Monday, April 23, 2012

Review of The Immortal Rules

My review of The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa is based off an E-ARC I received courtesy of Netgalley and Harlequin Teen in exchange for an honest review.

Goodreads Summary: "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.

Just when you begin to think that there is nothing new that can be done with the dystopian genre Julie Kagawa goes and throws blood-suckers into the mix. I know, take a moment to digest that, my brain wouldn't compute the combination either. Because, you know, vampires are paranormal and dystopians are...well, they're not. In my eyes anyway. And yet, being Julie Kagawa, she made the unlikely pairing work.

Her vampires are VAMPIRIC, blood-sucking beasts. Or so they seem when you're a human living on the fringe of things like Allison Sekemoto. Though the beginning of the novel was a bit slow it was the ideal foil for the second half of the novel; the reader got a feel for things as a human, why the vampires were hated and how they were regarded by the human population as a whole, then WHAM you're in vampire land. In this Julie Kagawa does a brilliant job of portraying that no matter how bad things get, no matter your enemy things are never completely black and white; there will always be gray areas.

Allie, Allie, Allie...what to say about our katana-wielding heroine. I couldn't in good faith say she is one of my favorite heroines, at times she did rub me the wrong way. But she was strong, she stuck to her morals, she paved her own road in an uncertain world. She wouldn't settle for being a monster any more than she would lay down and die when faced with the choice. She's a fighter through and through. I'm definitely looking forward to seeing where the next book takes her.

Now, the only ones who will understand this part of the review are likely the ones that have already read the book so if you haven't feel free to skim over this portion. But I have to say that through a good chunk of the novel I found myself humming and/or singing that Dusty Springfield song that goes something like "The only one who could ever reach me, was the son of a preacher man". There's just something about that Zeke.

As for the ending of this novel all I can say is that it brings to mind a brilliant line spoken by Captain Jack Sparrow himself: "Now, bring me that horizon." Only, you know, not literally in Allie's case as that could prove fatal. More along the lines of that being the message, despite being the end of one book you feel the adventure looming ahead.

The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa is living, or perhaps in reference to its material dead, proof that its good to shake things up every once in awhile lest genres grow stagnant. Four out of five stars for her brilliant rendering of a dreary dystopian world led by vampiric monarchies.