I am thrilled to be a part of Ann Aguirre's Mortal Danger Tour! These days, I do very few tours, but when I had the opportunity to be on board for this one, I jumped at the chance. Ms. Aguirre has quickly become one of my favorite authors. I know that I can always count on her for an entertaining story with incredible world building. Her latest book, Mortal Danger, is no exception. It is a must read if you are on the hunt for a terrific new paranormal YA book. Have you read Ann Aguirre yet? If not, what are you waiting for? Before I ramble on and on, I want to take a moment to introduce you all to Ms. Aguirre:
Ann Aguirre is a USA Today bestselling author with a degree in English Literature; before she began writing full time, she was a clown, a clerk, a voice actress, and a savior of stray kittens, not necessarily in that order. She grew up in a yellow house across from a cornfield, but now she lives in sunny Mexico with her husband, children, and various pets. She likes all kinds of books, emo music, action movies and Doctor Who. She writes all kind of fiction in multiple genres, both YA and for adults. To find out more about Ann visit: her website, Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Ann:
Thank you for inviting me back to Rainy Day Ramblings!
If you had the opportunity to ask for three favors as in Mortal Danger, what would you ask for and why?
I’ve often wondered what I would do if I ever stumbled into a situation where a genie offered me three wishes. I suspect my wishes as an adult would be drastically different than what I would have asked for at Edie’s age. I will be answering this very question as a guest post on Alice Marvels. I think you'll be surprised by my wishes (or maybe not). Be sure to check it out on August 3rd.
How would you describe Mortal Danger to potential readers in a tweet?
Ever want to get revenge on the people that tormented you in high school? Me too. I wrote a book about it. #MortalDanger
Mythology is a huge part of the story, who are your favorite gods or goddesses?
I have a soft spot for Loki, and not just because he’s played by Tom Hiddleston in the Avengers’ movies. I feel like he gets a bum rap in most mythologies, but I do love the air about him. Dark, tortured, causing trouble, prone to chaos, but not evil per se. If you like that sort of thing, keep an eye out in the Immortal Game series because he might just show up when you least expect it. I’ll give you a hint; he’s mentioned in the first book, Mortal Danger, though you don’t actually meet him until Public Enemies.
I was shocked to read your author's note that discussed how you drew from real life experience when writing the suicide scene. At what age did you feel so hopeless and how did you overcome it? (I am so glad that you were fierce and brave and fought, you are amazing!)
Like Edie, my high school years were difficult. By my senior year, I was a complete outcast and nobody would talk to me at all. I only wanted to get out, one way or another. I suppose when I was 16-17, I thought about dying a lot. I just didn’t want to leave a mess behind. So I quietly pushed on, hoping college would be better.
And it was.
What is your advice for anyone who is struggling with suicidal thoughts?
Talk to someone who cares. If there’s nobody, then call a help line. Your life is worth living, I promise. And you can be happy.
Do you have problems switching back and forth to YA and Adult when writing?
No. For me, the two are not different. I don't change my style or pull punches. I use all the same storytelling, worldbuilding, and characterization techniques from writing fiction for adults. The primary difference is the age of the protagonists, which informs their levels of personal experience and emotional development. Other than that, I write the same kind of book; my work tends to be gritty, dark, and action-packed.
Do you have a preference for either genre or do you enjoy the challenge and change of writing for both adults and YA?
I enjoy both, very much. I have genre ADD, which means I need to switch it up frequently so I’m always tackling something new. YA was a new mountain to climb, but now that I’ve done it, I am eager to keep writing it.
What do you have in the works next?
Including Mortal Danger, I have 5 books releasing in 5 months.
Havoc, book 2 in the Dred Chronicles, will be out on August 26th.
I Want it That Way, the first book in my New Adult trilogy, will also be out on August 26th.
Book 2 in the Immortal Game Trilogy will be out in Fall 2015, tentatively titled Public Enemies.
I’ve been busy!
Finally, what books have you read or are planning to read for summer?
Oh, I have a huge list. Whenever I get on a train or a plane, I love relaxing with a book. Right now I’m reading All Lined Up by Cora Carmack.
Other titles include:
And that’s not remotely all; I have a huge TBR.
Huge thanks, Ann for everything! You are amazing!!
Thanks for having me. ☺
Interesting stuff, right? I was blown away to discover that Ann Aguirre contemplated suicide early on in her life. Aren't we lucky that she was fierce and brave and went on to write such amazing books? I hope that she will inspire others who are bullied or feeling hopeless. You aren't alone! A huge thanks to Ann for taking time out of her horrendously busy schedule to answer my questions, and to Molly over at Macmillan Publishing for allowing me to be on this incredible tour. As part of the tour, I am able to offer a chance to one lucky reader to win a copy of Mortal Danger. To enter read the Contest Policies and fill out the Rafflecopter. This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only. Good Luck!
Here is my review:
Mortal Danger(Immortal Game #1) by Ann Aguirre
In Ann Aguirre's Mortal Danger, 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 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 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.
Hardcover, 372 pages
Expected publication: August 5th 2014 by Feiwel & Friends
Four Stars: A novel that starts out a bit slow but builds to a startling finish.
