Title: “The Eternity Cure (Blood of Eden #2)”
Author: Julie Kagawa
Genre: YA, paranormal dystopia, PNR, urban fantasy, AWESOME
Publication Date: April 23, 2013 (Harlequin Teen – North America)
Source: Traded-for ARC/NetGalley Review Copy
Summary: Allison Sekemoto has vowed to rescue her creator, Kanin, who is being held hostage and tortured by the psychotic vampire Sarren. The call of blood leads her back to the beginning—New Covington and the Fringe, and a vampire prince who wants her dead yet may become her wary ally.
Even as Allie faces shocking revelations and heartbreak like she’s never known, a new strain of the Red Lung virus that decimated humanity is rising to threaten human and vampire alike.
☆: 4.5/5 stars – a fantastic follow-up to “Immortal Rules”!
Review: As expected, Kagawa doesn’t disappoint with this follow-up to “The Immortal Rules”. If anything, she’s just gotten better – the prose smoother, the pace faster, yet not leaving anything behind. And it’s got one of my favorite plot devices in post-apocalyptic/dystopian lit – plagues! Yes! Red Lung is back with a vengeance and time is running out for Alison and company, and the result is absolutely glorious. If you read and liked “The Immortal Rules”, “The Eternity Cure” is almost better than that first book, and so much more.
Since all of the technical areas are pretty much flawless here, I’ll talk more about the interesting moral issues that pop up in this book – both the paranormal sort, and the bioethical sort (which was a place I thought Kagawa only kind of went into in the prequel, “Til The World Ends”).
If “Immortal Rules” was Alison dealing with scrabbling a hard life out as an Unregistered human and then becoming a vampire, “Eternity Cure” is about her really dealing with the complexities that have arisen because she’s become a vampire. Kanin has taught her not to become close to humans (because they’re so fragile), yet she still loves Zeke. She doesn’t want to hurt them, but she has to feed. Alison has a lot of angst and reality to deal with in this book, and Red Lung rising again just makes all of those complexities even more complex.
First real complexity: family. Who makes your family? In the vampire world, it’s the family your sire makes. Your “blood” family. So that other family you might have had while you were human? Nope. Gone. Which I thought was an interesting take on things – the “make your own family” message in YA is one very near and dear to my heart, and Kagawa really plays with that notion in “Eternity Cure”. Having no choice but to team up with her “blood brother”, Jackal, in order to find their mutual blood brother, Sarren, holding their daddy hostage. So, in this case – do you trust one murderous ex-“raider king” brother, the lesser evil, in order to have more firepower against more-evil brother? Or do you go in alone?
And does Raider King brother constitute, throughout your adventures as you semi-bond, as family? Even after he’s decimated so much of your semi-boyfriend’s family only months before? What makes family at all? We find out. And the results may surprise you. They did me. While I saw the one larger twist coming, the resolution to that twist was a nice surprise.
And then come the bioethics. We get to see a a hint of things of how they unfolded as the rabids were created – both from Kanin’s POV, and the journal that they find on their quest to find Sarren. It’s mid-Red Lung Crisis, the beginning of which we get to see in “Til the World Ends”, and all of the results from the decisions made by desperate doctors, ending up in the world we have within the “Blood of Eden” world. When someone tells you to stop, that you could do further harm should you continue your experiments to save the world – do you stop? Or do you keep going? Should you stop? Should you keep going? Should you bet it all on one gut instinct? We also see the results of that as well.
Zeke is back, and it also brings up the “what is family?” question rather nicely, and everything comes full circle. We’re still left with that question of what constitutes family, and how that might tie into book three. Except for that cliffhanger, of course. Which had me screaming and shaking my fist.
And now I simply MUST have that next book. With a novella, hopefully, to tide us over in-between releases. “The Eternity Cure” is definitely an awesome follow-up, and I can’t wait for the next book (and hopefully novella). One of the best of 2013 so far, it was definitely worth waiting for. “The Eternity Cure” is out now from Harlequin Teen in North America, so be sure to check it out when you get the chance!