Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Review: The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa

Book: The Immortal Rules
Author: Julie Kagawa
Series: Blood of Eden #1
Release Date: April 24, 2012
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Pages: 485
Source: bought
Links: Goodreads | Amazon 
Stars: 5/5

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. 

In reality, when faced with death and the great unknown that came after, my survival instinct snatched wildly at whatever lifeline was offered.

Best. Vampire. Book. Ever. Written.

As someone who is openly derisive and mocking of the whole vampire craze, I wasn't sure what to expect from The Immortal Rules.  It had a potentially interesting idea but I felt that my scorn for vampires would pretty much cloud over all the good stuff in it, despite all of the insistent pleas from friends that I should read it. However, upon reading this book, I am compelled to think otherwise, because this book was so beautifully written and structured that I could hardly keep from dancing around my room after I finished it.

Allison Sekemoto is a street rat when the book opens, a Fringer who every day struggles to both survive and help those around her survive. As an Unregistered (a human not forced into being a vampire's blood bag, but also a human who does not receive food), some days she feels as if she is right on the verge of death. Then, when she discovers cans and cans of food outside the city walls, she realizes that this food is the key to her survival. Guiding her "friends" to the food, the group is attacked by rabids, and before Allison dies, a vampire finds her and gives her the choice. Either she can die. Or she can become a vampire, the thing that she loathes the most in the world.

You can tell from that somewhat vague recount of the opening of the book that  The Immortal Rules is haunting and not for the faint of heart. There was lots of murder, blood, and violence in this book, but the way that Julie Kagawa told the story made my heart twist in anticipation for the next event. Her writing made me pretty much wonderstruck. It enraptured me from page on, and the sequence of events was perfect, each event slowly bleed (ha-ha) into the next, was just magical. I never knew what to expect throughout the time when I was reading this book, and I find myself clinging to the plot and writing, devouring it as if it were 100 spoonfuls of chocolate frosting.

Allison, as the heroine of the book, went through her highs and lowes throughout the book. At times I felt she was being stubborn and inconsiderate, and at times I totally got her. It was interesting to see what Julie Kagawa did with her character throughout the book. Despite the fact that she was now a bloodsucker, Allison gripped onto her humanity stubbornly and even though her vampire instincts overpowered her at times, she still seemed as if she were a normal girl (if not a little jaded from her years of near starvation) which was why she did such a good job disguising herself amongst the humans. Although Allison went through her ups and downs, I think, now that I've finished the book, that it's safe to say that Allison ended up being a pretty stable protagonist.

The love interest of this book, Zeke, stole my heart in ways that I didn't think were possible. His determination, bravery, and unconditional love for those around him made him lovable and tragic at the same time. In addition, he is completely sweet and protective and trusting. Although he was hurt, confused, and frightened when he found out what Allison was (a vampire), he came around and trusted her, despite her longing for his blood (now that was the only part I found a little creepy). The ending of the book is tear-worthy and I can't wait to see where Julie Kagawa takes this series.

I also liked Kanin although I don't think of him as a potential love interest for Allison, although I know that some people might think of him that way. *****SPOILER ALERT: I hope that Allison can save him, but also come back to Zeke, who she loves.*****

I hesitate not to say that this was not only the best vampire book that I've read (not that I read that many vampire books) but also the best paranormal romance I've read in a long time, possibly ever! No question that this book deserves the 5 stars that I have awarded it. This book was pure, utter bliss, and has also opened my eyes to the fact that not all vampire books are bad.

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