Tuesday, April 24, 2012

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Title:  The Immortal Rules
Author:  Julie Kagawa
Series:  Blood of Eden
Publisher:  Harlequin Teen
Publication Date:  April 24, 2012
Source:  ARC

In a future world, Vampires reign. Humans are blood cattle. And one girl will search for the key to save humanity.

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.

Whereas most of my reading buddies were firmly on one side of the line or the other when it comes to this book, I found myself conflicted. I liked it. It definitely had its moments, but I expected to love it, based on previous experience with Kagawa’s novels. Allow me to explain.

The world-building is pretty phenomenal. Yes, vampires have been done…overdone, if you ask some. And dystopian/post-apocalyptic novels are all the rage right now. But neither has been done quite like this. In most situations, vampires are a species to be feared and reviled, and the same is true of Kagawa’s monsters. But in The Immortal Rules, vampire masters are kings of their domains, ruling over lower-level vampires and keeping humans as pets. On the fringe of these vampire civilizations are registered humans, used for blood-letting and kept alive by the king for this purpose alone. There are those who rebel against the system, refusing to be registered and constantly scavenging for their next meal because they will not submit and become the equivalent of human pin cushions. But in the ruins of what used to be North America, lies a fate far worse than that of the Fringe. Out there, lying in wait for their next victim, are Rabids -- vampire-hybrids that know nothing but blood lust. There is no safe place in this vampire-run future…only danger, in one form or another.

Allie, the main character, was a miss for me, at least in this first book. I say that because the protagonist in Kagawa’s The Iron Fey series bothered me in the first book of that series, as well, but throughout the following installments, she showed real growth and I slowly became attached to her and her plight. I’m going to venture a guess that the same will hold true of the MC in this series, as well. There was nothing wrong with how Allie was portrayed, per say, but I never felt any connection to her character, beyond what was on the surface. Only toward the end of the novel did I see any real depth to her character, which is why I choose to believe that I will grow to love her character the better I get to know her, just as I did with Meghan in The Iron Fey books.

The supporting characters, however, I found quite intriguing. I really think Kanin deserves his own book. He’s the vampire master who shows Allie the ropes in the beginning, but it’s obvious that he is so much more than that. If he had appeared more during the middle of the book, it might not have drug on so badly for me. Zeke’s appearance near the middle helped further the story and recaptured my interest, but it was lost again for a time while Allie wandered along with his group. It wasn’t until Jackal entered the picture that the book grabbed me again. I love the bad guy who speaks eloquently and tries to convince you he’s not really the enemy here.

The synopsis for this story doesn’t do it justice, but maybe it’s better going into this one with few expectations of what the story is really about. The story is interesting in and of itself, but the subplots really keep things interesting. Considering Kagawa freely admits in the acknowledgements of this book that she never intended to write a vampire novel, I find it extremely entertaining that she’s written such a fascinating, out of the ordinary story about said bloodsuckers.

So, my star rating came down to this:
  • World: great
  • Main character: so-so
  • Supporting cast: great
  • Originality: great
  • Willingness to give the next book a chance: great

If you’re a fan of vampires, you’ll probably enjoy this book. If you’re a fan of Kagawa’s writing style, you’ll probably enjoy this book to some degree. If you’re expecting this book to be like The Iron Fey series, I think you’ll have better luck elsewhere, though I know several others who will disagree with me on that last point. Still, it was an engaging read, and I’ll definitely be picking up the rest of the series.

Rating:  Photobucket

Book-A-Likes:  Blood Red Road by Moira Young (dystopian elements are similar) and Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion (because of the whole monster-grows-a-conscience-thing)



  1. Conflicted or not, this was a great review, Jen! I liked Allie, and I hope I'll still like her in the next book. Maybe she will grow on you. ;) If not, you can always ask the little old lady for her "pie" recipe. Hehe! I absolutely agree with you about Kanin. LOVE him. Yes, please, to a whole story about him. A huge thank-you to you for introducing me to this author and The Iron Fey series. Puck is definitely one of my new fictional BF's. :D

    1. Aw, what are BBS's for, if not to recommend awesome reads?!? Glad you enjoyed both series! (Did you get my email about the cover for The Lost Prince? :P)

  2. I have this, but I'm worried. I'm just afraid ifs too much. Too overwhelming. I felt the same way about Meghan. If it wasn't for Puck and Ash, I would've never continued that series. But, I'm glad you were able to enjoy TIR. Great review!

    1. Makes me wonder if I'll always find it this difficult to connect with one of Kagawa's MCs...

  3. I can't decide if I should read this. I wasn't a big fan of The Iron King (I didn't continue with the other books, at least not yet). So I dunno. I guess I'll have to see if the mood strikes me.

    1. For being a vampire book in a post-apocalyptic setting, it was pretty good. I didn't LOVE The Iron King, but I gave the rest of the series a chance and it definitely got better with each book, so I'm hoping the same holds true for this series.

  4. I'm finally here! I have been meaning to get to this review for so long. But your reviews deserve a thorough read over, so I put it off until I had time.

    I was the same way with the Iron King. I only started liking Meghan towards the end of book one. I didn't grow to love her until I continued on.

    I did love Allie though! I think my problem with Meghan was she started out as being bratty. So I kinda was afraid Allie would be that way, but she wasn't. I admired her courage and strength.

    Yes yes yes to Kanin having his own book, and if I could be his girlfriend in it.. that would be awesome. I didn't like Zeke as much, because i was so fascinated with Kanin. I need some more of him in my life. <3

    I definitely liked this book as a first more than I did The Iron King, so if she continues with her on going trend and they keep getting better, than I will just.... Omg, guess I'l just shit myself with joy. There! lol

    I dont have to tell you this review is great, all your reviews are. :P


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