Author: Julie Kagawa
Series: Blood of Eden
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release Date: 24 April 2012
Date Read: September 2012
I've got to admit. I was honestly not keen on reading this book. The cover looked cheesy to me. I am not that big of a fan of vampires. I read the first book of Kagawa's other series, Iron Fey, and I didn't enjoy it as much as I hoped. I put reading this book off as much as I could until about a couple of days before it was due back to the library.
You have no idea how much I'm kicking myself for not reading this sooner.
Vampires rule cities and humans, as a result of the creation of the Red Lung disease. This disease threatened, and is continuing to threaten both the human and vampire species. Those who are infected eventually became Rabids, plagued with a mutant version of the disease. As a human, you have the choice to become a Registered, a blood slave to the vampires, or an Unregistered, where you would have to struggle to survive, find food and shelter.
The Immortal Rules has excellent world building. It succeeds both as a dystopian novel as well as a paranormal. The idea that vampires are conquerors, instead of creatures of the night hiding their existence, is different. The atmosphere was set and it was subtle. Kagawa wasn't trying hard to impose her world, it was just there and it was easy to accept. The imagery was very good, so it was really easy to imagine the scenes in my mind.
Allie Sekemoto is the heroine, a great one, at that. She's had to survive as an Unregistered for a long while and it's toughened her. She's realistic and independent. She knows how to take care of herself and she can kick some serious butt, even before she gets turned into a vampire. Plus, she gets a killer katana, a Samurai sword, as her weapon. Her wit, sarcasm and dark humour only added to her awesomeness. Allie has to face the constant struggle of trying to keep the hold of her humanity in spite of her monstrous nature. I'm grateful to Kagawa for not getting Allie to just drink animal blood. I think Allie's inner conflict is much more interesting. It adds depth to the character.
And of course, the romance. Ezekiel Crosse. He is perfect- selfless, strong, generous, kind, funny, handsome. Good guy. (which is such a nice breath of fresh air after all the mysterious, broody bad boys paranormal/dystopian novels usually have) But he is extremely prejudiced against vampires. He believes them to be all soulless monsters, demons. I guess that's understandable considering the life he's had, the people he's had to see die because of the vampires. But it's ok. He changes, as all good characters do. The relationship between Allie and Zeke is realistic and so cute. (I was really worried that there was going to be a love triangle but it was avoided, in this one anyway. The second book holds lots of possibilities, including a *shudders* love triangle.)
The pace was perfect for me. Too often, authors try to get the action moving too quickly, throwing challenges at the characters without getting the readers to know them to be able to empathize with them. But Kagawa spent her time setting up the Allie's world- the vampires, the disease, Rabids, getting the reader to familiarize themselves with Allie and her world- and it paid off. By the time Allie gets herself in danger, I was so invested in her that the tension was agonizing.
So yes, I loved this. This was so different from the Iron King, and different from all the other paranormal novels I've read. I was surprised and impressed. Needless to say, I am eagerly waiting for the second book. More Allie! More vampires!