Edie Kramer cautiously climbs over the bridge. She has been planning this for weeks, and today is the day when she will finally end it all. Edie is seventeen and miserable. For her entire life, she has been ignored and abused by her fellow classmates. She is tired of the torment and prepared to die. Just as she is ready to step off the edge, a hand touches her shoulder and pulls her back. Behind her stands a handsome young man, Kian, who has a proposition. Edie can accept his offer or go ahead and go through with her suicide. Will Edie strike a deal with the devil?
What I Liked:
- This is a story that sucks me right in with the strong theme of suicide. I couldn't help but feel sympathetic toward Edie as she prepares to die. Then things start taking some strange turns and before I knew it, I was drawn into a deadly paranormal game of cats and mice, involving creepy gods using humans as pawns. As always, I was intrigued by Ms. Aguirre's strong world building and expert storytelling.
- Edie was a character that continued to surprise me throughout the book. In the beginning, she is a picked on girl who thinks suicide is the only answer. Then she becomes a girl driven to exact revenge, but just when I thought I had her figured out, she changes again. She grows and transforms into a character whom I admired and respected by the end, even though a tiny bit of my was a tiny bit disappointed that she backed down and didn't get even, I liked that she chose the high road. Most of all, I liked seeing her make friends and I especially enjoyed the new relationship she forged with her mom.
- As I mentioned, Ms. Aguirre lays out the foundation for an interesting and scary world. In this book, humans are recruited by gods and used for entertainment purposes. The gods have no remorse and they think nothing of human life. There is so much to learn still, and I know this book is just scratching the surface as far as the world building goes. I can't wait to see where the book goes from here.
- This book touches on bullying, and the reader can see how it has destroyed a girl's life to the point where she wants to kill herself. I was pulled in by the emotions of despair and then when I read the author's note at the end I was shocked to find that Ms. Aguirre had drawn upon real life experiences when writing this. I loved that she spoke about her personal demons and that she provided resources for teens contemplating suicide. I applaud her for sharing, and I hope that with her book she can help other teens in trouble.
And The Not So Much:
- I struggled a bit with the romance. It is fast, furious and hard to believe at times. When Kian changes Edie's life it is easy to see why she could so quickly fall for him, but then again, I appreciated that she was constantly second guessing her feelings and unwilling to trust Kian. She is smart and listens to her head not her heart. Kian was the issue for me. He is head over heels in love with Edie and I had a hard time understanding his feelings. I felt like he was a bit unrealistic and too good to be true. Of course, he has his own issues, and I did end up liking him in the end. I think I struggled with him because I felt his feelings were more insta love while Edie took time to contemplate everything.
- Revenge themes are never my favorite. I know that a perverse part of us always likes seeing the bullies get their just dues, but then again, I am not a fan of revenge books because I don't feel that is the appropriate way to handle things. I was relieved to see that Edie ended up changing her mind on revenge, but don't let that fool you, revenge still is a big part of the story. I guess I struggled with it because, like Edie, I actually felt sorry for the bullies once I found out what made them tick. Just goes to show, you can't judge someone and understand their behavior until you are in their shoes. So if you are in this for revenge, you might be a bit disappointed.
- At times, the pacing dragged for me. I was sucked in with the opening scenes, but toward the middle, I thought it slowed down and I wasn't as invested in it at certain points. However, things pick up dramatically at the end, and the stage is set for an exciting next book.
- I was eager to learn more about the gods and all that, but this book only scratches the surface in that area. I have a lot of questions and I am hoping for lots of answers in the next book.
Mortal Danger is a solid opening to what I am sure will be a terrific series. Ms. Aguirre never fails to captivate me with her creative world building and ingenious story telling. I liked plunging into this strange and terrifying world with Edie, and I cannot wait to see what the next book will bring. This is a story packed with themes of suicide, revenge, redemption along with plenty of action and danger. If you are a fan of Ms. Aguirre, or even if you are not, this is a must read.
"The two of us were like magnets with the same charge. No matter how much I wanted to be close to him, circumstances kept shoving us apart."
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review.
Be sure to check out the rest of the tour for more chances to win:
Mortal Danger Blog Tour Schedule
Sunday, July 27 The Midnight Garden
Monday, July 28 Bevy Bibliotheque
Tuesday, July 29 Chapter by Chapter
Wednesday, July 30 Birth of a New Witch
Thursday, July 31 Two Chicks on Books
Friday, August 1 Rainy Day Ramblings
Saturday, August 2 Wondrous Reads
Sunday, August 3 Alice Marvels
Monday, August 4 Magical Urban Fantasy Reads
Tuesday, August 5 Mac Teen Books
And if you are lucky enough to live in one of these cities, you can catch Ann Aguirre in person:
Mortal Danger Pub Week Tour Schedule
Tuesday August 5 Malaprop’s Books, Asheville, NC
Wednesday, August 6 Cover to Cover, Columbus, OH
Thursday, August 7 The Book Bin, Salem, OR
Friday, August 8 Book Passage, Corte Madera, CA
Saturday, August 9 Barnes & Noble Firewheel, Garland, TX