The Immortal Rules (The Blood of Eden #1) by Julie Kagawa (Click for Goodreads)
4 1/2 stars
MY VAMPIRE CREATOR TOLD ME THIS:
“Sometime in your life, Allison Sekemoto, you will kill a human being. The question is not if it will happen, but when. Do you understand?”
I didn’t then, not really.
I DO NOW.
Allison Sekemoto survives in the Fringe, the outermost circle of a vampire 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 is attacked—and given the ultimate choice. Die…or become one of the monsters.
Faced with her own mortality, Allie becomes what she despises most. To survive, she must learn the rules of being immortal, including the most important: go long enough without human blood, and you will go mad.
Then Allie is forced to flee into the unknown, outside her city walls. There she joins a ragged band of humans who are seeking a legend—a possible cure to the disease that killed off most of humankind and created the rabids, the mindless creatures who threaten humans and vampires alike.
But it isn’t easy to pass for human. Especially not around Zeke, who might see past the monster inside her. And Allie soon must decide what—and who—is worth dying for.
This review is of an Advanced Review Copy received from NetGalley. You can get your hands on a copy April 24, 2012.
Now, before we begin this review, I should probably admit something. Something that will have all of you screaming blasphemy and what-have-you.
I never read the Iron Fey series.
DON’T KILL ME. I mean to, I swear! Actually, after this book, make that I NEED TO READ NOW.
I went for this book for two reasons: One, it had vampires in it. Traditional sounding vampires, not sparkly ones. Two, I had heard Julie Kagawa has a way with words. Well, let me tell you guys, if you weren’t aware already:
JULIE KAGAWA HAS A WAY WITH WORDS.
I really just can’t get over the way this book read. After Shatter Me and Illuminate, books with any kind of flowery language make me go, “Seriously? Again?” But this book just read so well, and so beautiful, I was sucked in.
Someone told me that this book’s blurb just sounded like it was capitalizing on the two biggest trends in YA today–dystopian and vampires–and really I can’t deny that. After a while, all these dystopian worlds start having a few similar characteristics and that was the same here. However, unlike some other books, I never found myself questioning this one. Kagawa lays out the world so well that there’s no question. You can SEE this world and how the humans got to be where they are, and everything from the cities to the country is very realistic. That’s a big plus in my book. The vampires in this book also try to buck the trend a little bit. They don’t glamorize being undead. They don’t make the vampires into rock stars or sulky-yet-somehow-swoonworthy guys hung up on immortal ideas of love. Allie is a vampire. She struggles with it. She is a human soul inside a demon body trying to rationalize the two. It’s almost not about the fact that she’s a vampire; it’s about the fact that she’s no longer human. All in all, what book isn’t a combination of something that’s been done before? The whole point is to take it, own it and make it your own, and Kagawa did that with some of the best skill I’ve ever seen.
Now, let’s back up to that whole “She is a human soul inside a demon body trying to rationalize the two” thing. You’ll notice that this review is only 4 1/2 stars, and I’ll say without shame that is possibly solely because of personal taste. The first third of this book, or thereabouts, is all about Allie trying to come to turns with what she’s become. She’s learning about being a vampire and dealing with the repercussions. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that, and at times I quite enjoyed it. However, I am–without fail–an impatient reader who always wants something exciting to happen NOW. For me, it felt like the book got off to a slow start because it was focusing on Allie’s personal journey in the beginnings of vampirism and not ACTIONACTIONACTION. I liked it a lot, but the fact that it lasted for more than the first third of the book was too much for me.
But now … the last two-thirds. GUYS. I literally COULD NOT SIT IN MY SEAT. I’m not kidding. I was readingreadingreading and then I had to get up. I have no idea when I get so immersed into this book, but I certainly noticed it when I bounced out of my seat because I could. Not. Sit. I was constantly questioning what she was going to do next, because I was never sure if she was going to give into her vampire side or go with her humanity because THAT is how will the character of Allie was set up. She wasn’t exactly an easy character to love at first, but by the end of the book I was drowning in pity for her. She can have my back anytime. I wasn’t actually sold on too many other members of the cast, except for Caleb of course. No, he’s not the love interest–he is a little boy who acts WAY too much like my little brother. 😛
So, basically, here is The Immortal Rules in a nutshell: Do you love vampires? Then GET THIS. Do you love dystopian and feel like giving vampires a try? Then GET THIS. Looking for a new, exciting book with a kick ass female main character? THEN GET THIS. April 24th, guys. Break down the bookstore door.