Series: Blood of Eden, #1
Author: Julie Kagawa
Genre: YA - Paranormal/Dystopia
Publication: 04.24.2012 by Harlequin Teen
Summary: "In a future world, vampires reign. Humans are blood cattle. And one girl will search for the key to save humanity."Thoughts: Well, where to start? I have to say that I am still surprised at how much I loved this book; I am almost speechless (but not really.) While I haven't read Kagawa's Iron Fey series, I have heard only fantastic things about and was really excited to start this new series. I was blown away from the start by The Immortal Rules and am so glad I picked it up. I loved her writing, characters, and everything else about the book. Kagawa hooked me in with an amazing story and her wonderful world-building skills. I loved this book from beginning to end and can not say enough about it.
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.
The story starts off in New Covington, a town run by vampires who feed off of humans. No sparkly vampires here. In exchange for their blood, humans receive food and protection. In the outskirts of town, the Unregistereds hide and struggle for survival. Allison, our protagonist, has always lived in the Fringe and refuses to become part of the human cattle for the vampires, who she loathes. Instead, with her small gang, she keeps herself alive by stealing and hunting down food. Determined to survive and keep her small "family" alive, she goes to great lengths and danger to keep food on the table. Spilt into several parts, we get a feel for Allison while she is human, and we quickly understand her hatred for the vampires who control her town. She is definitely a courageous girl, who proves it when she risks her life to save her friend. When she is viciously attacked by rabids (think: vampire zombies!) she is on the brink of death, but offered the chance for immortality. Like any human, she is terrified of dying and only wants to live, that she lets the vampire turn her into what she hates the most. Then the story really takes off.
Every single character in The Immortal Rules is written with depth, an amazing feat I thought, since there were a lot of different kinds, but each relatable in their own right. Allison (aka Allie, but I don't think it sounds as good) was a compelling character that I really loved. She was brave, but stubborn as hell; she cared for those she got to know and is definitely bad-ass and not afraid to kick some butt. I really liked Kanin and really wanted to see more of him because we learn so little about him; he was a great vampire: handsome, scary, mysterious, brooding *sigh*
Of course, there had to be a bit of romance involved, but it's not what you think! When Allison comes across the stragglers trying to find a legend, she meets Zeke. And no, it's not insta-love. In fact, he has a gun pointed to her face and is weary of trusting her. After a while though, she is accepted into their group, where she must learn to hide her true nature and fight against herself as she struggles with her thirst for human blood. Zeke is the kind of guy that we love to love. He is, first off, good looking, really sweet, caring, brave and a great guy all around.
The world-building was pretty much awesome. Part dystopian, part paranormal, Kagawa created an amazing world that I could see clearly and wanted to learn more of.
The concept of The Immortal Rules was surprisingly fresh and the plot was captivating. All the characters were amazingly written , the villain(s) were despicable, and the setting was pretty much perfect.
This book had a little bit everything -- suspense, action, adventure, romance, gore -- and I loved how gripping the story was. I was thoroughly impressed with Kagawa's ability to engage the reader from the start and giving us a thrilling and unique take on an extremely popular genre that I thought I would be bored with soon. The Immortal Rules definitely piqued my vampire interest once again and I really looking forward to the rest of the series.
Overall: I definitely recommend this to other fans of this author¹ and to others looking for a refreshing, but oddly familiar, take on vampires and zombie-like creatures. The Immortal Rules is definitely a new favorite book for me and I can't wait to read more by Kagawa!
About the author: Julie Kagawa lives in Louisville, Kentucky, where the frequency of shark attacks are at an all time low. She lives with her husband, two obnoxious cats, one Australian Shepherd who is too smart for his own good, and the latest addition, a hyper-active Papillon puppy.
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Buy the book: Amazon
Think you'll love The Immortal Rules as much as I did? I think so too! Thanks to the Harlequin Teen, I have a hardcover copy of The Immortal Rules to offer to one reader!
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¹ I have seen that you should be warned that this is very different from The Iron Fey series, and might be disappointed if you are expecting similarities of writing, world-building abilities, etc.)