Title: The Immortal Rules
Author: Julia Kagawa
Genre: YA Paranormal/Dystopian
Series: Blood of Eden (Book 1)
Publication Date: April 24, 2012
Format: Hardcover, 485 Pages
ISBN-10: 0373210515 (Harlequin Teen)
ISBN-13: 978-0373210510 (Harlequin Teen)
Reviewed by: Emmy
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.
Quick & Dirty: The descriptions fill this dystopian America with tension between humans and the rest of the world as they fight to survive and find Eden, the mysterious human-only city.
Opening Sentence: They hung the Unregistered in the old warehouse district; it was a public execution, everyone went to see.
This book is everything a vampire book should be–thrilling, terrifying, and unapologetically bloodthirsty. The vampire hierarchy established in the ruins of crumbling America has the remaining humans scavenging and “donating” blood to survive. There are the Masters, like the Prince who rules over New Covington (Allison’s home), the Type-2s who are formidable vampires in their own right though not as powerful as their sires, the Type-3s which are mongrels that can only make other Type-3s. And beneath all these are the rabids. Rabids were created by the Red Lung disease, and because all vampires are carriers of Red Lung the potential to create more rabids is endless. Think of them as feral vampires. Humans and vampires might hate each other, but everyone agrees they’d be better off without the rabids.
It’s because of rabids Allie ends up becoming a vampire. I absolutely love the survivor in Allie, the kick-ass fighter who won’t take crap from anyone. But she’s also a broken orphan, who’s been stabbed in the back too many times. She’s lived on her own since she had to watch her mother die as a result of “donating” to the vampires. Her mother was a Registered–a human who gave blood every few weeks in exchange for meal tickets or money. Because of the vampires’ treatment of her mother, Allie was determined to be Unregistered. While that in and of itself is not a crime, the Unregistered have no rights, no way of earning money, and no protection against the vampires in the city. Because even with the donations, the vampires still enjoy hunting.
When she’s forced to make the choice between vampire and death, Allie’s survivor instinct kicks in. While this does cause some self-loathing from her at times, Allie recognizes her need to survive will always outweigh her hatred of the bloodsuckers. She would always make the same choice. It isn’t until a series of events force her out of New Covington and into the wilds of fallen America that she fully understands how conflicting her human ideas are with her new vampirism.
Circumstances have her coming across a band of humans surviving on their own. They’re looking for Eden. Not the Garden, but the city. A human city, one completely free of vampires. Zeke, the groups Golden Boy and all around Perfect Guy, sees only the best in Allie. Like everyone else, he’s completely duped by her attempts to hide her vampirism. But the Hunger is always constant, always present, and it takes everything Allie has to keep the trust these ignorant humans have placed in her.
This book is a great start to a new series. I’ll admit to being worried initially when I saw how much description and exposition was going into setting up the world, but Kagawa does a great job of using it to add tension as well as set the scene. In addition to creating a heroine and love-interest everyone will root for, you have the conflicting morals of good and evil, the well-written fight scenes, and great emotional depth. I was so happy that this book had a complete plot arc that was able to set up book two without leaving the reader feeling cheated. In many ways The Immortal Rules had twists that surprised me and subplots that I wasn’t expecting to pull the story together as well as they worked. While there were some clichés, as there are with so many vampire books, this is dystopia brought a lot of them about in new ways I know readers will appreciate.
I raised my chin and faced Jebbadiah Crosse, defiant smirk firmly in place. If this crazy old man wanted to lecture me, he was in for a surprise. I wasn’t afraid of him, I wasn’t part of his f lock, and I was more than ready to tell him what he could do with his lecture.
Jeb regarded me with no expression. “Do you believe in God, Allison?”
“No,” I said immediately. “Is this the part where you tell me I’m going to hell?”
“This is hell,” Jebbadiah said, gesturing to the town around us. “This is our punishment, our Tribulation. God has abandoned this world. The faithful have already gone on to their reward, and he has left the rest of us here, at the mercy of the demons and the devils. The sins of our fathers have passed on to their children, and their children’s children, and it will continue to be so until this world is completely destroyed. So it doesn’t matter if you believe in God or not, because He is not here.”
The Blood of Eden Series:
FTC Advisory: Harlequin Teen provided me with a copy of The Immortal Rules. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.
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