Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa

The Immortal Rules
(Blood of Eden #1)
Julie Kagawa
Release: April 24, 2012


IMMORTAL RULES book trailer:

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.

Oh. My. God. This book has won the award for Best YA I Have Ever Read. 

Let me first start by saying that I am new to Julie Kagawa. Unlike many others who will read this book, I have not read her Iron Fey series. The Immortal Rules, blew me away! I adored the writing in this book. Kagawa didn't pull any punches here, giving us blood and gore when it was needed. Kagawa's world building was spectacular. The dystopian future she created, filled with two kinds of monsters - vampires and rabids - is fully developed and I could easily picture every detail. And her characters - Oh her characters! Perhaps that is what made this stand apart from other young adults novels I've read. Kagawa writes in first person from the point of view of the main character, Allison. We get to be inside her head and go through everything she goes through as her world is turned upside down again and again.

Um, okay, I'm going to stop singing my praises for the wonder that is Julie Kagawa now and review the book.

Like I said, its written in first person. A lot of young adult books are not. I cannot imagine Allison's story being told any other way. Her story is a journey from one hell to another and I don't think I would have been so invested if the book was written in third person. The Immortal Rules is divided into four parts. In the first part of the story we meet Allison and discover her world. Red Lung disease has wiped out most of the humans of the world, but it has also created rabisism. The rabids share some similarities with vampires, but they are more similar to zombies. Vampires came out of hiding to protect their food source, the humans, by building cities to keep them protected from the rabids. Only catch? If you want the food and protection of the city you have to register with the vampires and give blood a certain number of times per week. Allison and her friends live in what's called The Fringe, the area around the outside of the city. They are still protected by the outer wall, but they have not registered and are therefore given no food or extra protection. They live like homeless people, eating rotten food from garbage cans. Its a desolate life, but Allison refuses to give in to the vampires. 

Now, of course, we know from reading the above synopsis that something goes wrong and Allison reaches the brink of death, only to be turned into a vampire at the last minute. This begins section two of the book. Allison has to learn to 'live' a new life, as a vampire. We get to read all of her emotions and tribulations as she goes through this process and its here, again, that I commend Kagawa for choosing to write in first person. Allison's vampire teacher, Kanin, is a wonderful and mysterious character. I loved watching as Allison learned her new strengths and weaknesses and came to terms with the fact that she was no longer human. Allison must learn to become a baddass, which I love. Like I said before, Kagawa pulls no punches. Her vampires are not romantic or sexy or sparkly. They are monsters who need to feed on human blood to survive. She doesn't give them any 'outs'.

I won't continue to lay out the plot in detail because that would really ruin all the twists and turns for you. I will tell you that eventually Allison has to set out on her own and she meets up with a ragtag group of humans who are wondering the country looking for a mythical city. Allison chooses to play human and join this group, and its here that we start to see some of the differences between humans and vampires. Its also here that we get a bit of a love story going. Reading while Allison tries desperately to fit in with humans, holding my breath every time she feels The Hunger, wondering if she was going to accidentally kill someone in the group or when someone was going to realize what she was - holy cow! And watching Allison fight her attraction to a human was just heartbreaking.

Man, what a ride! This book was really just plain incredible. I often found myself forgetting this was even YA. I'm not sure its fair to categorize it as such. Let's just call it an amazing dystopian vampire story in which the main character is seventeen. 

Recommended for those who love vampires, strong female main characters, books you think about when you're not reading them, katanas, and Julie Kagawa.

This review is based on an advance copy of the book.


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  1. This book is soooo going into my TBR. I can hardly wait.
    Great review Christen.

  2. I'm glad you loved this one. I have yet to read a book by Kagawa so this would be something new for me to try. I really should read her Iron Fey series though since it has been on my shelf for quite a long time.

    Thanks for the great review, glad you were in love with this one. :)

  3. This is the best review I've read for this book so far. I think I'm going to have to read it based on your review alone.

    You have a really fantastic way with words. I'm really glad you're book blogging.

    1. Thank you Rebecca! That's an awesome compliment! <3


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