by Ann Aguirre
Series: Immortal Game #1
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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, 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...
Mortal Danger by Ann Aguirre is the first in the Immortal Game trilogy. It is a paranormal tale with a side of romance; a little urban legend and a twisted creep factor that grabs your attention from the beginning.
We meet Edie Kramer; a downtrodden misfit who is bullied until she breaks. It is at this moment she meets Kian. He offers a chance to settle the score with the “beautiful people” at Blackbriar Academy. She takes a leap and over the summer, her world is transformed. When she returns to the academy, revenge becomes complicated when pranks turn deadly. The tale that unfolds has twists, turns, lore and legends.
Edie Kramer has been to hell in back. Aquirre does an excellent job of revealing the anguish she experienced. When we first meet her, she is socially awkward and dealing with self-esteem issues. What happen to her is not fully revealed until later in the story, but it clear that she was bullied at school purely based on her smarts and appearance. I am not surprised she wanted revenge but as Edie moves within their circles, she finds there is more to them than the tormented chaos they created for her. While, I did not always love Edie we did see growth throughout the story, and I suppose she deserved some selfish, shallow moments. Even when revenge was forefront in her mind, she still cared for others; even those who mistreated her. Kain started out shrouded in mystery; along with Edie, we learn his history and role. It is clear from the start he genuinely cares for Edie, and I found it endearing. While he has known Edie for much longer, these two form a connection. Romance is strictly forbidden between them further complicating their feelings and perhaps enhancing them. Other characters rounded out the tale, including the parents. It was refreshing to see them involved.
Mortal Danger had an intriguing plot that plays on a few familiar tropes and twists them. Aquirre weaves in old urban legends breathing new life into them and creates a complicated game of chess with humans as the players. The world building was interesting, and we as the reader learn and discover along with Edie adding an air of mystery and suspense. What we learned clarified things but created an entirely new set of questions. Aguirre allowed things to unfold slowly, and while this hurt the pacing especially in the middle, she set things up and created a world I am curious to explore. I am not entirely sold on the romance yet. It had an air of insta-love to it, but I am rooting for them just the same. The ending while not a cliffy leaves us dangling enough to be eager for more.
I thought Mortal Danger was an exciting beginning to this trilogy and found the last three-fourths of the novel to be the strongest. I am curious about all the players and mystery surrounding this little game. Fans of urban legends, revenge, games and paranormal romance will find this one intriguing. Public Enemies the second book in this trilogy is set for release in 2015 and Infinite Risk the final book in 2016.