Monday, May 7, 2012

Book Review: The Immortal Rules

Release Date: April 24, 2012
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Pages: 480 pages
Genre: Paranormal
Source: Publisher in exchange for an honest review

Goodreads Summary: 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.

I’m a huge fan of Julie Kagawa’s Iron Fey series so when I heard she was writing a dystopian book about vampires, I was excited about the dystopia but a bit skeptical about the vampires. Turns out that I had nothing to be unsure about because The Immortal Rules is a solid start to a new series!

Kagawa’s world building is really good. The world was ravaged by a plague that led to both vampires and humans working together to find a cure but instead creating devastating consequences. The vampires now rule and keep humans holed up in walled cities where they use their blood for food. Allison refuses to willingly give the vamps her blood in exchange for food, clothing and shelter so she lives on the fringes where she scavenges to get by. When she ventures outside the walls looking for food, she is attacked and infected by rabids: monsters that are neither human nor vampire (more like flesh eating zombies). She is saved by a vamp named Kanin who gives her a choice: she can either die or become a vampire, the thing she hates the most. Allie chooses to live as a vamp and this is really where the story picks up.

I like Allie. She struggles to hold on to her humanity even when letting the powerful monster inside her loose would be easier on her. She is strong, brave and I love that she uses a katana as her weapon of choice. I also liked her relationship with Zeke – it was well developed and sweet. By far, however, my favorite character in the book was Kanin who, thankfully, is more of a father figure and not a love interest for Allie. I am looking forward to seeing more of him in the upcoming books.

I had a few minor issues with the book, the main one being with the leader of the band of humans that Allie joins with. I’m not sure what I’m supposed to think about him. Jeb is a religious zealot who by his own admission believes that God has abandoned every human on Earth. He is physically and emotionally abusive and leads by intimidation, fear and violence but even Allie admits that sometimes his decisions are correct. He is at times portrayed as being wise, strong and living according to the Bible but this clashes with his cruel nature and underlying craziness. The other issue is the cover. The picture of Allie crying blood tears is very appropriate but it would have been great if the model looked more Asian, the way Allie is described in the book. These are just minor issues with the story which overall is very good.

The Immortal Rules is fast paced, features strong characters and is extremely entertaining. I am eagerly looking forward to the next book in the series.

Content: Kissing, mild profanity and violence. 

My Rating: Really Good!

6 comments:

KM said...

Yeah, it also bugged me that she didn't look more Asian when she IS half-Asian. At least she's not blond or something, though. haha

DT said...

This book is everywhere this week! I got a copy of this for review but hadn't read it yet. Your review makes me want to get on that right away! Awesome job!

Bookworm1858 said...

Kanin was my favorite character too-I cannot wait to learn more about him in the next book! I was very nervous going into this book but ended up really enjoying it-Kagawa is amazing!

Christy @ TheReaderBee said...

I thought this book was really great as well! I totally agree with you about Jeb, however. He was very disturbing. I can't wait to get the next book!

Alexis @ Reflections of a Bookaholic said...

I've definitely seen this one everywhere lately. Can't wait to eventually read it. I think your critiques are interesting. I really don't like to read about controlling characters but Jeb sounds complex.

Asheley (@BookwormAsheley) said...

I LOVED this book, so much. I love your thoughts on it too. I cannot wait for the next one and I will most assuredly re-read this one before I read the next book. I am a JKagawa fangirl for sure.

I agree with your comment about the cover, which I found to be a little bit heartbreaking. I LOVED that Allie was Asian! So awesome! But I too wish it was a little more apparent when you look at the cover. And I've seen that other people feel the same way.

Overall, though, fantastic start to this series. I'm convinced that JKagawa cannot write a bad book. :)

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