Review: Mortal Danger (Immortal Games #1) by Ann Aguirre


Title:  Mortal Danger
Author: Ann Aguirre
Publisher/Year: Square Fish 8/4/15
Length:  400 pages
Series:  Immortal Games #1


Revenge is a dish best served cold.

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.

My Thoughts

Well, when i saw this new series from Ann Aguirre, i figured that it had to be good since her Razorland series was rather creative and thought out.  We’re not let down with this one, and i think that it’s rather impressive that she’s able to come up with yet another really well detailed and thought out series.

In this introduction to the series, we find ourselves thrown into this ‘game’ of sorts, yet we don’t know what the point of it is, just that there are two sides, one that’s bad and one that’s worse.  all trying to control the future and destinies of people.  The pawns that are used in the game are people who are so far gone down the path of self hate that they are about to kill themselves, and that’s when one of the sides swoops in to save them and grant them 3 wishes of sorts, in return for their indentured servitude.

We meet Edie on the night that she’s planned to jump off a bridge, and just when she’s about to step off, she’s saved by the most beautiful looking boy that she’s ever seen.  Turns out that he’s been sent to save her and offer her this deal to be on his boss’s side.  Edie’s desire to be beautiful and then to seek revenge is exactly what is needed, and the path that her story takes is quite interesting.

Of course, what she learns along the way is that the people that were so awful to her had their own issues as well which is something that she was never aware of and it makes the idea of revenge against some of them not so sweet.  The issue though is that because she’s wanted this revenge, horrible things start happening.  People are dying, and Edie quickly learns that there are others that are out to get her and that’s where we spend much of this story.

Kian, the guy that’s sent to save her, grant her wishes and protect her finds himself in an interesting position as well.  He’s far more invested in her than was ever expected and while that’s a good thing for the couple, it puts him in a tough place where he barters things away in order to keep Edie safe.  That’s where we’re left off in this first installment, he’s given away his freedom, and while we know that there’s going to be more to his story since he’s supposed to be killed by his boss and that’s just not going to happen, we don’t know what it’ll mean for Edie and the game since there’s still so much to be determined.

Personally, some of the most interesting things to me here are that while i expected others in the story to be ‘non human’ – i think that learning that some of the characters that are ultimately involved is a surprise.  We’re given hints throughout that there are some that are on the wrong side, but there were a few surprises which makes me wonder who else is going to show a dark side.

The other questions though are around what Edie’s destiny really is supposed to be and will she be able to fulfill it.  I think that before she became ‘beautiful’ – there was a chance, but her paths changed a bit and i think that it’s going to be tough.

The final bit too that i’m curious about is who else is going to die before the game is won (or lost) and what is that going to mean?  i still can’t figure out who’s the good guy and who’s the bad guy – but i think that we’ll get more answers in the next installment .  so – on that note, have a great day all!

Review: Horde (Razorland #3) by Ann Aguirre


Title: Horde
Author: Ann Aguirre
Publisher/Year: Feiwel & Friends 10/29/13
Length:  432 pages
Series:  Razorland Trilogy #3


The horde is coming.

Salvation is surrounded, monsters at the gates, and this time, they’re not going away. When Deuce, Fade, Stalker and Tegan set out, the odds are against them. But the odds have been stacked against Deuce from the moment she was born. She might not be a Huntress anymore, but she doesn’t run. With her knives in hand and her companions at her side, she will not falter, whether fighting for her life or Fade’s love.

Ahead, the battle of a lifetime awaits. Freaks are everywhere, attacking settlements, setting up scouts, perimeters, and patrols. There hasn’t been a war like this in centuries, and humans have forgotten how to stand and fight. Unless Deuce can lead them.

This time, however, more than the fate of a single enclave or outpost hangs in the balance. This time, Deuce carries the banner for the survival of all humanity.

My Thoughts

I’ve been trying to read this final installment of the series for quite some time, and finally finished it.  I don’t know why – but when i started it back a few weeks ago, i got only a few chapters in and it wasn’t sticking.  Lucky for me, i had a long plane ride yesterday and picked it back up to read since it’s airplane friendly reading…..and i’m thrilled that i finished it.

In this third and final book of the series, we are finding ourselves hanging in the balance again – where something needs to be done to kill the Horde of freaks before they kill the humans, and Deuce needs to find a way to convince people that they need to fight.  The Huntress in her comes out full force in this story and we see her growing up quite a bit.

After making an agreement with Colonel Park to get information from one of the other settlements, she has been given permission to try to create an army that’s not tied to one town, but that will band together to fight at One.  while at first she finds little success outside of her settlement, she continues to push forward.  Through the help of traders that are trusted by the other towns, word begins to spread that they are forming, fighting small battles and winning, and somehow manage to gain more recruits.  Deuce finds herself with a set of new confidantes that are amazing resources to him.

