Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Book Review: The Immortal Rules

Title: The Immortal Rules

Author: Julie Kagawa

SPOILER FREE description ( as explained here):

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.

A History of The Immortal Rules: The highly anticipated first book in the Blood of Eden series, The Immortal Rules was released on April 24 by Harlequin Teen. Already the series is being optioned by independent film production company Palomar Pictures. The second book in the series, The Eternity Cure, came out April 30, 2013.

On the Author, Julie Kagawa: Born in Sacramento, California, Julie Kagawa is the New York Times bestselling author of the Iron Fey series and the Blood of Eden series. From a young age, Kagawa loved books and was often found hiding novels behind math textbooks in class. She enjoyed writing "some very dark and gruesome stories" that often shocked her teachers. While "the gory tales faded with time, the passion for writing remained". Kagawa worked an odd assortment of job until she was able to support herself writing full time. She now live in Louisville, Kentucky with her husband and their pets.

Review (SPOILER ALERT!): Some readers will right The Immortal Rules off as another vampire romance story and choose not to read it. I have admit that if this book hadn't been on sale at local library book sale for only 50 cents, I probably wouldn't have picked it up. Now I'm here to tell you that The Immortal Rules is anything but your typical vampire romance story. Is there romance in it? Yes. But it is incredibly written and remains a steady sub-plot.

The main plot is about Allie joining the religious and strict Jebbadiah, and his group of humans for their search for Eden - a place that is supposedly safe from vampires. While Allie knows she cannot go to Eden herself she tags along to make sure the others reach it. They face many obstacles along the way such as the vicious rabids that eat anything with a beating heart. The fact they are being pursued by the mysterious Jackal only adds to the suspense.

The real story lies in Allie pretending to be human in a world run by vampires. It is about her journey not to help the group find Eden but to understand the meaning of humanity and learning which things are truly important in life. As said by the author herself, "Allie’s transformation—from a cynical street rat who despises vampires, to one of the monsters herself—lies at the heart of The Immortal Rules....[A]t its core, The Immortal Rules is about a girl who becomes a monster and must learn what that means."

Along the way, despite Allie's hidden secret, Ezekiel and she grow closer to one another. The other group members remain unchanged throughout the novel, getting only basic descriptions. I'd have like to have gotten more information about them - their histories, quirks and such- so that I could have connected with them more. Instead Julie focuses mostly on Allie, Zeke and Jeb, which still managed to keep me interested.

While character development is the strongest point of the novel, the world building can also be appreciated. While the beginning may be slow for some, I felt it was fantastic at immersing the reader into the future after Earth has been hit by the red lung virus and vampire's have taken over. It shows us that living in a world filled with vampires is no sparkling fairy tale. The descriptions of the Vampire City are sharp in my mind and entirely plausible. Kagawa isn't afraid to show vampires as the monsters they are. As the plot picks up, there is lots of action, suspense, and mystery to keep you flipping through the pages. Once I finished, I could wait to get my hand on the second book.

Who would I recommend it to:
 Anyone who wants to read about vampires as monsters, or are fans of dystopia and supernatural elements. People who enjoy good character development. Teens 15 and up. 

Favourite Quote:
 "You are a monster." Kanin's deep voice droned on in my head again, as I forced myself to move, to walk away. "You will always be a monster, there is no turning back from it. But the type of monster you become is entirely up to you."

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