Book: The Immortal Rules
Series: Blood of Eden
Author: Julie Kagawa
Goodreads Link: Goodreads Description
My Rating: 4.5/5
Caution: Possible spoilers below. This has been your warning. You may now proceed with the knowledge that anything I say from hereon out is not my fault for spoiling it, as you have been warning. I cannot stress that enough. Although I do promise that I do not spoil anything of too much importance other than basic plot points that the book trailer and synopses let on.
Okay wow. Where do I begin?
The story begins with a look into the life of Allison Sekemoto (who we can only assume through several hints is of Japanese heritage, but is unaware of it as race is far from importance in this dystopian world -- in the means that people have much bigger things such as vampires and survival to worry about than where they came from). She lives in a dystopian USA run over by vampires. Her city is protected by walls that keep out the rabids (crazed vampires with no sense of thought, personality, or humanity), while the inside is run by the regular vampires. Registered humans give blood to the vampires every so often in exchange for shelter and food. The Unregistereds, which includes Allie, basically forage for themselves and try to stay out of the vampires way.
I must say that I love how there are two very different groups of vampires: the crazy out-of-control rabids, and the city ones. Neither, of course, are the kind you want to be buddy-buddy with, considering all you are to them is a food source, but I would rather take my chances in the city than out in the ruins where the rabids could get me. Then again, I wouldn't want to be under control of vampires, either.
Anyways, Allison gets Turned into a vampire (through events which I will not spoil) and her Creator teaches her the ways of being a bloodsucker. I really liked this bit, because it was not just Allison learning, but also the readers. And we don't learn it in a super boring 'oh my goodness, just get on with it already!' kind of way. We get fed pieces that we can take the time to digest. It worked well, and I applaud Julie Kagawa for that. I won't reveal much more plot-wise, because I hate spoilers and I don't want to ruin anything for anyone, so here are some scrambled thoughts of mine about The Immortal Rules:
I thought the vampire genre had been killed repeatedly already, but Julie Kagawa was able to bring it back in a really interesting way. Tying it in with the current popular genre of dystopias was pretty genius, I must say. But the plot was again an interesting twist on dystopias, as well. It follows, of course, some basic dystopian plot norms, but it does not do so in a way that we know pretty much what is going to happen next. There were a lot of moments where I was like "Whoa! I did not see that coming!" which was great. Predictable is not always fun.
The characters were pretty amazing, too. Of course Allison is the protagonist and we see everything from her perspective. She is a pretty BA heroine, I must say. Very unlike other protagonists in the vampire genre. Of course, they are usually human and unable to help their helplessness, so perhaps that is a factor.
One thing I'd like to learn later in this series is how exactly the vampire cities are run so well. Do humans have jobs or do they just slack around? Do vampires do much or do they just feed? We don't get to see that in The Immortal Rules, and that's no fault to the plot or the author or anything -- Allison was never a part of the vampire cities in a direct way, so we might not ever get to see it. But I am curious to know.
The way Allison fought her Hunger felt very realistic to me (although what do I know? I'm no vampire), because she had a lot of trouble with it. In other vampire books and stories (and I'll point out Twilight as a specific because it's one of the few I've read, and also The Vampire Diaries - at least the TV shows as I've not read the books) they show the vampires as 'vegetarian' vampires. Allison's Creator makes it very clear that while it is possible to survive off animal blood, it's like junk food for vampires and never truly fills them up. This makes more sense to me, because it does not glorify being a vampire. As a vampire, you will kill a human. It's what they do. The Hunger will always win out. There are a few exceptional quotes from Allison's vampire Creator when explaining this, and they are some of my favourite quotes from this book. BUT I don't want to give too much away, so... go read the book :P
I know that I am seriously rambling here, so here are some quick sum-up points:
- The description Julie Kagawa uses to describe the vampiric dystopian world sucked me in. It is definitely not a place I would want to live in, but the description was so amazing that I could picture everything in my mind as I read, which is very important to me. Some books have amazing plots but seriously lack in the description, and some books have great description but that overshadows the plot. There was a great balance between plot, characters, and setting in TIR. So, go Julie!
- Allison is great. She is sarcastic, witty, caring, and overall bad ass. I do not picture her as the model on the cover art, considering Allie is supposed to be Asian (I'm guessing Japanese considering the references to the katana and her surname), but that's fine. It did bother me a bit at first, but Julie painted a well-enough description of Allie that I managed to pick up (I'm usually terrible at imagining characters in my mind and often rely on the cover art. My fault, no one else's).
- There is romance. And it is done well. It certainly does not over-shadow the plot. It is a small vine in the forest of the plot, and is done very well. Kudos.
- Julie was not afraid to kill characters. I learned this in the first few chapters and found myself feeling Allison's relectance to get close to any other characters. Which was cool.
- Eden! I don't want to spoil anything. So I won't say anything else about Eden. But I want to. I have questions. But I am sure those questions will be answered in the later books. Hopefully.
- The plot twists! Just when you think you know where the story will go, Julie snags the rug out from under your feet and points you down a new path in the maze. And not in a whiplash sort of way, either. Each twist was well-placed and well-done.
- If you are not a fan of vampire books, this book might just change your mind. I've been hesitant, but picked this one up for two reasons. 1-Julie Kagawa. I read her Iron Fey series and cannot wait for Ethan's trilogy. 2-vampire dystopia? That's new!
In conclusion, Julie Kagawa continues to be amazing. Some may say the vampire genre has been overdone, but Julie brought it back in an original way. Knowing I have to wait about a year for the second book in this series to be released is...slightly torturous. Buuuut I know it will be worth the wait. Go read this book.
ps: My next review will be less scrambled, this I promise. But if I didn't type this out now, the procrastinating would never end.