Early Review: Immortal Rules by Julia Kagawa ★★★★

Immortal Rules by Julia Kagawa
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy, Dystopian
Series: Blood of Eden #1
Publication Date: April 24, 2012
ISBN: 0373210515
Page Count: 512
Review Copy: Received from the publisher for an honest review
Snopsis: You will kill. The only question is when.

In the dark days since the insidious Red Lung virus decimated the human population, vampires have risen to rule the crumbling cities and suburbs. Uncontested Princes hold sway over diminished ranks of humans: their "pets." In exchange for their labor, loyalty and of course, their blood, these pets are registered, given food and shelter, permitted to survive.

Unregistered humans cling to fringes, scavenging for survival. Allison Sekemoto and her fellow Unregistereds are hunted, not only by vampires, but by rabids, the unholy result of Red Lung-infected vampires feeding on unwary humans. One night, Allie is attacked by a pack of rabids, saved by an unlikely hero...and turned vampire.

Uncomfortable in her undead skin, Allie falls in with a ragtag crew of humans seeking a cure, or cures: for Rabidism and for Vampirism. She's passing for human...for now. But the hunger is growing and will not be denied. Not for friendship—not even for love.

REVIEW


A fabulously creative vampire-filled world from Julie Kagawa!

This book was an exciting mix of genres, with vampires and humans co-existing in a post apocalyptic/dystopian society. Throw in some rabid vampires which are very zombie-like in their mindless state, and their refusal to JUST DIE ALREADY! and you've got a bit of something for everyone here.

I'm a big fan of Kagawa's writing; it's very visual and vivid and there were many scenes, particularly towards the end of the novel, that I can still picture very clearly. Just when I thought I'd overdosed on vamps and needed a break, Kagawa has managed to make them interesting to me again.

The main reason for this excitement is that this time it's the main character, Allison, (who we live through vicariously in the 1st person narrative) that is the vampire. Instead of it being a secondary character- usually some moody broody yet gorgeous boy whose all mysterious blah blah blah. No, this time it's the main character that has to try and fit in, to disguise the fact that they're so much faster and stronger, that they keep such strange nocturnal hours. Allison also has to deal with people instantly judging and fearing her, insisting she be killed even without any cause, just for existing. It's a very different view point to experience it from and I found it really interesting.

Allison's character is slightly antipathetic towards her fellow man at the start of the novel. As a human Fringer (members of society who refuse to be blood cattle no matter the perks) it's always been every man for himself in her world, and the mottoes "trust no one" and "don't let anyone get too close" might as well be stamped across her forehead. And, of course, her hatred of the vamps and their "pets" is long established since their existence is the very reason she has to suffer and struggle to survive every day. So when she becomes the very thing that she once hated, she actually has quite a lot of tolerance with regards to the instant hatred, suspicion and sometimes outright loathing she receives, because she's been in that same position and lived it from the other side. I actually sometimes felt she was too understanding. When certain characters were calling for her head I wanted her to say "Oh yeah, and you're welcome for saving your life earlier by the way! Don't mention it. And I could have ripped your throat out any time I wanted if I was so very evil, but yet here you are, clearly still using it!"

Like I said, a very different view point than what we are used to, and I really, really enjoyed it. I found Allie's character to be a little cold and indifferent at the start, quite naturally so given her history, and it was nice to watch her transform from that closed off person, into a kind of badass-with-a-smooshy-centre by the end. I was totally rooting for her.

 "You are a monster. You will always be a monster—there is no turning back from it. But what type of monster you become is entirely up to you." 
There was a love interest introduced that was also not your usual type of hot boy character. He was hot, but he was also quite gentle and perhaps a little bit idealistic. He wasn't weak exactly- indeed, in his little group of humans he was the one loaded for bear (or rabid vampires, anyway) and acted as their protector. However, when you put him next to Allie, who has struggled more in her former life and has been hardened by it, he came across as the softer of the two, and he even needed saving and rescuing a couple of times. Now I know this isn't the norm, the girl is supposed to be the one rescued and carried off in the heroes strong arms etc, etc, etc. But again, I liked this flip side of the coin. It was interesting and I (because clearly I have convinced myself I am actually Allie) liked being the one doing the rescuing for a change. Swooping in in all my- I mean Allie's- avenging angel glory and saving the day. It was awesome!

And finally, I have to comment on the world building which was possibly one of my favourite aspects. The world as it exists in this book is set roughly 60 years after a plague has wiped out maybe two thirds of the population. The vampires, who had always been around but lived in secret, had to come out of hiding to do something about the fact that their only food supply was dying out before their very eyes. The compromise was allowing certain humans their protection, walled inside new "vampire cities" against the threat of infection by the rabids on the outside, in exchange for being their own personal blood banks. You have the choice of living outside the wall and being a "Fringer", as Allie was, but that life is so hard you'd have to have a really strong character to be able to cope in it. Fringers are starving for most of the time. They get by through scavenging, but if actually caught stealing food from within the city or from a "pet", the penalty is death. Nice, huh?

So, all in all lots of thought provoking stuff to sink your teeth into in this well-paced, exciting, action-filled book with the promise of lots more exiting things to come. A really good read!

4 Stars! ★★★★
Review Copy: Received from the publisher for an honest review

2 comments:

  1. I guess I am going to have to finish this, this week! There opting this for a movie. Good review!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yeah, I ended up really enjoying it. It will make a fab movie.

    ReplyDelete

Authors

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