by Ann Aguirre
Published by Feiwel & Friends on Aug. 5, 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Format: Advance Reader Copy
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You know crap is about to go down when the antagonist says, in all seriousness, “bring in the clown.” The creepy, creepy clown.
Creepy is the overarching feeling in Ann Aguirre’s pulse-pounding Mortal Danger, along with a generous helping of “ew.” Aguirre doesn’t shy away from some pretty visceral scenes, and that ick-factor heightens the tension and keeps it ratcheted until the final page. No one is safe in main character Edie Kramer’s world.
Edie is the outcast, the pariah at her posh private school in Boston. But after she’s given a supernatural second chance, she’s determined to get her revenge. Except the concept of revenge is a lot nicer than the actual blood and guts reality of revenge, and soon things are spinning out of her control. She’s a pawn in an immortal game, and the players don’t have much regard for humanity.
I loved the way Aguirre created a shadow world populated with the legends and fairytales imagined into being throughout history. It’s not just the standard vampires and werewolves, but the gods and boogeymen who have been revered or reviled across cultures. (Fun fact: I don’t want to live in whatever culture came up with the scary-as-hell bag man. No, thank you.) Edie—a genius and science nerd who really feels like a true outsider, not the “take off the glasses and suddenly she’s hot” nerd—tries to wrap her sizable brain around the notion of immortals and monsters toying with her future for fun (and profit!) and figure out how to beat the system.
The one part of the novel I didn’t love was the romance, but it was interspersed enough in the rest of the action that I didn’t mind. Mortal Danger is the first in a series, and I can’t wait to see what Edie does next to out-smart and out-maneuver her opponents both human and hellish.