Author: Julie Kagawa
Released Date: April 24th 2012
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
To survive in a ruined world, she must embrace the darkness.
Allison Sekemoto survives in the Fringe, the outermost circle of a walled-in 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 dies and becomes one of the monsters.
Forced to flee her city, Allie must pass for human as she joins a ragged group of pilgrims seeking a legend—a place that might have a cure for the disease that killed off most of civilization and created the rabids, the bloodthirsty creatures who threaten human and vampire alike. And soon Allie will have to decide what and who is worth dying for again.
Enter Julie Kagawa's dark and twisted world as an unforgettable journey begins.
MY REVIEWThere is a saying that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. But I don’t always agree with it. I mean, I judge books (some of them) by their covers. And that’s what attracted me to this wonderful book, even more than its enticing blurb.
Did I say this book is wonderful?
Sure, it is.
Sixty years ago, civilization was hit by a plague – Red Lung. This plague reduced the human population, thereby causing chaos everywhere. A good opportunity for the vampires, who came out from their hiding and began their rule over the humans left. As a human in this new dark world, you’re either a Registered or an Unregistered. Being a Registered has its privileges. You get to eat good food, you live in good conditions. But then every two weeks you have to submit a portion of your blood to the vampires. You fail to do that and you’ll be dead. As an Unregistered, you have no privileges. You don’t exist in the society, you’re on your own, and if you’re ever caught stealing from the vampires or a Registered, you would be hanged.
What a harsh world!
It isn’t harsh yet. Hear this: outside the vampire cities is a deserted world overrun by the rabids. These guys aren’t your regular zombies; these guys are faster and are more vicious. You’d definitely prefer becoming a vampire's dinner than running into them.
Allison Sekemoto is one of the Unregistereds. She survives in the fringe by scavenging with her crew of three scrawny boys. One night she and her friends leave the city of New Covington to scavenge in the ruins, and on their way back, they’re attacked by the rabids. The attack is brutal; it leaves her friends dead and her on the brink of death. Then a lone vampire appears and gives her a choice to either let him transform her or let the wounds of the rabids kill her off. Allie hates the vamps, everything about them, but when faced with such a grim choice, she decides on the transforming. It’s always been in her nature to survive, even if it meant becoming “something she loathed.”
And thus begins the story of Allison’s new life as a blood sucker, a demon, a monster, a VAMPIRE.
The Immortal Rules is quite voluminous and is divided into four parts, narrated by Allison:
1. Human: This part tells the story of Allison’s life in the fringe and stops where she is turned into a vampire.
2. Vampire: Allison’s new life begins. She learns more about her new self and trains with her master, Kanin, who teaches her how to survive.
3. Monster: An “incident” makes Allison to leave New Convington and she begins to find her way in the forests, the ruins, discovering a world she never knew existed. Here she must learn to control the demon inside her or it would overcome her, thereby causing havoc to her new friends.
4. Wanderer: An “incident” makes Allison to part with her friends.
The Immortal Rules is my first Julie Kagawa read, and I loved it. The vampire plus post-apocalyptic elements in the book made me enjoy it even more. I liked Ms. Kagawa’s writing style, and I liked Allison’s narrative voice, sometimes tough, sometimes soft, and wholly realistic. The book feels like a journey, and you can’t help but think along with Allison when she makes certain choices. Sometimes you feel pity for her, sometimes you’re mad at her, other times you just understand her. And then like all good books, sometimes you ask yourself, “What would I do if I was in that situation?”
The world building is awesome. I loved the ruins, the abandoned cities, the fallen skyscrapers, the waterlogged cities, the yards crawling with weed, the rooms overrun by rats, the cracked streets filled with abandoned vehicles. Imagine a head of deer running about in a city. Sometimes reading the book felt like watching a movie. You feel as if you’re right there beside Allison, taking in the view of a post-apocalyptic world.
On characters, The Immortal Rules has a wide, memorable cast. There’s Zeke aka Ezekiel Crosse, the kind-hearted boy, who sticks up for everyone, though I felt he was too good, and I hated that he always tried to impress Jeb aka Jebbadiah Crosse, Zeke’s father. Jeb felt more real than his adopted son, Zeke. He’s a tough, fanatical, no-nonsense character. Sometimes I hated him, sometimes I liked him. And if there’s one character I wish I could enter the book and yell at, it must be Ruth. Ruth is so annoying; she pries on people’s affair, and she’s jealous and sometimes pessimistic. But she felt very real to me. I think she’s even more memorable than Zeke. And then there’s Kanin, Allison’s master or “sire,” a mysterious character. I liked him because his mysteriousness, although you don’t get to see him again after the first half of the book.
Overall, I’d say The Immortal Rules is a good book. It doesn’t only entertain but also draws you in and makes you ask questions. The pacing is quite slow in some places, but it has plenty action. I mean a lot of action. Did I mention that Allison is a kick-ass protagonist, the girl with a katana, who slashes the rabids like she’s cutting vegetables? And the ending! Oh, man I loved the ending. I wish I could talk about it without leaving any spoilers. That ending left me feeling like I’d just seen a good movie.
I recommend this book to anyone who wants to read a vampire/apocalyptic/dystopian YA novel. I’ve seen good reviews on the second book, The Eternity Cure, and I hope I’ll read it soon.
And so, here goes my five stars (*****) to The Immortal Rules.