Review: The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa

The Immortal Rules
The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa
Book One of the Blood of Eden series
Published April 24, 2012
Genres: Fiction, Young Adult, Paranormal
Buy this book through Amazon

I read this as an ebook on my Kindle Paperwhite.


To survive in a ruined world, she must embrace the darkness…

Allison Sekemoto survives in the Fringe, the outermost circle of a walled-in 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 dies and becomes one of the monsters.

Forced to flee her city, Allie must pass for human as she joins a ragged group of pilgrims seeking a legend—a place that might have a cure for the disease that killed off most of civilization and created the rabids, the bloodthirsty creatures who threaten human and vampire alike. And soon Allie will have to decide what and who is worth dying for… again.

Enter Julie Kagawa’s dark and twisted world as an unforgettable journey begins.
(source)


Palomar Pictures secured the rights for the Blood of Eden series early–before The Immortal Rules was even published, in 2012.  However, since then, there have been no further developments.
(source)


Naive, I thought at once.  Naive, brave, selfless, incredible–and much too kind to survive this world.  It’ll break you in the end, if you keep going like this.  Good things never last.” pg. 295


Before last month, I had never heard of the Blood of Eden series.  But I don’t think it was for lack of publicity on the publisher’s part–it was more because I steered clear of anything “vampire-y” since the hype of the Twilight series.

So why did I decide to pick this up?  Two reasons.  1) In the #bookstagram world, Julie Kagawa’s books are everywhere, typically the Iron Fey series.  So I checked it out on Goodreads and marked it Want To Read.  And then months later, I opened that daily BookBub email with ebook bargains and saw The Immortal Rules was on sale for $3.95.  2) A racial bias.  I thought, an Asian YA writer?!  I have to check her out!

And, for the most part, I’m glad I did.


3stars
3 OUT OF 5 STARS
I keep describing the Blood of Eden series as a Twilight meets Hunger Games Young Adult series.  And I think I may be doing Julie Kagawa a disservice by that implication.  Because the only real similarity The Immortal Rules has with Twilight is that it involves vampires, and with Hunger Games, a strong female protagonist.  Other than that, The Immortal Rules is, in its own right, a world of its own within the YA genre.  So I apologize, Ms. Kagawa, for the rash statement.

Having read this novel for the month of March for my book club, I enjoyed the break from mystery/thriller genre and got back to my comfort zone.  There was no edge-of-your-seat suspense, just simple dystopian fun.  (I now find myself thinking whether or not dystopias can ever really be “simple”…or fun, for that matter.  Hmmmm…)

Told in the perspective of a young Asian girl named Allison, the world Kagawa creates is masterful.  The interweaving of vampire history and the apocalypse for mankind.  How cities are now governed by the dead and the role humans play.  The zombie-like “rabids” that threaten both vampires and everyday human beings.  And at the midst of all that, a girl who fights to live–even if it means dying.

I am most impressed by how Kagawa introduces us to this type of universe without making it feel like a history lesson.  And I swallowed it all up, not once questioning the logic behind that world.  Because that’s just gosh darn good writing.

The reason why I didn’t rate this higher than 3 stars is because there were parts of the book where it started to lose steam.  Granted, it would pick up again but there was enough lull for me to not pick up the book again for days, which generally does not happen with me and YA.

Also, and probably more importantly, at the pivotal part when Allie decides to become a vampire instead of definitive death (this isn’t a spoiler; it’s mentioned in the Goodreads Summary of the book above)–that’s when I felt the crack under the foundation Julie Kagawa built in the pages beforehand.  But not in terms of the world itself, but with the character.  Because I just didn’t believe that Allie would choose to exist as one of them, the people she hated the most.  Maybe it’s just expected that people value their life above everything else but I would have liked more of a validation as to why she would be that…hypocritical(?).

In terms of the main character herself, I didn’t exactly like her, but I didn’t hate her either.  I mean, she was all right but only when she was with the characters I actually favored.  Like Kanin.  And Zeke.  I guess the best way to explain this qualm is, for being the lead role, Allie is not captivating enough.  Figuratively speaking, her character needs the Kanins and the Zekes to help “run the show”.  When she didn’t have them, Allie becomes this immature, need-to-rebel-just-’cause teenager that is often more annoying than endearing.

But with that said, the ending was action-packed and thrilling.  And the love story?  It was cute.  Nothing over the top.  This book reminded me so much of The Walking Dead.  (Check out the Featured Quote again and tell me that doesn’t sound like a line from TWD!)  And I freakin LOVE The Walking Dead.  So it also had that going for it.

The pages of this book describe a bleak and sad existence, but there’s a glimpse of hope.  I have a feeling Allie is going to grow up a bit more in the series and my issues with her will dissolve.  And that’s enough of a reason for me to want to read book two.


This is how Julie Kagawa envisions Allison (and it is AWESOME)
Screen Shot 2015-03-29 at 8.04.09 PM
(source)

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