Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Review: The Immortal Rules

Author: Julie Kagawa
Release Date: May 1st AUS / April 24th US
Publisher: HarlequinTEEN
Add it: Goodreads
Buy: Amazon / Book Depository / HarlequinBooks
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.

Living on the Fringe of a vampire society, Allison Sekemoto is an Unregistered. She defies the law by not registering as an obedient blood bank for the vampires who rule. But with that choice comes a daily fight for survival, in a world fraught with danger under the watchful eyes of human pets and their deadly masters who stalk the night. Not to mention a diseased race known as rabids, whose nature is true to their name. Right from the word go we're introduced to a fierce girl with strong morals and a distaste for taking anyone's crap. Allie tells it like it is and I love me a protagonist with fire. Her habits and attitude clearly show that she's endured a tough life, where nothing comes without a price and you have to fight to take what you need. Trust doesn't come easy to her and understandably so, because trust is one step away from naivety on the Fringe, where your closest ally could be the one who stabs you in the back. It's a harsh and miserable existence, but she never gives up the will to survive. No matter the cost.

If I'm completely honest, the first quarter of the book was my favourite. Where human Allie lived in the Fringe, fighting, defying and despising the creatures who force humans into such a horrific life. Where danger struck hard and she became the thing she hated the most: vampire. Where she trained with the mysterious and alluring Kanin, who fascinated me the most and left me longing for more. Where romance was hardly a blip on the fang-filled radar. I love me some romance, don't get me wrong, but I what I loved more was the focus of this part of the book and the atmosphere of New Covington. While I do wish we'd have spent longer running along with that thread, I still enjoyed where Julie took the story next. We see Allie suddenly left on her own; no alliances, no teacher, just an endless road, a looming sun and a undeniable thirst for blood.

On her travels, she's faced with perhaps the most dangerous temptation of all: human friendship. Kanin warned Allie not to get too close to humans. That part of her life is over and for a vampire to get  emotionally attached to their food source is a recipe for disaster. But before she even realises it, she finds herself growing more and more enamoured by a group of humans who are searching for an elusive Eden. Supposedly a city filled humans, untouched by vampires. And one member of the group in particular is having a damning effect on her hardened heart. Ezekiel Crosse.

Zeke is a genuine GOOD guy and it's nice to see that in a love interest these days when so often we're swooning for the bad boy. So it pains me to say that he didn't entirely make my heart skip a beat. Don't confuse that with me disliking him, which is not the slightest bit true. He is such a caring, forgiving boy, even after all that he's endured and witnessed in the world. There is a pureness to his soul that still allows for hope, for love, for empathy to seep through. Something that is so easy to lose living the life he does. So yes, I like him, I just don't personally get a thrill from him. With that said, while I could happily have continued this book without the addition of a romance (because no matter how I try to justify it, it's probably a little twisted for Allie to get it on with Kanin), I enjoyed watching Allie and Zeke's relationship progress. You can see the shift in their feelings, the holding back and the slow-building trust, all written believably so.

I love that Julie brings all the grit, blood and horrors of what a vampire should be like. They crave blood. Human blood. And even those with the most noble intentions are still struggling to keep the demon at bay, buried deep within their core. I enjoyed watching Allie's progression as she fights to hold onto her 'humanity'. She's not flawless, she slips up, but she admirably strives to be better. She's still a badass, though. This girl knows how to kick some serious butt and she's not afraid to slice, dice and suck you dry if you cross her path the wrong way.

Blood and slavery, starvation and fear, death and desire all rage war beside one another in this darkly thrilling new novel. The Immortal Rules has all the potential to turn into a fantastic series. Seeing the ways Julie has evolved The Iron Fey books, I think we can look forward to some exciting chapters in Allie's life. There were a few sections that I felt did drag a little, but once things picked up again, Julie knows how to create fast-paced action and deliciously exciting danger. Vampires and dystopian have proven to mix wonderfully well and I can't wait to see how this story unravels next!


4/5 Golden Apples!

24 comments:

  1. fantastic review, Brodie! I loved that book too :)) can I also just say that your new header is freaking awesome!

