Emily May's Reviews > The Immortal Rules

The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review
Dec 21, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: young-adult, paranormal-uf, 2012
Read from May 31 to June 03, 2012

I've been reluctant to start a Julie Kagawa book ever since I heard the heroine of her Fey series described as "weak" and "constantly in need of saving", they're simply not the kind of heroines I like to read about. However, there was something in me that just couldn't ignore this whole dystopia + vampires thing she's got going on here. I guess it doesn't matter how many shitty paranormal books I read, or how much I hate Twilight, I think I'll always be that girl who grew up on Buffy - give me mean vampires and a spunky heroine any day.

I have to say that The Immortal Rules does have a lot going for it, I enjoyed it a lot, especially the beginning and end parts. Allison Sekemoto is one tough cookie who's had to deal with the harsh realities of everyday survival her whole life. The world of the novel reminded me somewhat of Angelfall - supernatural apocalypse, vamps (instead of angels) have taken over and the human race is seen as inferior, kept alive only to feed and serve the vampires. There is also a peculiar breed of zombie-vampires, these are called Rabids and are vampires which have become infected by an incurable disease.

One night, Allison is attacked by Rabids and lies on the brink of death until a vampire offers her a choice - die or become that which she has hated her entire life. In a weird way I like that Allison makes the morally-questionable choice and takes any chance she can get at survival, a lot of authors can't resist writing MCs that are self-sacrificing and uber-perfect, it pleases me that Allison is flawed like we all ultimately are. Allison continues to kick ass and put survival first throughout the book, there's some romance but it forms a small subplot that doesn't overtake the main focus of the story.

I also like how dark and gritty the novel is. Kagawa doesn't tame up the descriptions of gore and violence, even the daytime seems dark and foreboding in this story. I do think that the novel's 500 pages could've been cut down by at least 50, particularly in the middle where the pacing slows a bit and some of the events feel a little pointless and dawdling. This is the bit where the romantic interest is introduced and the action disappears for a while. Thankfully, though, the love interest is sweet and kind - these creatures are a rare breed in young adult urban fantasy so we have to give a little cheer every time we spot one.

And now for the negative.

My big big issue with this novel is the way Kagawa portrays the only other female character. She is a malicious, manipulative, jealous bitch character and we never get to see another side of her. She is mean to Allison for no reason other than the fact that they are both girls of roughly the same age and she sees Allison as a threat that could come between her and the guy she likes. I can't even begin to understand the usage of such a character in this novel. Normally when authors do this, it is to make the heroine look better... but Kagawa doesn't seem to have a problem with Allison being a bit of a controversial and morally-questionable character, so why was this needed? Do authors just think it a necessity to have a bitchy girl character in their story? There goes all that strong heroine feminism straight out the window.

Another smaller issue is why every vampire is 100% definitely without question EVIL, except Allison and her sire? It doesn't really make sense, in fact, it seems kind of ridiculous that the only vampires with touches of morality are the ones we're supposed to like. Perhaps when we meet more vampires later in the series this problem will be rectified.

I'd like to take a quick moment to comment on the cover and say I seriously think Tatiana was onto something with this whole tinting covers with non-white characters. Allison Sekemoto is Asian, whether that model on the cover is Asian or not I cannot tell because her face appears to be blue. Coincidence? Just fitting in with the vampy theme? Perhaps, but I hope this trend stops soon.

To finish on a more positive note, I really did find this an entertaining read and I will pick up the sequel to see where Allison ends up next. The real strength of this series-opener is, for me, the idea that we always have a choice, that we don't have to accept what society and other people tell us about ourselves, that we can choose to be a better person. I think that's what Allison does, it's so easy to let go and just become a monster when life shits on you, but Allison chooses to be something better than what people expect from her and it's a message I really appreciate.
89 likes · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read The Immortal Rules.
Sign In »

Reading Progress

06/01/2012 page 25
5.0% ""My stomach had been trained to keep down most anything, no matter how disgusting: bugs, rats, maggoty bread..." Ugh. This makes the cat food in Angelfall look appetising."
06/02/2012 page 81
17.0% "I didn't expect this to be so entertaining. Hope it doesn't lose it later on." 8 comments

Comments (showing 1-22 of 22) (22 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

Kyle Okay, now I have to read it. :) Was very skeptical, since the Iron Fey series had me clawing my eyes out.

Emily May I haven't read the Iron Fey series, Kyle, but I have the feeling I'd be doing the same from the reviews I've read.

message 3: by B0nnie (new)

B0nnie Yeah, Buffy is the gold standard...

Molly Talbert Buffy really is the best! Great review!

Emily May Thanks Molly :)

message 6: by B0nnie (new)

B0nnie Molly wrote: "Buffy really is the best! Great review!"

yes! Buffy is such a hard act to follow - even Joss Whedon never topped it.

message 7: by Johannah (new) - added it

Johannah I loved the Buffy TV series. I own the first volume. I haven't read it yet. size intimidates me. lol.

HStevey310 I'm thinking about getting this book but you gave it 3.5 stars...is it worth it?

Emily May I'd say yes. This book is good but not great; however, the second book is amazing! :)

HStevey310 okay, yeah i bought it. I am at the part where Allie (view spoiler)

Turkan Taskin I'm currently reading this and it's very addictive! However, I do agree that the book slows down in the middle.

Emily May True, but the second book is so much better, IMO. Whatever you feel at the end of this, I strongly recommend reading the sequel :)

Turkan Taskin Yeah, i definitely will! Im nearly finished with the Immortal Rules anyway. I cant wait till i get my hands on the sequel because everyone loves it on goodreads.

Harriet ~ bookworm Great honest review, Emily! X

Emily May Thanks, Harriet :)

message 16: by Babette (new) - added it

Babette I saw the rating, wanted to read it until I got to vampires...read your review, saw the mention of Angelfall (LOVE the first two books!) and that decided it, I will give this a try. :)

message 17: by Isabelle (new) - added it

Isabelle Geurinckx I LOVE BUFFY!!!!! :) I'm glad that you mention it in your review. xoxo

Emily May Isabelle wrote: "I LOVE BUFFY!!!!! :) I'm glad that you mention it in your review. xoxo"

XD Do you like Harry Potter too? Because I just got the best cup... https://instagram.com/p/0tFNtMSG7O/?t...


message 19: by Isabelle (new) - added it

Isabelle Geurinckx Emily May wrote: "Isabelle wrote: "I LOVE BUFFY!!!!! :) I'm glad that you mention it in your review. xoxo"

XD Do you like Harry Potter too? Because I just got the best cup... https://instagram.com/p/0tFNtMSG7O/?tak..."

OH MY GOD!!! I love that cup! And yes I also love Harry Potter, who doesn't? ;) I am fangirling right now hahahah

Emily May Haha! When I saw it, I just knew I had to have it ^_^

message 21: by Isabelle (new) - added it

Isabelle Geurinckx Emily May wrote: "Haha! When I saw it, I just knew I had to have it ^_^"

I totally understand that! Buffy+Harry Potter= freaking perfection #LifeGoalAccomplished #MoneySpentWell ;p LOL

message 22: by Jay (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jay Collins Hi Emily, I did like this book as well but I think you have been miss lead about her Fey series.
hope you take a look at it

back to top