What’s really nice about this book is that we see a lot of relationship development and that really helps bring the plot along.  there’s the continued struggle with Deuce and Stalker on how to make any friendship work or not….and how to make it work with Fade.  Tegan begins to come into her own as a medic since her skills are needed now more than ever because of things that happen in Salvation and across the land.  Deuce helps put her ‘family’ (the Oaks) back together and grows it too…and she reunites with Stone and Thimble somehow

Now i’m kind of sad to see the series end, since i really enjoyed where it took us.  There were characters that were adored that didn’t make it to the end of the book, and that made things all that much more bittersweet.

the off point for me though is that usually i find an epilogue to be really helpful and a great way to provide closure.  I’m not sure that this one really did that – or was necessary  but i get why the author wrote it.   Is it bad of me to hope that maybe there will be another novella that would give us another look into the underground and maybe where their story continues?  i feel like there’s room for it now that Topside keeps changing.  Just a thought – Enjoy!


Review: Outpost (Razorland Series #2) by Ann Aguirre


Title:  Outpost
Author: Ann Aguirre
Publisher/Year: Feiwel & Friends 2012
Length:  336 pages
Series: Razorland Series #2


Deuce’s whole world has changed. Down below, she was considered an adult. Now, topside in a town called Salvation, she’s a brat in need of training in the eyes of the townsfolk. She doesn’t fit in with the other girls: Deuce only knows how to fight.

To make matters worse, her Hunter partner, Fade, keeps Deuce at a distance. Her feelings for Fade haven’t changed, but he seems not to want her around anymore. Confused and lonely, she starts looking for a way out.

Deuce signs up to serve in the summer patrols—those who make sure the planters can work the fields without danger. It should be routine, but things have been changing on the surface, just as they did below ground. The Freaks have grown smarter. They’re watching. Waiting. Planning. The monsters don’t intend to let Salvation survive, and it may take a girl like Deuce to turn back the tide

My Thoughts

I really enjoy this series and can’t put my finger on what makes it so different.  In this story, we’ve got our classing YA love triangle, but i’m not sure who i’m rooting for.  This 2nd installment takes us on a few different paths, and the outcome is still kind of ambiguous to me (probably the reason that i’m loving it).  So as the overview above states, Deuce finds herself in a place that she’s just not made for (or so she thinks).  In the enclave, she was an adult, never had to answer to parents or teachers other than Silk and the Wordkeepers and that’s absolutely not how it is in Salvation.  She’s also at a crossroads since Fade wants nothing to do with her and Stalker does, and Tegan’s an entirely different story since she keeps trying to make it seem as though everything that happened on the journey never happened.

This means that there HAS to be trouble brewing outside their little world since they are so involved in this story line right?  Well, that’s exactly what we get.  While we’re led to believe that the Freaks (or Muties) are primitive and without the ability to plan and develop strategy and think on their own, we learn that evolution is taking place and things are going to be flipped faster than we know it.

Some of the secondary characters in also begin to be more important here which is nice.  Longshot not only has a soft side for Deuce, but he really believes in her.  Through this book we learn a bit more and see where their relationship will take them.  we also see more from Momma Oakes and Edmund which is nice since Deuce needs someone to be a parent and these 2 are PERFECT for the job.

So, there’s a lot of ups and downs in this story, and the lead into the 3rd book Horde is really putting me on edge.  i can’t wait to see what comes next and here’s what i hope we find out

1) What is Longshot asking Deuce to do and what will come of that?

2) What’s going on with Fade?  (really?!?)

3) What’s happening outside the walls of Salvation and how long will those walls hold up?

4) what is it that the Freaks really want?

5) who will survive?

happy reading all!!

Review: Endurance (Razorland Series #1.5) by Ann Aguirre


Title:  Endurance
Author: Ann Aguirre
Publisher/Year: Square Fish 2012
Length:  32 pages
Series: Razorland Series #1.5


When rebellion destroys the underground world in which Thimble and Stone have grown up, they take Stone’s son and try to escape the chaos. Along the way, they must evade the Freaks, beings who feed on human flesh. Leaving behind the roles of Builder and Breeder which they were assigned at birth, they wander the underground tunnels, looking for safety yet afraid to go “topside” where legend has it that the light and water will burn their skin from their bones.

Their journey takes them upward to an unimagined world of tinned food, comfortable furniture, and books. Away from their regimented society for the first time, and still facing imminent danger, Thimble and Stone acknowledge the forbidden attraction which both have denied for years.

