Thursday, March 22, 2012

Book Review: The Immortal Rules

The Immortal Rules (Blood of Eden #1)
Published By: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: April 24, 2012
Page Count: 485
Source: ARC Received from Harlequin Teen & Borrowed from Pixie @ Page Turner's
Audience: Young Adult - Fantasy

Ingenious and EPIC!



If you had any doubt that Julie Kagawa was capable of writing something just as spectacular as The Iron Fey, those doubts would be a waste of time.  Once again, Julie has spun her magic and turned out something purely golden with this new dark and gritty tale about vampires and humans struggling to survive in a post-apocalyptic world. 

You have to remember...Julie promised herself early in her writing career that she would never write about vampires because she didn’t feel she had anything new to add to the already saturated mass of vampire stories out there.  But her agent obviously had complete confidence in her (as did we all) to come up with something different…and boy, did she ever!!   

The Immortal Rules, Julie’s first book in her new Blood of Eden series, is a gripping story told from the perspective of a newly Turned vampire determined to hang on to her humanity in a world where basic survival is the only goal.  Allison (Allie) Sekemoto begins the story as a human, barely surviving on the fringe of a society ruled by vampires and where humans are ultimately their food source.  Allie's life as a human had not been easy for her...starvation, scavenging, fighting just to keep what little she had...was her way of life.  She was tough and street-smart, practical and no-nonsense, and at her core, was her tenuous grip on humanity.  

What I loved about her was that we got to see how she fought to stay true to herself as both a human and as a newly Turned vampire.  Once she became the creature she hated the most, when her inner demon was screaming at her to flee, she struggled with her humanity versus her new, self-preservation instincts.  She was now a vampire afterall -- a monster -- but what she had to decide was what KIND of monster she would be.  In most stories, including this one, vampires are believed to be soulless beings...Allie challenged that statement at every turn.  She was not just a protagonist...she was a heroine in the truest sense of the word.  

And yes, as a vampire, she was 'KICK-ASS'!

One of Allie's lucky breaks was that she couldn't have asked for a better sire and mentor than what she got in Kanin.  They were actually a lot alike, and in a tough and no-nonense approach, he taught her the mechanics of surviving this crazy world as a new vampire.  Throwing her in situations where she had to learn things the hard way ultimately served her well.  Kanin had that classic, sexy, vampire arrogance about him but, in his own way, also struggled to maintain that fleeting hold on humanity.  I ADORED Kanin!

And something that really surprised me...it wasn't until I was about a third the way through the book that I realized that there was no romance in the story up till that point.  Anyone who knows me knows a good love story is an essential component in my reading criteria...but The Immortal Rules was THAT good...I didn't even miss it!

But fear not...there WAS a perfectly-balanced, star-crossed love story--with a tinge of desperation thrown in--between Allie and Ezekiel (Zeke), who is very much human...and a good example of a human, at that.  Ezekiel is the 'second in command' of a group of humans attempting to find a non-confirmed place called Eden--a place free of vampires and where people are working on a cure to the virus.

Zeke is the guy who takes the hits for everyone, is fiercely protective of his people, and sees the good in everyone, including--and especially in--Allie.  Of course, this was also put to the test.

And Zeke is hard to resist for Allie.  She knows deep down that it's unlikely that a promising future awaits them, but he stirs something within her-- even in these desperate times, or perhaps because of these desperate times--that she cannot ignore and is holding onto that one bright spot in her life that is Zeke, against her better judgement.

All the complimentary characters were extremely well written.  Good or bad, or somewhere in between--each had their key part in the story...Jebeddiah, Caleb, Ruth, Stick, Jackal, among others were stand-outs for me--whether I liked them or not.

And we can't forget the cree-pee rabids that were a persistent and bloody threat throughout.  Rabids came about from some ill-fated experimenting on some vampires while trying to cure the Red Lung virus and is the only population that is growing.  They are visceral, savage and attack viciously.  They are like the zombies of the vampire world.  

The Immortal Rules was intense and a true page-turner.  485 pages?!  Pssht...I didn't want it to end!!  But it did wrap up nicely...and also sets the stage for the next book, of which I cannot wait for!  I was completely engrossed in it and didn't want to put the book down, but sometimes, I just HAD to...but couldn't wait to get back to it.  

So my most favourite author has done it again!!  I've come to the conclusion that Julie could probably write about mud puddles and create a compelling story.  I will also add that I will not compare this new series to my beloved Iron Fey books as that would be like comparing potato chips to chocolate...both are sinfully delicious but in different ways.  

I would also like to note that there was some intense, graphic violence in a few scenes that might be more suitable for older teens. 


Finally, I wanted to thank both Amber from Page Turners Blog for sharing her ARC with me and Andrea for organizing this with Amber so we could also review it on Reading Lark.   And I would also like to thank Harlequin Teen for sending me my own copy of the ARC as well, after I realized I was quoted in the 'Praise for The Iron Fey' page.  What an incredible surprise and an honour!  Thank you!




