by Julie Kagawa
Series: Blood of Eden #1
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
Immortal Rules is the first in a new series by Iron Fey author Julia Kagawa. The Blood of Eden series is a dystopia that takes place sixty years after a virus killed off most of the world’s human population. The countryside has been abandoned and humans now reside in Vampire Cities. This was my first time reading Kagawa’s work and I found it to be absolutely delightful. It reminded me of a young adult version of one of my favorite books The Passage by Justin Cronin.
Our protagonist is Allie Sekemoto and she lives on the outer fringe of a vampire city. Her home is an abandon school. She resides there, with a couple of other orphans, and together they scavenge for food. Their world is not safe; they are cold, hungry and live in fear of things that move quietly in the night. When food becomes scarce, Allie leaves the safety of the city to hunt for food. During an attempt to bring food back into the city, Allie is attacked by rapids. She is offered the chance to live…by becoming the one thing she despises the most; a Vampire. Unable to return to her old life, she sets out into the unknown. The tale that unfolds is dark and beautifully written. It has elements of romance and horror. It is both captivating and terrifying. When you open up the pages and step into this world Kagawa has created, be prepared to let the rest of the world slip away. The climactic ending was exciting and heartbreaking. I am anxious to continue this series.
The characters rocked and had depth; even the secondary characters caught my attention. Allie is brave, intelligent and caring despite all that has happen to her. Her opinions of herself waiver and at times I wanted to shake her. I felt that if she could see how others perceive her, she’d hold her head up high. Yet, that is exactly what she does in the face of fear, she reacts and protects. With every challenge, every defeat, she gets up brushes herself off, and marches on. I am anxious to watch this young protagonist grow into the kick-ass warrior that Kagawa so brilliantly shows us glimmers of. Kannin is the vampire who saved Allie and the minute I met him I was smitten. He is tall, dark, handsome, powerful and mysterious. The seeds Kagawa plants regarding his story intrigued me, and left me wanting more. Ezekiel Crosse, referred to as Zeke is the son of a preacher man who travels with a group seeking an all human city. I liked Zeke and he exhibits all the qualities of a swoon worthy love interest. He is handsome, strong, brave, sensitive, caring and respectful. He takes Allie under his wing and befriends her as they travel. His acts of kindness without expectations shocked Allie. The romance that developed was perfect, sad, sweet and genuine. There was no insta-love here and it progressed at a refreshingly normal pace. I became emotionally invested in Allie and Zeke. I love a good tale with a side of romance and Immortal Rules delivered.
The world-building and writing style of Kagawa was impressive. The world she has created gave me shivers and the back story left me satisfied, and yet left me craving more. The world outside of the vampire cities reminded me of Manhattan in Partials and the wilds of Pandemonium. I found her take on vampires to be refreshing and unique. This is a dark tale and you will find no Edwards here. The vampires do not hide and are to be feared. Kagawa’s words flowed from pen to page and not a single word was wasted. Her imagery placed me right in the tale, and I experienced everything with the characters. I could see and smell the tunnels and the creatures that dwell there. My heart raced as we were pursued by the rapids. The picture she paints of the towns overrun with weeds, the cracked and raised streets, the tossed homes, the dead. It all felt surreal. The action-packed twists and turns had me on edge. The way in which she ended this first novel sent my emotions on a tilt-a-whirl from elation to sorrow. It wasn’t a cliff-hanger BUT it was a cliff-hanger and that’s all I am saying.
If you haven’t guessed it by now- I loved this novel. I highly recommend The Immortal Rules to fans of dystopians, vampires and suspense. I have added this series to my pre-order list and Kagawa on my authors to watch. In an interview she stated, “I will never write a vampire book.” My response, “Julie don’t stop writing vampire books.” Immortal Rules will be available on April 24, 2012 in paper and eBook formats. I will bring you updates on book two as they become available.