My Thoughts

This is what i LOVE about .5 books (or novellas as we like to call them too).  they give us a great continuation of the story from someone else’s POV which we hope will come into play in the following installments of the series.  in this case, i’m fairly certain that these 2 characters will play a good role in the next book and i hope that we get to see where things go with them.

so as you remember from reading Enclave – book 1 in the series, Thimble and Stone are Deuce’s best friends.  They have their own paths in life with Thimble being a Builder since we learned that she was born with a slight disability – one leg is shorter than the other and i think that she may have a club foot.  it’s not a major issue compared to what it could be however given the circumstances that society lives in now, they typically leave the deformed out to be eaten by the Freaks.  Thimble we learn through the course of Endurance though is INCREDIBLY smart and will be quite valuable down the line

Stone we learned in book 1 is quite handsome and has been put into the Breeder caste – charged with maintaining the population of the enclave.  They choose the strongest, best looking of the brats to become Breeders in the hopes to keep a strong population coming along.  We heard that he had ‘sired’ one boy and that boy comes on the jounrey with Thimble and Stone.

So back to the story.  When Duece and Fade were cast out of the enclave, there were rumblings that there was imbalance and that people weren’t willing to just abide by what the elders told them to do.  We also heard that Nassau another enclave close by had been taken by the freaks and all this was BAD news.  so in Endurance, we’re finding ourselves in the midst of a power struggle where only the best can survive.  while Stone and Thimble manage to do that, they decide that they have better odds to go out on their own and see what safety and life they can make for themselves and Boy23 (Stone’s son).

This is a great few chapters where we get to see friendship grow and family bonds become tighter.  i really can’t wait to see what happens in the next installment since there’s so much that can be done with this.

so per usual – here are my questions:

1) what’s going to happen between Thimble and Stone

2) will they find helpful information in the computer that they’ve found?

3) will they make it topside and once they are there what will happen?

4) what role will Boy23 play?


**Click the cover above to buy!

Review: Enclave (Razorland Series #1) by Ann Aguirre


Title:  Enclave
Author: Ann Aguirre
Publisher/Year: Square Fish 8/7/12
Length:  288 pages
Series: Razorland Series #1


New York City has been decimated by war and plague, and most of civilization has migrated to underground enclaves, where life expectancy is no more than the early 20s. When Deuce turns 15, she takes on her role as a Huntress, and is paired with Fade, a teenage Hunter who lived Topside as a young boy. When she and Fade discover that the neighboring enclave has been decimated by the tunnel monsters—or Freaks—who seem to be growing more organized, the elders refuse to listen to warnings. And when Deuce and Fade are exiled from the enclave, the girl born in darkness must survive in daylight, in the ruins of a city whose population has dwindled to a few dangerous gangs. As the two are guided by Fade’s long-ago memories, they face dangers, and feelings, unlike any they’ve ever known.

What I thought

I Have to say that i really enjoyed this story – it’s a new take on dystopia and it was nicely written.  I wasn’t quite sure what to expect since i’ve been reading a lot of end of the world, people driven into hiding or new shelter/communities, wiped out by disease.  While we have that in this story, there’s such a great deeper story there too.  The usual isn’t thrown in our face in the onset.

What i mean by that is that you typically come to expect that there’s a ‘conforming side’ and those are all the people who fear the folks in power because that’s all they know and ‘the rebellion’.  In this story, while you come to assume that there are both sides, it’s not obvious and you don’t know who’s part of what and what the motives are.  You do know that you don’t want to believe the leaders of College Enclave, and you want there to be something better.

So we meed Deuce at her naming ceremony and we know from experience that she’s going to be a tough girl if not naive as well.  We get this, but at least she knows that she’s good at something – fighting and being a huntress.

We then meet Fade a little later on who’s an ‘outsider’ if you can even believe that there are any since everyone’s living underground.  No one knows his story since he was found in the tunnels and it’s never been shared with the enclave where he came from.

Through nothing more than being forced together, a friendship builds between the 2 and you hope that possibly there’s more to come.  Who knows if that will happen though.  These types of stories are typically slow to build to that.

From a case of bad circumstances, Fade and Deuce are some what targeted by the powers that be in the Enclave, resulting in bad jobs, and then being kicked out of the enclave to fend for themselves topside.  here is where Deuce learns a LOT about what’s real and what’s fiction and it’s a great growing experience to see how her eyes open up.

Along their fight for survival topside, they meet Stalker and Tegan, and their duo becomes a messy bit of a foursome.  Lots of fighting and animosity, distrust, and maybe some sexual tension?

I won’t continue more with the story in the fear of giving things away but….i do have a few questions of what i’m hoping for in the next book

1) What happens to Tegan?

2) What happens to all 4 of them actually?

3) Is there a love triangle going on and who’s going to win out?

4) Is Fade’s father alive?

I can’t wait to read the next installment now since i’m truly intrigued.  i hope you guys enjoy it as well and feel free to leave me a note with your thoughts.