Monday, April 23, 2012

ARC Review: The Immortal Rules

Title: The Immortal Rules
Series: Blood of Eden, Book 1
Author: Julie Kagawa
Publisher: Harlequin TEEN
Length: 504 Pages
Publication Date: April 24, 2012
Reviewed Format: eGalley
My Rating: ★★★½☆☆
Allison Sekemoto has lived her entire life on the Fringe, one of the last bastions of humanity among a world plagued by the diseased-afflicted rabids. Unfortunately for her, the city is controlled by vampires who exchange protection for a blood quota. As an unregistered, Allie doesn’t have to provide the monthly blood fix as is customary of the registered people. However, that also means that she has no rights, no food rations and no one to turn to should things get ugly. As such, she has lived a good portion of her life as a scavenger; survival is the name of the game. And as if trying to find food and staying alive everyday wasn’t complicated enough, things take a turn for the worse when a series of events force Allie to turn into the one creature she despises the most; a vampire.

This is my first book by Julie Kagawa (author of the Iron Fey Series) and I love to find such a strong female as the lead character. Allie is a tough, no nonsense, 17 year old survivor that begins the story as a badass individual and ends it as a poster child for kickass heroines. Although brave and selfless, Allie is far from perfect, which helps grounds the character as well as helps the reader connect with her. As proven by her headstrong and rash tendencies that, at times, become downright infuriating.

A great pull, especially for teenage readers, is Allie’s constant struggles to reconcile who she used to be with her new self as well as her progressive change in perspective towards her surroundings, especially the people around her. These struggles and moral dilemmas, become the core of the story pushing Allie to, more often than not, act without thinking things through endangering herself and those around her. But also showcases her nature and convictions; her resilience to conquer her fears is commendable.

The story is divided into the various phases which Allie goes through. What this does is that it keeps a fresh set of scenarios and characters to interact with. It also helps tracking Allies progress as she is developing throughout the story. The environments’ descriptions give off a constant sense of desolation and deterioration throughout the narrative. There are no major differences between the vampire cities and the abandoned ones other than the amount of population. The biggest differences are marked by the humans that either live them or hide from them.

Allie is not the only strong player among the pages of the book, although she sure seems to be one of the very few representing women. Other major characters are Lucas (briefly), Kanin, Jeb, Jackal, and Zeke. Their strengths are as varied as their roles on the tale with Kanin, Jeb and Zeke figuring prominently. Kanin becomes the father figure for Allie; he is a vampire outcast and Allie’s maker. Jebbadiah “Jeb” Crosse is a stern and zealous leader of a group of humans living outside the vampire cities in the hopes of finding Eden; a vampire free, rabid free, human only city. Ezekiel “Zeke” Crosse is a 17 year old, handsome and dreamy boy and Jeb’s adoptive son. As the second in command, Zeke steps up as the kind, goodhearted boy who prefers to see the good in people even in the treacherous times. As Allie’s major love interest and human, Zeke is one of the major struggles for our lead character.

The bottom line is that I liked the book overall. Even though the story places a straining scenario over the shoulders of relative kids, it is easily enjoyable and quite a page turner. It is predictable at times, yes, but in the end it poses a good question on the table: what it is that which differentiate us humans from mindless beasts?

At the end of the galley there is an excerpt for the new Iron Fey Trilogy, chapter 1 of The Lost Prince, an Iron Fey Spinoff featuring Meghan Chase’s brother, Ethan.

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