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  2. Thanks for the review of The Immortal Rules! It sounds like everyone is really enjoying it. I can't wait to pick up a copy the next chance I get. I can't wait to see the new dark world Julie Kagawa has created this time around.

    And I just noticed your new header for your blog, Brodie! IT'S SO GORGEOUS!!!!!! I LOOOOOOVVEE IT. Every time I visit your blog from now on, I'm going to take an extra moment just to admire it. ^_^

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  3. Ohh! Fantastic review! I love the sound of these vampires and the different world from what we're used to seeing in most vamp novels lately. It sucks that the love interest didn't give that thrill, though! Maybe that'll change throughout the series. o: I'm so glad I'm picking it up this week!

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  4. awesome review..i loved this novel and cannot wait for book two!

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  5. *eats your review* So goooood.... Well you know I agree with your "OMG THE BEGINNING WAS AWESOME" statement. Kanin is bloody brilliant and I so wished we could've seen more of him too! *runs around* Zeke did get me super excited. Sure he wasn't a hugely WOW guy but...my heart still did a little dance just because of what he made Allison feel ;) I have...so many things to say about this book but..I think I'll leave it to my already-long review =S

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  6. I'm so down with the blood, grit, and horror coming back into the vampire mythology. Not that I don't like different takes, but going back to the basics in this case will be refreshing, in my opinion.

    "Zeke is a genuine GOOD guy and it's nice to see that in a love interest these days when so often we're swooning for the bad boy."

    I have to admit this is one of the reasons why I'm really excited to read this one. Though he didn't actually stand out to you, Brodie, I've had enough bad boys for awhile. I can't wait to see how I'll feel about him!

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  7. OMG, I LOVE KANIN Brodie! I actually love Kanin more than Zeke. I thought he was going to be Allie's love interest because he sounds AWESOME.

    Awesome review, Brodie! ♥ Even though you thought the book dragged a bit, I'm glad you enjoyed it!

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  8. Fantastic review, Brodie! I loved loved loved this book! I might even love it more than the Iron Fey series! Which I'm surprised by since it's a vampire book.

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  9. So glad you enjoyed this hun, I loved it. Probably not as much as The Iron Fey as that will always be a favourite but I think Julie did a great job introducing something new. Great review. Donna xoxo

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  10. Great review! I thought this novel was fantastic :)

    By the way your header is ridiculously amazing!

    The Muggle

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  11. It's okay, Brodie -- I'll forgive you for not loving him as much as I did because then I can have that sweet-sexy-GOOD boy all to myself! Hehe x) <3 And a lot of people are actually in total support of Kanin & Allie together, which makes me smile and raise an eyebrow at the exact same time! He was CRAZY-awesome, but one of my friends said it was sort of like Buffy and Giles which I don't think would be the ideal swoon-worthy couple LOL... But YES! More Kanin in future books please! ;)

    Amazing review, Brodie!! And I loved Allie too, of course, because she takes kick-ass-vampire-girl-slash-love-rival to a whole new level of awesome! :') <3

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  12. Oh I'm glad you loved it too!! <3 Okay, so I totally agree with you on Zeke. Kanin is better for me. But I'm almost scared that he's not really a love interest for Allie. :( But it's a possibility! Great review!

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  13. Ahh I agree about Zeke. I liked him, but he just wasn't an amazing love interest. I loved everything else though! Allison was an awesome main character, and the ending made me feel so many different emotions, including anger, shock and "wherethehellisthenextbook?!" :P. Fab review! :)

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  14. Ahhh this is such a good review Brodie. I felt totally the same way about Zeke; I liked him, and I liked him FOR Allison but he just didn't appeal to me. I really liked Kanin but I did think he was a little bland. I think the first quarter was my favourite too, actually. I hadn't really thought about that until you mentioned it!! Awesome review

    The Cait Files

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  15. Wonderful review!! I am about 1/3rd way through and I do love Kanin. He is caring in an abrupt way....Allison Sekemoto, I just love her surname, rolls off the tongue:D

    Michelle

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  16. I must say that my expectations for The Immortal Rules have been through the roof so it's good that you touched on some of the aspects of the story that didn't quite hit the spot for you. This sounds like a great read overall, though -- now I can just go into it with my expectations in check, haha. Thanks for the honest review, Brodie!