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. 


33 comments:

  1. I MUST read this! I skipped out on her other series cause I didn't think I would like them, but this series sounds like it is going to be awesome. Can't wait to read my first Julie Kagawa book. :)

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  2. Melissa... I don't think you will be disappointed in this book! It was SOOO good! But I will also push The Iron Fey books till I'm blue in the face... they ARE really sooo awesome too!! Especially the last two!! Julie has an incredible talent in story telling! She paints the pictures so easily, it's like watching the movie in your head! I can't get enough! Enjoy!! And let us know what you think when you do read it!

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  3. I'm currently reading this one right now and though I'm only about a fifth of the way, I'm really enjoying it so far. Now if only college would quit blowing it's hot, thick breath down my neck so I could actually finish it sometime soon. lol. So glad you loved it and thanks for the review!

    ~Briana

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    1. Briana, I can sympathize!! I wish that when I find a really good book - I can just block out the world for a couple of days and read non-stop!! I felt that way with this one but it wasn't possible to just read, read, read like I wanted to. Enjoy the time when you can read!!!

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  4. Michele B. is our resident Kagawa expert - if she says this is amazing then it is something I must read. She hasn't steered me wrong yet. :)

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  5. Thanks Andrea! I'll wear that badge with honour!!! ;)

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  6. I feel about Julie's books like Michele did, so once I've got over the seething jealousy that she has read this and I haven't, I'll be stalking the bookstore for this!!

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  7. lol @ Jen!! Sorry to cause you so much pain, my friend!! I know you will love it!!

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  8. I loved this book too! Counting down the days until book 2!!! :o)

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  9. I have been wanting to read this since I finished the first Iron Fey book. I know it's totally different, but Julie's writing style is what I love!

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    1. That is why Julie is one of my favourite authors, Fredamans! Her writing is EPIC! Can't wait for you all to read this!!

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  10. I've had this on my list for awhile and after catching up on the Iron Fey series hope to read it. Julie is a brilliant writer and as a fan of vampires I'm anxious to see how she presents them. Thanks for your thoughts and enthusiasm! Definitely going to try and read this soon, although maybe closer to when book #2 comes out so I don't have to wait:p

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  11. I did really like this one. The world building was fantastic!! While I have some reservations, I'll immediately pick up the sequel. I love Kagawa!!

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  12. This book is AWESOME! I really can't wait for the second one to come out!!!

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  13. I completely agree - all the characters had depth and an arc. It was a wonderful story:)

    Lovely review:)

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  14. I'm so glad there are many fans of this book and Julie! Counting down the days to The Eternity Cure!!

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  15. I'm usually not a big fan of vampire stories, but I loved the Iron Fey series, so I might have to check this one out!

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  16. I like that the girl is the vamp instead of the guy. Sounds really interesting.

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  17. I've loved everything else Kagawa has written, so I definitely need to get to this one soon!

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  18. I haven't read The Immortal Rules but I've been dying to! Sadly holidays has been very busy for me. I'm thinking of waiting for The Eternity Cure before picking it up. :) Thanks for the lovely review!

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  19. So glad that there are MANY Julie Kagawa fans!! For those of you who have yet to read The Immortal Rules, you won't be disappointed and it's good timing to start now with The Eternity Cure coming out in April!

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  20. LOVED this one!!!! The whole world and Allie and I completely loved the vamps:)

    Lovely review:)

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  21. At first, I wasn't so keen on this one because of all the vampires.. But i borrowed it form my friend and it just blew me away. Great!

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  22. This was an AMAZING book---Julie has the magic touch for storytelling.

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  23. Glad you all loved it so much! Can't wait for The Eternity Cure!

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  24. I am so excited about reading this, I actually have it on my Kindle, and I STILL have not read it yet. I don't know what in the world is wrong with me. After all of the amazing reviews that I have read I really have got to read this book, already.

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    1. lol...I've got SEVERAL epic books I need to read too. Just not enough time in the day, Jaime! But you DO need to read this one soon...it's soooo awesome!

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  25. O I want to read this so much! It sounds so awesome! Thanks for the review!

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  26. Julie Kagawa is AMAAAAAZZZZZZZZINNNNNNNNG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Her Iron Fey series set high standards and The Immortal Rules doesn't fall short at all. I love Zeke....

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  27. I've been wanting to read this one for ages!! I recently picked it up for my Kindle when it went on sale and am so excited to get a chance to finally read it. Dystopian and Vampires all in one series!

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  28. Your review is so good that I think I might read a vampire novel again. Thanks for acquainting me with The Immortal Rules. :)

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  29. Thanks everyone for your great comments! And I hope you enjoy this great read when you do get to it!

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