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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa

The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa 
Publisher: Harlequin Teen 
Publishing Date: March 26, 2013 
Length: 464 pages 
Editions: Hardcover, Kindle, Paperback, Audio 
Genre: paranormal dystopian fiction with romance elements 
Source: ARC from publisher via NetGalley 
Synopsis: -In Kagawa's postapocalyptic dystopia, vampires reign. Allison Sekemoto, 17, and her unregistered gang live in the shabby Fringe of New Covington while vampires rule the Inner City with their human pets, drinking blood donated by their Registered subjects. Unregistered humans roam without meal tickets or the Prince's protection, prone to arbitrary violence and starvation. In an act of desperation, Allie and her friends venture into the rabid-infested ruins surrounding the city in search of ancient, abandoned food hoards. As clouds roll in heavy with rain, the troupe is ambushed by rabids (Red Lung-infected vampires) and all are brutally murdered. Lying ravaged with death fast approaching, Allie accepts an unexpected offer of immortality from Kanin, joining the blood-sucking race that destroyed her family. His guidance and Allie's defiance clash with the vampire's ugly past, leaving her to wander a land swarming with rabids in search of a cure for Rabidism and her own Vampirism. The zealous heroine's characterization as an anarchist and independent thinker resonates along with classic YA themes of identity and belonging. Her ironic romance with a young man named Ezekiel adds a softer tone to a dynamic and perilous quest. Kagawa devotees can expect lots of bloody carnage in the upcoming movie, as "The Blood of Eden" series has already been optioned by Palomar Pictures.-Jamie-Lee Schombs, Loyola School, New York City╬▒(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition. 

5 of 5 stars

“You are a monster. You will always be a monster, there is no turning back from it. But what type of monster is entirely up to you.”

“Blood is the core of our power. It is how we live, it is how we heal. The longer we go without, the farther we slip from humanity, until we resemble the cold, empty, living corpses the humans think us to be.” 
Oh. Hell. Yes. HELL. YES. I’ve been in reader zone the last couple of hours in a desperate surge forward to finish this book, with an insatiable urge to know how it ends. Ms. Kagawa can WRITE. Of course, you knew this, if you’ve read any of her other books e.g. The Iron Fey series. But this …is vampires. At their finest. Bloodsucking fiends, cold, strong, fast, and with that touch of humanity that they deny themselves, but inevitably it is there. It has to be there. They were once human. REAL VAMPIRES. 
I enjoyed every second of this book. From Allie scraping by a life and trying to hang onto the threads of humanity by reading and teaching others, her mother’s gift to her, to her sacrificing herself to save some spineless little sh*t, to her ultimate decision to SURVIVE. 
There aren’t any hiccups in this novel. Nothing that makes you say, “HUH?! ARE YOU KIDDING ME?” Nope. The major questions are answered: who, what, where, why, when. Without being overly wordy, the setting is THERE. You can see the dilapidated buildings, the dust covering the school desks, the blood streaks on floors, the barren wasteland of what's left, the despair in the air, the resignation to this new life.

Allie’s struggle to retain her sense of self is poignant. Her feelings for Zeke and the emotional attachments she forms for Caleb and Bethany are sweet even as she struggles to hold herself away. These characters are rich and complicated; they are vindictive and petty and self-righteous and sympathetic and capable of love and jealous. There is nothing flat about this book. I was raging about Ruth, smiling at the cuteness of Zeke and Allie, grimacing at Jeb, wondering about Kanin. Totally immersed. 

Out in paperback March 26, 2013, with book two, The Eternity Cure, due out at the end of April. Pick this one up now and get ready to continue the saga of Blood of Eden.