Saturday, 28 July 2012

Review: The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa

Review time!! Today I bring you one of the most anticipated books of this year. This is the epic The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa, book 1 in her brand new Blood of Eden series.

Title: The Immortal Rules
Author: Julie Kagawa
Publisher: MIRA Ink (UK) | Harlequin Teen (US)
Release Date: 24th April 2012
Series: Blood of Eden, Book 1
Source: I received my copy from the publishers via NetGalley, in exchange for a honest review.

Blurb from Goodreads
"In a future world, vampires reign. Humans are blood cattle. And one girl will search for the key to save humanity."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.

First Line: 'They hung the Unregistereds in the old warehouse district; it was a public execution, so everyone went to see.'
The age old line "Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore" has never been more pertinent. Set in a future where vampires reign supreme and humans little more than food THE IMMORTAL RULES has a setting that truly seems bleak for mankind. A virus has wiped out the vast majority of the human population, and has forced the vampires into the prey on what is left of mankind.
In order to survive, every human must tie themselves to the vampire ruler of the city, providing blood at regular intervals to feed the city's vamps. It's either that...or starve. Unregistered humans have no access to food, shelter or safety. Allie Sekemoto is one of these humans. At least until a failed scavenge for food ends with her dying alone from a rabid attack...that is until a vampire makes her an offer. Die here and now...or become the thing she despises and live to see another day (figuratively speaking). Allie chooses life, only she can't go back to how she was...she can never go back. Master vampire and her maker Kanin trains Allie in the 'art' of being a vampire...that is until Allie foolishly breaks Kanin's number 1 rule. Do not contact people from your human life. This costs Allie and Kanin the security they had built for themselves, and they have to split up and run...Kanin is the distraction while Allie runs from the city, never to see Kanin again.
Allie is now on the run, outside the relative safety of the city and is stalked by the rabids (creatures that were once vampires...until someone injected them with the Red Lung virus that wiped out humanity). Struggling to control the bloodlust raging inside, Allie attacks a gang of raiders. Continuing to wander she stumbles across a troop of humans looking for Eden. Jeb and Zeke lead the rag-tag bunch across the country...looking for a mythical place where humans are safe from vampires and rabids. Allie decides to help them any way she can. But death stalks this band of humans...and before she knows it, the violence Allie is trying to hide, maybe the very thing needed to save herself and those she loves.
In this world, the only law was to obey the Masters, and the Masters didn’t care if their cattle occasionally turned on each other. Run into a bored, hungry gang, and you’d be lucky if all they did was kill you. I’d heard stories of certain gangs who, after having their “fun” with a trespasser, would slice them up and eat them as well. Urban legends, of course, but who was I to say they weren’t true? That was why venturing out of familiar territory was a bad idea at best, suicidal at worst. I knew which parts of the Fringe were gang turf and had avoided them like the plague.
And now we were walking right into their territory.
I eyed the vampire at my side. “You know they’re going to kill us for being here.”
He nodded. “I’m counting on it.”
“You know that they eat people, right?”
Kanin stopped, turning to me with intense black eyes. “So do I,” he said evenly. “And now, so do you.”
Our heroine is Allie, although young in years, everything she has had to do to survive has aged her soul. Now as a vampire Allie wonders if she can deny everything in her new vampire nature in order to maintain her life as it was. Kanin has other ideas. Kanin is Allie's maker, and he is determined to make Allie the best vampire she can be. This includes sword training (who wouldn't want their own katana?!) and ventures into the worst parts of the city to force Allie to defend herself and face her lust for blood. Allie is a strong heroine, but in a moment of weakness she reaches out to a member of her old gang. A kid who owed her everything - that she looked out for. However as soon as he realises what Allie has become, he runs screaming and alerting everyone to a vampire in their midst. Even those who knew her can't see beyond the fact Allie is a vampire. To them she's pure evil.
Allie wants to be different, she refuses to victimise and kill people in order to feed. That may have worked in the city, but it's a whole new ball game out in the world. It's very interesting to watch Allie come to terms with who and what she is. She's adaptable and although not always likable, you have to admire her inner strength. After fleeing the city Allie struggles to survive. Rarely finding shelter she's forced to bury herself alive to protect her from the sunlight and only running across animals and rabids, she is unable to feed. She begins to feel the madness of bloodlust and then her vampire nature comes out to play. Gorging herself on raiders who thought to take advantage of the 'harmless teenage girl' wandering alone, Allie rationalises what she's done as self defence. But is it? This is almost the turning point for Allie. She sees what she can do when she denies her vampire acceptance for feeding without killing is the lesser of the two evils. Allie's double sided nature starts to work in harmony, making her human qualities stronger and becoming a better adjusted vampire.
Allie has a love interest in the form of leaders son, Zeke. He's everything she can't have as a vampire and fighting the urge to sink her fangs into his neck is as hard as fighting the urge to kiss him. But Kanin is invading her dreams, and he's in trouble. Captured fleeing the city, Kanin is being tortured for the knowledge he holds and now Allie has a decision to make. Stay with Zeke or fight to save Kanin. Choices, choices.

THE IMMORTAL RULES is a fabulous addition to the genre with a kick-ass, smart-mouthed, stubborn heroine. My type of girl ;)
I highly recommend giving this a read, the world is amazingly detailed and Allie is a superbly written character. I'll definitely be reading book 2 :) you should too!

My Rating: 4/5

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