Tuesday, April 3, 2012

READING: The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa

The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa

Publication date: April 24th, 2012
Published by: Harlequin Teen
Genre: YA Paranormal, Dystopian, Vampires
Source: NetGalley
Rating: 4/5
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.

Somehow, I never pictured Julie Kagawa as a writer interested in writing vampire books. Every YA author just has too write about them once in her/his career, I guess. If you ask me to describe The Immortal Rules, I will say it's quite a long, basically dystopian/survival, book, with some vamps and zombies. That pretty much sums it up for me.

Allie is the female protagonist. She is human and has survived after the Red Lung disease killed the better part of the population 60 years ago. She is not a vamp slave (Registered) which means she is kind of an outlaw. Vamps rule everyone and everything, and there are also the Rabids who are vamps gone bad during experiments for the Red Lung cure. Think of them as flesh eating zombies, they are pretty much one and the same. 
Allie is a fighter. Strong willed and determined to survive no matter what. In the beginning she kinda frightened me, to be honest. She came across a little meaner than I would have liked. Later on however, without ever losing her hard as rock veneer, she stopped being so intense and relaxed, just a tiny little bit. I guess because of what happened to her (couldn't let it take her over completely) or because she met a boy she liked (Zeke) and he was so nice to her. Their relationship was the most well built element in The Immortal Rules. Romantic yes, but thankfully not a lot. Mostly it was this magnificent co-dependency these two had, and I mean that in the best possible way. Like if they left each other, everything would be lost, there would be no hope. At least that what it seemed to me, that's what it made me feel. Zeek was amazing. Even though he and his team appear at the 2nd half of the book, he changed its course completely. The way he struggled with Allie's nature and how later on he paid for it (his relationship with Jeb was also amazingly built) really broke my heart *snif* I rooted for Zeek and his mission, however absurd.

Story-wise, The Immortal Rules had its ups and downs, its on and off moments. At first it was quite difficult for me to get into it, there was a flood of information within the first 20 pages or so and I had to ease my way into the dystopian world, which made it automatically a slow read for me. Then Allie meets Kanin and everything is put into motion and you're flipping through the pages. Kanin by the way, kinda love you buddy. Hope to see more of you in book 2 cause I didn't quite have the chance to drool over you much.
After some stuff with Kanin and another dude go down (no spoilers), book loses its well earned momentum and it's slow once again. After 50 pages Allie meets Zeke's team and you get the awesome back in full blast. From then on (apart from the ending) it reminded me so much of The Walking Dead, I was practically giddy with excitement to read what will happen next. Later on though Allie gets separated from the group and the book loses its momentum again. So it kinda had its really great highs and its lows. That what happens to big ass books *snip snip* "Less is more" really applies here.

Apparently influenced by The Walking Dead and The Vampire Diaries, Julie Kagawa's first attempt at a vamp saga is not bad at all. I would have liked a more consistent story, but that's just me. In the end, a chapter closed for Allie (did it really?) and she goes back to face her demons (literally). So the second book writes itself, basically, in the sense that Kagawa has tons of material to work with and the way I see it, that's always good.

The egalley I got from NetGalley has a treat for Julie's fans in the end, I am not sure if the print galley has it. It is chapter 1 of the Iron Fey spin-off, The Lost Prince. Yes, the one with Ethan. Who, I am glad to announce, is not a little boy anymore, far from it. Can I have that book now, please? Thanks! Chapter 1 was pretty amazing *sigh*
Mark your calendars, guys. The Lost Prince: coming out November, 2012.

This book has been given to me by NetGalley free of charge
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