** spoiler alert **
**Firstly, thank-you to HarlequinTEEN Australia for providing me with a copy of this to read and review!**Find my complete review here
Masterfully blending vampires with dystopia, Julie Kagawa breathes fresh air into a vampiric story that you’ll really be able to sink your teeth into with the beginning of her new exciting Blood of Eden series!
Beginning this book, it quickly becomes clear that whoever said vampires were done certainly never met Julie Kagawa! Telling the story of Allison Sekemoto and her brave if not sometimes harrowing and lonely journey in the detailed and descriptive way that only Kagawa can, The Immortal Rules drives the reader straight into a hard, dark world where the characters struggle to survive and even to maintain their own humanity.
As with all of Kagawa’s other writing, I found this story to be richly descriptive while never lacking for danger and action sequences. Each word flows perfectly to the next, detailing the harsh, barren and plague destroyed world that our heroine, Allie, lives in. From the dark alleyways and harsh streets of the vampire city that Allie and her friends live in during the very beginning of the story, to the vast plains, forests and lands that Allie travels across with those she meets once she leaves, every detail manages to captive your imagination and only further catapults you into the world you are reading about.
Set in this incredible backdrop, the vampires and their regime that drive part of the plot are very intriguing. We see only the streets where Allie lives and only the lowly parts of the city throughout the book and I found I wondered about the other side of the fence. I can certainly see Julie Kagawa building on this as she expands her world in future books and I look forward to seeing more of the vampire Kings, Princes and Masters that run the vampire cities.
Throughout The Immortal Rules we follow our heroine Allison “Allie” Setemoto in her journey from human to vampire and then onwards. As a reader I found it really interesting seeing Allie before her change and then afterwards. There’s that initial change as she becomes a vampire, but she’s still very much Allison. She many now be one of the creatures she despises, but she’s still the same girl she’s always been---resilient, bold and quick thinking. It was very hard not to like Allison in this book, and Julie writes her well—easy to emphasise with and to follow, but she also allows us to put ourselves in Allison’s shoes (which I did) and think how we’d react in her situation. Would we chose death or would we become the thing we hated most, simply to live? This makes it all the more engaging as Allison makes this hard choice and untimely seals her fate, setting her path.
The characters that litter the pages of this book are all wonderful and add a real depth to the novel. They add that human aspect to it that drives home the fact that there are more than just Allie suffering in this dystopian vampire world. Even as we see Allie struggling with her Hunger and her raging vampire desires, the other characters she meets including, little Caleb and shy Bethany, mingle with the stronger ones of Zeke and Jeb to enhance her struggle not to hurt them and her desperation to maintain the humanity within herself.
The relationship that develops between Allie and her sire, Kanin, is a central one in the story to me, even as it gets lost in amongst the danger and the romance because here are two people who were so very different, now bound together forever because he gave her a new chance at life. The predator and prey; the monster and the innocent who become the same when he turned her and made her like him. The father/daughter dynamic that develops is endearing and strange, albeit in an oddly comforting way. There’s this otherworldly and old-timely feel to Kanin that seems so different to the rough around the edges feel that we see with Allison—it’s a strange combination, but it works for them.
Another thing I enjoyed about this book was that I didn’t feel that Julie Kagawa romanticised her vampires. She doesn’t make Allison, or even Kanin, out to be more or less than what they are. She gives it to us straight and doesn’t skirt around the fact that, despite her kindness and good intentions, Allie is still a monster. And no matter how hard she fights, there’s still that part lurking inside her, waiting to get out. And in turn, this is what makes so many of Allie’s decisions all the more powerful....because it’s goes against what she is and she’s choosing to go against what she is---I love that!
With a heart-racing few final chapters that are full steam ahead all the way until the very end, The Immoral Rules will leave you grasping for more and wondering what Julie Kagawa will do next!