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  17. I STILL NEED TO FINISH THIS. It's too difficult on my computer though so I've resigned myself to waiting until my finished copy arrives :)

    Allison is such a fantastic character! In the Iron Fey series (I can't help comparing!) I like Meghan at some points but then she also made me want to throw something at others. Allison so far has been pretty awesome and I love how strong she is as a heroine!

    LOL Allison and Kanin... I actually thought that's where it was going until I started reading reviews about Zeke and I was like OHHH. Yeah, Allison and Kanin might be a little bizarre :P He's so intriguing though! Gah, I just want to spend more time with him!

    I haven't yet met Zeke but he sounds like exactly the guy that I tend to fall for <3 I can see why he wouldn't have that spark for you though. You need someone more like... Noah Shaw (except you can't have him because he's MINE).

    AMAZING review, Brodie! <3 I can't wait to finish this!

    Sonia

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  18. Oh my goodness... Brodie! THIS: "Blood and slavery, starvation and fear, death and desire all rage war beside one another in this darkly thrilling new novel."

    I HAS CHILLS. CHILLS I TELLS YOU.

    This sounds so. freaking. epic.
    CRAZY EXCITEMENT.

    Ooooh, and I'm sorry Zeke didn't quite do it for you... but I mean, seriously, we can't fall in love with all the boys... you have to share SOME of them, right? But... just because he didn't make you go tingly, didn't mean you dind't love him and AAAAAAAAAAAAAAH! I CAN'T THINK. MUST. STOP. COMMENTING. AND READ AMAZING BOOK. It's just there -------->
    TO my right. Like, a foot and half away, behind my cat...

    ummm...
    BYE!

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  19. Hehe, you're right. It probably IS a little twisted for Allie to get it on with Kanin... but at one point I thought he was going to be the love interest! ;) I know what you mean about Zeke. I adored him, but he isn't quite as exciting as some of the other swoon-worthy boys on my ever-growing book-boyfriends list. I loved this book and I'm glad you did too! Awesome review!

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  20. Awesome review, Brodie! I don't know what I feel! First, part of me is "meh, didnt like Thr Iron King, will I really like this?", then part of me is like "oooh, Brodie liked it! Excited for this book!" And then "No, she liked parts of it... the beginning... some bits dragged... the boy isn't thrilling... the vampire teacher is... things don't go the way she wanted them... meh." I have no clue whether I am excited for this book or couldn't care less, lol. I will read it! And I will see. Cheers Brodie!

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  21. I haven't read Kagawa before, and I really wasn't sure this sounded like my kind of thing (even passed on a review copy. Ooops!) I've been hearing all sorts of amazing things though, so maybe I need to check it out!

    Great review!!

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  22. DUDE. May I just say you NAILED this review? I think you touched on all my thoughts while making them appealing and relatable.

    "Something that is so easy to lose living the life he does. So yes, I like him, I just don't personally get a thrill from him. With that said, while I could happily have continued this book without the addition of a romance (because no matter how I try to justify it, it's probably a little twisted for Allie to get it on with Kanin)"

    YES, yes, yes. I was just happy that she found somebody she could love, but I was initially a little turned on to the idea that maybe she and Kanin would, well, YOU KNOW. But, even without that special unidentifiable thrill, I like the romance, but I hope to see... You know what probably would do it? Seeing an aggressive, sexy side to Zeke. ;)

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  23. Kanin! <3!!! I hope we see much more of him in the next books. I love Julie's writing and I love that you enjoyed the book as much as I did.

    I totally get where you're coming from with Zeke. He won't be making any of my "top book boyfriend lists" either, but he's sweet, and caring.

    I hve to say that I love YOUR review writing. You made me want to go and read this book again because of how awesome your review is!

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