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Mini-Review: Mortal Danger (Immortal Game #1) – Ann Aguirre

Mini-Review: Mortal Danger (Immortal Game #1) – Ann AguirreTitle: Mortal Danger (Immortal Game #1) by Ann Aguirre
Publishing Info: August 5, 2014 by Macmillan
Source: Received from the publisher for review purposes
Genres: Paranormal, Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: August 5, 2014
Related Posts: Enclave (Razorland #1)

    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...

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I really had high hopes for MORTAL DANGER before cracking open the book. It seemed like a concept I would really enjoy and I knew that other readers weren’t as pleased with it, but hey, I don’t always agree with other people (that’s the whole point of reading, right?) so I gave it a shot and hoped for the best!

The first half of the book actually went really well for me. I was interested in the idea and thought it could really go places. The characters didn’t have the most amazing chemistry, but it worked all right for me, and I just really enjoyed the first 100 pages and the set-up of where everything was leading. Unfortunately, there came a point where I had to stop reading for the day and I just struggled  to pick the book back up. But why? I was really enjoying the beginning! What in the world made me struggle to finish?

About halfway through, MORTAL DANGER hit a wall for me. I felt like the story wasn’t progressing all that much and sure, things were happening, but it wasn’t a lot and apparently it wasn’t enough to hold my attention. I had a hard time pushing through to the end and really the second half was just slow for me. I think I needed a little bit more suspense and action to really help pick things up every once in a while in the second half.

I was a bit sad that it turned out to do the same thing for me that it did for other readers. Having really enjoyed the first half of the book, I thought it was going to end up as a four star book, but the second half just really declined and… I just don’t have much to say about it at all. I didn’t find anything that really turned me off, but it just didn’t hold my interest.

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I tend to update my Goodreads status a LOT when I read — reactions, feelings, notes — so I thought it would be fun to share the sort of “reading process”! All status updates are spoiler-free (no specific plot points will be revealed) but will contain reactions to certain pages and/or characters!

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Kept Me Hooked On: Paranormal. I don’t find myself reading a lot of paranormal lately… I think I sort of fell out of it. I was really interested in the whole secret, morbid-genie type deal but… too little too late.
Left Me Wanting More: Action & Suspense. The beginning was really good. I got to know the characters and even though it was about Edie wishing for beauty, I didn’t feel like it was that superficial. Unfortunately it really just fell flat halfway through. The characters got really static and one-dimensional and the plot just wasn’t moving along.

Addiction Rating
Skip it

Another book I didn’t really hate but I just couldn’t get into. I had high hopes that I would like it more than others but the book just hit a wall and I couldn’t get past it.

book_recommendations1BOOKS LIKE MORTAL DANGER

(Click the cover to see my review!)

 everneath    dance of shadows

 

Enclave (Razorland #1) – Ann Aguirre

Enclave (Razorland #1) – Ann AguirreTitle: Enclave (Razorland #1) by Ann Aguirre
Publishing Info: April 12, 2011 by Macmillan
Source: Won
Genres: Apocalyptic, Dystopian, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: October 20, 2013
Related Posts: Mortal Danger (Immortal Game #1)

In Deuce’s world, people earn the right to a name only if they survive their first fifteen years. By that point, each unnamed ‘brat’ has trained into one of three groups–Breeders, Builders, or Hunters, identifiable by the number of scars they bear on their arms. Deuce has wanted to be a Huntress for as long as she can remember.
  As a Huntress, her purpose is clear—to brave the dangerous tunnels outside the enclave and bring back meat to feed the group while evading ferocious monsters known as Freaks. She’s worked toward this goal her whole life, and nothing’s going to stop her, not even a beautiful, brooding Hunter named Fade. When the mysterious boy becomes her partner, Deuce’s troubles are just beginning.
  Down below, deviation from the rules is punished swiftly and harshly, and Fade doesn’t like following orders. At first Deuce thinks he’s crazy, but as death stalks their sanctuary, and it becomes clear the elders don’t always know best, Deuce wonders if Fade might be telling the truth. Her partner confuses her; she’s never known a boy like him before, as prone to touching her gently as using his knives with feral grace.
  As Deuce’s perception shifts, so does the balance in the constant battle for survival. The mindless Freaks, once considered a threat only due to their sheer numbers, show signs of cunning and strategy… but the elders refuse to heed any warnings. Despite imminent disaster, the enclave puts their faith in strictures and sacrifice instead. No matter how she tries, Deuce cannot stem the dark tide that carries her far from the only world she’s ever known

