A complimentary advanced reader copy of this book was provided by Feiwel and Friends in exchange for an honest review. (Thank you!) My review was in no way influenced by this consideration.
Feiwel and Friends were lovely enough to have sent me an advanced copy of Mortal Danger (always so exciting)! I’d already seen some early reviews, despite trying my hardest not to, and they were MIXED. It was clear that this was a book people either really loved, or just did not connect with, so I went into my reading optimistically, determined to really give it a shot.
The premise of Mortal Danger (according to all the promo materials) is basically: REVENGE. The tagline on the back cover is, “Revenge is a dish best served cold,” and boasts Faustian deals and payback. I went in prepped for dark, thrilling, and maybe murder-y. Here’s what I got: Edie is an overweight, bullied loner who’s been tormented to the point of preparing herself to commit suicide one morning, when she’s intercepted by a glamorously handsome genie/love-interest named Kian who wants to befriend/help/commit her to a deal that will grant her three wishes, but require her to pay them back in some undisclosed fashion at an undisclosed time. So far, so good.
Edie uses her first wish to become gorgeous–not because she’s vain and superficial, but because she wants to use her new beauty as a weapon to get in with the in-crowd and break them, one by one. (OK. I’ll bite.) She goes to summer science camp so her transformation will seem plausible (?) to her parents, and to practice her newly bestowed weaponry on her fellow science nerds. She discovers that people love her because she’s beautiful. Hmm. Also, she falls in insta-love with Kian.
And honestly, I’m still liking it. I’m fine with all of it, and willing to buy into the plot and see where it goes, until suddenly we’re meeting Kian’s boss, and things are SO PARANORMAL and taking such a random 90-degree plot turn that it feels like I’m reading a whole different book, and it’s got nothing to do with the setup I just spent 100 pages investing my time into following. I kept trying for another 50 pages or so, but honestly, the whole “game” subplot was so confusing to me and seemed so unrelated to the first chunk of the book that I had no idea what was going on, and no idea why I was supposed to care about any of it–so I didn’t. I tried, but I just couldn’t. I ended up frustrated and grumpy, and it just wasn’t worth it for me, anymore.
Honestly? I’d have loved to read the book I was promised on the back cover; Edie using her wishes to actually get revenge on her classmates? I’m in. Or finding that some of her classmates had actually liked her the way she was before her wishes, or finding true friendship that had nothing to do with her looks. Any variation on what was happening in the first 100 pages, especially given a bit more attention to pacing and character development–now, that would have been a fantastic book.
I know that some bloggers absolutely loved Mortal Danger, so maybe you, would, too! Maybe knowing the plot really revolves around paranormal creatures before you start will be helpful? Definitely make up your own mind, and see what you think!
Mortal Danger releases today. A good bit of mid-grade swearing. No star rating, since I didn’t finish the book.