Review: “The Immortal Rules” by Julie Kagawa

Title: “The Immortal Rules”

Author: Julie Kagawa

Genre: YA, paranormal, dystopian, romance

Release Date: April 2012 (expected)

Summary: In a future world, Vampires reign. Humans are blood cattle. And one girl will search for the key to save humanity.

Allison Sekemoto survives in the Fringe, the outermost circle of a vampire 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 is attacked—and given the ultimate choice. Die… or become one of the monsters.

Faced with her own mortality, Allie becomes what she despises most. To survive, she must learn the rules of being immortal, including the most important: go long enough without human blood, and you will go mad.

Then Allie is forced to flee into the unknown, outside her city walls. There she joins a ragged band of humans who are seeking a legend—a possible cure to the disease that killed off most of humankind and created the rabids, the mindless creatures who threaten humans and vampires alike.

But it isn’t easy to pass for human. Especially not around Zeke, who might see past the monster inside her. And Allie soon must decide what—and who—is worth dying for.

☆: 4.5/5 – hello, awesome new series!

Review:  Oh man, was this one fun. I love how Kagawa swore not to write a vampire book…and then ended up writing one. But you know what? It all works – and very well. Teaming up our favorite bloodsuckers with a dystopian future world ravaged by a plague that has created even more monsters? Also add in a severely badass heroine and you have one of the best books of 2012 so far. There seem to be/are several books with the theme of vampires/monsters ruling over dystopian cities of humans that are coming out this year, but there can be only one queen. And the queen of them all is definitely “The Immortal Rules”.

Allison as a heroine was very refreshing. She’s filled with tension, fear, and regret yet at the same time, doesn’t let that fear or regret stop her from getting what she wants/needs. Kagawa has created a heroine that you can’t forget. Compared to Meghan from “Iron Fey”, who was just as awesome, it took longer for Meghan to really grasp what was going on in her reality. Here, I feel like Kagawa really grew in her craft in the sense that there was tension in every paragraph on every page – Allison, though self-loathing, recognizes what she is and does what it takes to survive.

I love my heroines spunky, and Allison Sekemoto (a very unusual Japanese surname, by the way) is full o’ spunk.

What I loved the most, I think, was the fact that this was Allison and Allison’s story alone, though there was the underlying theme of the story of the future of humanity interwoven along with it. With “Iron Fey”, it’s not just Meghan’s story, but that of her brother, Puck, and Ash all co-existing with one another. This is Allison’s story, how she has become what she is, and what rules she allows herself to live by. She doesn’t allow her attraction to Zeke stop her, but she does allow it to slow her down and make her think clearly about her actions when it comes to feeding The Hunger to keep her alive and sane.

The arc and sub-arc executions were a little slow to get started (which took down my enjoyment of the book just a taste, hence the .5 star lower score), but once they did, they went off like a shot and they were very easy to follow. However, it didn’t mean that I was able to see exactly where they were going – there were some definitely awesome twists and turns that I did not see coming that I enjoyed immensely.

All of the characters felt very well-rounded, surprisingly so for a first book in a series. Even Kanin, whose backstory is short, still felt like a real person. Though I wanted to see more of the function of the pets and the vampires within New Covington as a city once Allison did get access to it (hopefully in the next book we’ll get a better look at that), I feel like what I got in terms of worldbuilding, arc execution, and character construction. I also wanted a deeper look into the Red Lung Virus and more of what happened during the outbreak aside of what we know from Kanin and Jeb – how did it spread? Was it a bioweapon or something that just happened as a mutation, naturally (aside from the addition of the Rabids)? I definitely wanted more on the RLV, so I’m hoping that will come in future books as well (since I love me some outbreak/plague genre books).

In the end, though, Allison’s journey is not just her own, but it turns into that of one of the last solitary bands of humanity (that we know of), and makes us ask the question – who is the real monster, here? The one who is willing to give her life even though she has to take it in terms of food, or the ones that just want to kill her because of what she is as a species/race/creature? It makes you think, and I love my books thinky.

Final verdict? A must-read for Kagawa fans and for anyone interested in dystopian/paranormal books with a twist. Definitely on my best of 2012 list, for sure. “The Immortal Rules” is out in North America from Harlequin Teen on April 24th, 2012, so be sure to catch it then! You can’t miss this one.


2 thoughts on “Review: “The Immortal Rules” by Julie Kagawa

  1. I just started this today, barely got finished with the first chapter before I had to run some errands, but I look forward to reading it tonight!! So far, I love it!

    So far, I love Allison so I am glad to hear that she’s a great character. This mix of paranormal and dystopia is really intriguing to me.

    -Jac @ For Love and Books

  2. Pingback: usagi’s challenges for 2012! « birth of a new witch.

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