Book Review: The Immortal Rules

The Immortal RulesThe Immortal Rules (Blood of Eden Book 1)
By Julie Kagawa
April 24, 2012
Harlequin Teen
Reviewed: ARC (e-book)

Author’s Website
Hardcover | Kindle

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.

JENNA’S REVIEW

I began reading The Immortal Rules, the first installment in the Blood of Eden series, with high hopes – knowing that Julie would not disappoint. And sure enough, only pages into the book, my hopes were met and met again with each turning of the page. So much so that I was raving on Twitter about how “bloody fangtastic” and “creepily vamptabulous” the book was, before I had even reached the final chapters. Yes, The Immortal Rules is THAT good.

Plot: 10

Forget everything you already know about Julie’s writing. Gone are the fairy tales, and the (mostly) happily ever afters. Instead, enter a world full of fear, death and destruction. Chaos ensues for mankind after a global epidemic, where the new rulers are the immortal beings of nightmares; both those who rule in supposed “peace” and those who rule the wilds unknown. This is the world in which Allie lives, where her greatest struggle is staying alive. Until one night she fails, and becomes that which she hates the most. This is where the plot takes off into places the reader would never expect. This book is more of a character study than I would call it a dystopian or even a vampire novel (though it is essentially both of those). In truth, The Immortal Rules is Allie’s story of discovery and growth. And where she takes us in her journey is terrifyingly delightful.

Characters: 10

Allie makes the story. The growth of her character from human to vampire is explored in fantastic and descriptive detail. Can you just imagine what it would feel like becoming something that you had hated all your life? This is the blow that Allie must learn to live (or be “undead”?) with. Even with Allie’s devastating situation, I enjoyed every living and undead moment of her journey. She has guts, she has a head on her shoulders, and she makes a truly bad@$$ vampire! At times, she actually makes being a vampire sound downright awesome. But wait, aren’t we supposed to hate vampires?…

Other equally interesting characters are introduced, including the “Zeke” mentioned in the description. Many characters have their own stories that are woven into the overall plot. To say more would spoil the book, but I do love how each character was fully explored, no matter how brief their presence in the book. Personalities are rich in depth and highly realistic. Interactions between the characters are oftentimes intense and brutal, and at other times quite touching. And needless to say, the “bad guy” in this story is one seriously creepy character.

Setting: 10

The depth with which Julie describes her environments is nearly unrivaled in this story. In fact, Julie’s settings may be the one thing in the book that are just as, if not more, interesting than a number of the characters. Seriously, can we say creepy to the umpteenth degree? What on earth has become of our world??? The overall feel of this book is reminiscent of the most spine tingling works of Stephen King or of The Passage by Justin Cronin.

Pacing: 9

The story unfolds like layering a cake. The first layer is spent getting to know Allie “the human”. Another layer is added to the story when the time of “the change” comes and we must learn to acclimate to Allie’s new lifestyle right along with her. A wrench is thrown into the story and we must follow along as Allie ventures out on her own… The final layers to the story are applied when we meet many new, supporting characters midway through the book, and the plot moves ever closer to its climax (as well as the explanation for the title of the series, which is essentially the frosting on the cake).

I have heard from some that their one gripe was the “slowness” of the middle part of the story leading up to a “too fast” ending. I hardly noticed, as I finished this book within a matter of days and felt that the pacing was near ingenious since it allowed for plenty of growth for Allie’s character and created a believable view of the world in which she lived.

Style: 10

Once again, Julie’s dialogue and writing style are flawless. From page one, I believed that Allie was one tough cookie. Julie creates a distinct line between the behaviors of the vampires and the behaviors of the humans. She somehow manages to take the known mythology of the world of vampires and apply a bit of her own mythology without making any of it sound silly (yup, there be no sparkling vegan vampires here, kiddos!) Her creatures of the night are as creepy as they should be. Heck, even Allie has her moments when the carnal nature of her inner “demon” rises to the surface and overrules the humanity that she is desperately trying to keep within her. Julie also has a knack for keeping the mysteries behind her story secret until we absolutely need to know them.

In the end, you may actually finish this story with more questions than you had going into it, but there are reasons for this as The Immortal Rules is just the first installment to Julie’s new, and sure to be epic, series… It is a vast world that she creates, and I cannot wait to explore what secrets she has to reveal in Book Two.

Grade: 99

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About Jenna (Does Books)

Working momma of a little pink princess and reader of all things YA. I'm an artist, writer and avid reader who swears that she's having a hard time letting go of the childish things... Let me read your latest YA book and let's see if it makes the grade!

Posted on April 4, 2012, in Book Review, Five Star and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. You just made me want to read this book now! It’s a Julie Kagawa book what else is to expect for it? Great review!

  2. Thanks for the amazing review! 🙂 haha I love your vampire sayings! 😀 I have to agree with you, I’ve only read 100 pages so far and already I know I will love this book! 🙂 The world building is definitely creepy! That one scene where Allie is stuck in the shed on her own made my heart thud! 🙂 I’m definitely interesting in finding out who this Zeke is…. 🙂 Julie is an amazing writer, she could write about anything! I’m looking forward to this new series!

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