I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa
Series: Blood of Eden #1
Published by HarlequinTeen on April 24th 2012
Genres: Dystopian, Paranormal Fantasy, Post Apocalyptic, Young Adult
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To survive in a ruined world, she must embrace the darkness
Allison Sekemoto survives in the Fringe, the outermost circle of a walled-in city. By day, she and her crew scavenge for food. By night, any one of them could be eaten. Some days, all that drives Allie is her hatred of them—the vampires who keep humans as blood cattle. Until the night Allie herself dies and becomes one of the monsters.
Forced to flee her city, Allie must pass for human as she joins a ragged group of pilgrims seeking a legend—a place that might have a cure for the disease that killed off most of civilization and created the rabids, the bloodthirsty creatures who threaten human and vampire alike. And soon Allie will have to decide what and who is worth dying for again.
Enter Julie Kagawa's dark and twisted world as an unforgettable journey begins.
When I first found out Kagawa was journeying down the vampire path, I was nervous. I mean, vampires have been written about over and over in the YA world and I wasn’t sure what could be added. I had imaginary conversations, pleading with her, “Julie, are you sure you wanna do this?” And in all her awesomeness she pretty much told me, “Steph, chill. I got this.” Do you know what I love about Julie Kagawa? I love how she can take a completely overused paranormal creature like fairies or vampires and create a whole new spin on them. Just when I was starting to lose faith in the Children of the Night, The Immortal Rules comes along and makes me rethink everything I thought I knew about vampires.
The Immortal Rules tells the story of Allison Sekemoto living in a future where most of the human population was killed by a disease called Red Lung. But that’s not the only problem. Vampires now rule their world and have caused the human race to become their pets, scavengers, and monsters themselves. And let’s not forget about the Rabids that stalk the earth just waiting to take a bite or two out of a human. Allison hate vampires, but when faced with the choice of death or becoming that which she has always loathed, she chooses the latter. When she flees from New Covington, Allie runs into a group of humans. She decides to travel with them, hiding her true nature from them as they travel searching for Eden (and yes, there are Christian themes in the book), a human city not ruled by vampires. She’s always thought being a human was hard, but she quickly learns that being a vampire isn’t exactly a walk in the park either, especially when you’re wanted.
The best thing I loved about The Immortal Rules were the vampires. These aren’t the cute sparkly vamps that try their hardest, fighting their nature, by feasting off animals instead of humans. Oh, no. These bad boys are vicious killers, just like unlike ’em! It is made very clear early in the novel that vampires have to drink from humans in order to survive and that one day Allison would kill a human no matter how hard she tried not to. Hell to the yeah. Real vampires! They’re back!
I also really enjoyed the creativity in this novel. Do you know what happens when Underworld and The Forest of Hands and Teeth have a baby? The result, if you didn’t guess, is The Immortal Rules. It was a really cool mix of both flesh-eating, zombie-like creatures and bloodsucking vamps, surrounding poor, defenseless humans. Kagawa wasn’t afraid to kill her characters off and show Allison some tough lovin’! I really hate when authors attempt to give every lovable character in the book a “hall pass” from death. The impact of the scene and story usually suffer, but not here. People died, viciously. Such is the way of the circle of life.
My biggest and only issue with the book was the extremely slow first half. It just felt like it dragged on and on. I just wanted to bang my head against a wall. And because of that, I can’t give this book 4 stars. However, where the beginning was boring (to me at least), the second half makes up for lost time. Because this is another thing I love about Kagawa: Her action scenes and endings are kick-ass. I was getting major Underworld vibes from Allison and it was awesome. Every time she cut someone’s head off, I got ridiculously giddy. I’m not lying when I say the second half saved this book.
In the beginning I really disliked Allie. She and I weren’t getting along very well because she had an attitude and personality that gave Oscar the Grouch a run for his money. I get why she was like that, but that didn’t mean I had to like it. Thankfully, by the end of the novel, I did end up connecting with her. It was very subtle and snuck up on me. Of course, it didn’t hurt that she was a badass, katana wielder either. “Useless,” she was not! Kick some ass, she did. Lol. Okay, I’ll spare you with my Yoda talk, but seriously the second half was a lot of fun.
Zeke, the love interest, was just okay for me. He was very sweet, caring, loyal, all those things you love to see in a person. While I did like him, I feel like I need to see more of him it the next book before I make up my mind.
Kanin (P.S. was that derived from “The land of Canaan?”), Allie’s mentor was my favorite character. We didn’t see a lot of him and that made me a bit disappointed, but things are looking up for more page time in the next novel.
So overall I did enjoy the novel and I’m looking forward to book two. It looks like Kagawa is planning on kicking it up a notch, so she can count me in. ;D
*A note on the cover: DISLIKE! Allison is of Japanese descent. Thus, the girl on the cover disappoints me for obvious reasons. -_-
ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley. Thank you!
Don’t forget to check out Kat’s review!