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I had been meaning to read ENCLAVE for a loooong time. I won the ebook a while back but I am TERRIBLE at staying on top of my ebooks because I don’t see them sitting on my shelf everyday (shame, shame. I know) but I wanted to read it before I met Ann Aguirre at the Fierce Reads Tour on November 4th. Perfect timing!

We first meet Deuce as Girl15, ready to receive her name at her naming ceremony and become an official part of the Hunters and Huntresses who provide food for the enclave and also protect it. While I must admit that Deuce is my least favorite character name of all time, I really did like her character! She was ready to take on the world, learn new skills, and protect her friends and the people who had become like her family. Another awesome kickass female protagonist done well!

I don’t know why, but one of my favorite parts about any dystopian or post-apocalyptic novel is learning how the world and/or government collapsed and what grew up in its absence. What was difficult for me in ENCLAVE was that we didn’t get to see “Topside” until halfway through the book so it was just a little bit slow for me in the first half. I really got into the book once we got to see the world that once was: figuring out how it collapsed, trying to survive the elements as well as the Freaks and the gangs, and also trying to find a safe place in a world that was totally foreign. I love re-discovering the world that we know now from the characters’ perspective!

I really enjoyed the dynamic between Deuce and Fade and how their characters ended up not only growing closer, but really depending on each other to survive. I really liked Fade a lot (he sort of reminded me of Four from the Divergent series at times!) and his secret past absolutely intrigued me! We got a little taste of what his life was like growing up and how that knowledge would be valuable to Deuce as well. As far as the romance goes… I liked it at first, but I felt like it escalated a little quickly considering the main focus of the Hunters is, well, hunting and they grew up mostly not touching others affectionately, even just as a sign of friendship. That sort of thing was left to the Breeders. I didn’t feel like it was insta-love or anything, but I felt like it happened quickly considering their history.

I actually really liked the supporting characters, especially the ones that Deuce and Fade encounter later in the story. Stalker was actually probably one of my favorite in the sense that he felt really dynamic and I liked what Ann Aguirre did with his character! I think all of the characters really brought the story to life and it was interesting to see them thrown into such a hostile environment and how they handled it.

The ending was really exciting and although ENCLAVE started a bit slow for me, it finished strong and it got me excited for the next book in the series! I’m definitely interested to see where the story goes from here.

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Deuce // Character Obsessions: Being a Huntress, surviving, battling Freaks.
I liked Deuce! Did not like her name, but hey. It wasn’t her choice either, right? I think at times she was a bit too stubborn but I think she just had a real need to prove herself which she actually did many, many times over. I liked her determination and she really kept the story moving. I also really appreciated that she was badass tough chick and then we got to see a much softer side of her as the story went on. Very nicely done!
Fade // Character Obsessions: Being a Hunter, surviving, battling Freaks, holding his tongue.
Fade is definitely a complex fellow. He was found and brought to the Enclave so he has a whole childhood that his community doesn’t even know about. I was definitely drawn to him because of the mystery and his strength!

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Kept Me Hooked On: Post-Apocalyptic novels. I love destroying the world. I love reading about how authors crumble our modern world and create a new one in its place! Fascinating!!
Left Me Wanting More: Topside in the beginning. I’m obsessed with finding out how the world ended and what it’s like now (well, “now” in the book) so I felt like it took just a little too long for that to happen in ENCLAVE, for my personal tastes.

Addiction Rating
Borrow it!

Borrow it from a friend who’s loved it and wants to share it with you! It’s a good read but not one of my all-time favorites. The series looks like it has some really good potential so start with book one and hopefully things will get even better as we go!

book_recommendations1BOOKS LIKE ENCLAVE

(Click the cover to see my review!)

          Divergent     Monument 14