Release Date: May 1st AUS / April 24th US
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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!