Whereas most of my reading buddies were firmly on one side of the line or the other when it comes to this book, I found myself conflicted. I liked it. It definitely had its moments, but I expected to love it, based on previous experience with Kagawa’s novels. Allow me to explain.
The world-building is pretty phenomenal. Yes, vampires have been done…overdone, if you ask some. And dystopian/post-apocalyptic novels are all the rage right now. But neither has been done quite like this. In most situations, vampires are a species to be feared and reviled, and the same is true of Kagawa’s monsters. But in The Immortal Rules
, vampire masters are kings of their domains, ruling over lower-level vampires and keeping humans as pets. On the fringe of these vampire civilizations are registered humans, used for blood-letting and kept alive by the king for this purpose alone. There are those who rebel against the system, refusing to be registered and constantly scavenging for their next meal because they will not submit and become the equivalent of human pin cushions. But in the ruins of what used to be North America, lies a fate far worse than that of the Fringe. Out there, lying in wait for their next victim, are Rabids -- vampire-hybrids that know nothing but blood lust. There is no safe place in this vampire-run future…only danger, in one form or another.
Allie, the main character, was a miss for me, at least in this first book. I say that because the protagonist in Kagawa’s The Iron Fey series
bothered me in the first book of that series, as well, but throughout the following installments, she showed real growth and I slowly became attached to her and her plight. I’m going to venture a guess that the same will hold true of the MC in this series, as well. There was nothing wrong with how Allie was portrayed, per say, but I never felt any connection to her character, beyond what was on the surface. Only toward the end of the novel did I see any real depth to her character, which is why I choose to believe that I will grow to love her character the better I get to know her, just as I did with Meghan in The Iron Fey books.
The supporting characters, however, I found quite intriguing. I really think Kanin deserves his own book. He’s the vampire master who shows Allie the ropes in the beginning, but it’s obvious that he is so much more than that. If he had appeared more during the middle of the book, it might not have drug on so badly for me. Zeke’s appearance near the middle helped further the story and recaptured my interest, but it was lost again for a time while Allie wandered along with his group. It wasn’t until Jackal entered the picture that the book grabbed me again. I love the bad guy who speaks eloquently and tries to convince you he’s not really the enemy here.
The synopsis for this story doesn’t do it justice, but maybe it’s better going into this one with few expectations of what the story is really about. The story is interesting in and of itself, but the subplots really keep things interesting. Considering Kagawa freely admits in the acknowledgements of this book that she never intended to write a vampire novel, I find it extremely entertaining that she’s written such a fascinating, out of the ordinary story about said bloodsuckers.
So, my star rating came down to this:
Main character: so-so
Supporting cast: great
Willingness to give the next book a chance: great
If you’re a fan of vampires, you’ll probably enjoy this book. If you’re a fan of Kagawa’s writing style, you’ll probably enjoy this book to some degree. If you’re expecting this book to be like The Iron Fey series, I think you’ll have better luck elsewhere, though I know several others who will disagree with me on that last point. Still, it was an engaging read, and I’ll definitely be picking up the rest of the series.Thanks to Harlequin Teen for providing an ARC for review.
This review can also be found at The Starry-Eyed Revue