Monday, 30 April 2012

Review: The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa

The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa
(Blood of Eden #1)
4 out of 5 stars

Published April 24th 2012 by HarlequinTEEN
ARC received through Netgalley

This is the first book I read by Ms Kagawa, and I have to say that I'm impressed by her writing. After finishing The Immortal Rules I picked up another book and I just had to stop reading it because the writing felt way too choppy in comparison. Not only does this book boast wonderful writing, it also has an interesting plot.

Allison, or Allie, is a Fringer. She has to fight to survive as starvation is a real threat on the borders of a Vampire city. But then Allie is turned in the one thing she hates most - a vampire. She will have to choose what kind of monster she wants to become.

To sum it up, The Immortal Rules is a dystopian vampire story with zombies called rabids. I was really glad to see that it didn't feature the lame sparkly kind of vampires, but super strong killing machine vampires that can suck you dry in a few seconds. Ms Kagawa found the right balance between monstrous and human in her vampires, especially Allie.

When Allie is turned, she leaves the city and comes across a band of humans searching for the vampire-free city of Eden. The major part of the story revolves around this band of humans and their interactions with Allie. They don't know she's a vampire and she has to do everything to hide her nature. For me the journey to Eden had a bit of an epic fantasy feel - a string of small interactions that will later unfold into a much bigger picture. I personally wasn't bored by this, but I can see why some people might call this part slow.

I really liked the story, but I felt it was a bit lacking in some parts. The rabids felt inconsistent. At one point Allie is afraid she has turned a human into a rabid person because she has bitten him, and at another point she bites someone and it doesn't even cross her mind. Maybe there was a reason for this and it wasn't an inconsistency problem, but it was most definitely under explained. Sometimes there are rabid animals, sometimes there aren't. Rabids can't cross water, but Allie still considers rabid fish.

This is a long book, and there is more than enough room for world-building, but for me there wasn't enough. The whole Red Lung virus thing gets rushed over and there is no explanation at all how, if pretty much every building is crumbling, the vampires were able to make massive towers. Did they put the stones on top of the other themselves? I highly doubt that. I hope there will be more insights into how this world works in the next book of the series.

I did like all the interactions between the characters, and Zeke was one of my favourites. I'm looking forward to see how his and Allie's relationship will develop in the next book. I'm getting a double point of view vibe from the end of this one. Or maybe Ms Kagawa has something completely different for them in mind.

The Immortal Rules is a great book that I would certainly recommend for vampire/dystopian lovers, but I do hope that the second book in the Blood of Eden series will contain more explanations on how this world came to be. Still, a big thumbs up for Ms Kagawa's amazing way with words.


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.

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Linny @ Linnys Literature said...

Sorry to see you found this one a bit lacking in areas, happy that you mostly enjoyed it though! 100% agree with you about Kagawa's writing though. It's superb. Even in her Iron Fey series it was great, even though I didn't enjoy the story itself as much. Even though I got the ARC I'm going to have to buy the hardcover of this one haha. ;) Can't wait for the next book.

Celine said...

It was still a very enjoyable, and I'm definitely looking forward to the next book. Argh, if you read ARCs, the wait is even longer!

Kagawa's writing is impressive, it makes me want to read her Iron Fey books too. What didn't you like about them?

Linny @ Linnys Literature said...

So true! I was wanting the next book when this one wasn't even technically released yet, which is a drag.

I think you should probably still give them a go because, while some things annoyed me, I think they were alright overall and a lot of people really loved them. What bothered me most though was the main chracter... So annoying! Like girl, get a backbone Bella-syndrome. And I'm not a fan of love triangles and instalove, but that really just stemmed back to the main character. Maybe you'll feel differently though. ;) All the books had the same beautiful writing though!

Linny @ Linnys Literature said...

(Just reread both of my comments and realized I said "though" like 50 times, haha. Sorry! I'll have to watch myself from now on.. Blame it on being Monday.)

Ashelynn @ Gypsy Book Reviews said...

oh, you know, I would like to see how this world came to be! we just got a glimpse in The Immortal Rules, but I hope the second book gives us more information! great review, dear. :) 

Ashelynn @ Gypsy Book

DonnasReviews said...

Great review. I really enjoyed this book although I don't think it was better than The Iron Fey because I felt parts were quite slow. 

Celine said...

Hehe, Monday's suck, I completely understand. Hmm, I think I'll give them a shot because she writes so good, but I hope I'm not too annoyed by the heroine, because to be honest I hate Bella's too. And instalove. And love triangles. I won't buy the whole series at once then. They're so cheap on Amazon, I've been eyeing them for quite a while (:

Celine said...

Thanks Ashelynn! ^^ Yeah, I hope it provides some more background, the world is so interesting but I would like more. Ugh, another year of waiting ahead of us, lol

Celine said...

Thanks Donna! I haven't read the Iron Fey series so I can't compare, but yeah, I can see why you might find it slow (:

DonnasReviews said...

You so need to read The Iron Fey, it's amazing!!! =)

Celine said...

Hehe, I hope to pick them up soon ^^

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