon, cause I loved those 5 first chapters!

    That header for your new feature is quite awesome, and I loved that quote! I'm looking forward to reading more quotes chosen by you!

  13. I have read a few bad reviews for this book and I was confused since every book I have read from Ann Aguirre (8) was amazing. I am glad to see you loved it so much since a lot of your reviews steered me to some great books and are tastes are similar so now I am not afraid to pick up Mortal danger. I also love the quote you chose and the graphic is beautiful.


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