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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Immortal Rules - Julie Kagawa

Release May 2012

Julie Kagawa
Harlequin Teen

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

I loved this book! I read the Twilight series along with my daughter when it came out. I admit to it being addicting, but the thought of sparkly vampires was a bit of a turn off. Julie Kagawa admits that she never imagined she'd write a vampire novel given the flood of vampire books to the market. Given that, I'm so glad her heart overruled her head on this one!

The Immortal Rules is the first novel in the Blood of Eden series. Allie Sekemoto lives in a new world, one devastated by a plague that killed her mother, many humans, and left vampires in reign. Registered humans participate in blood drawings to give their blood to the vampires, and in exchange receive food vouchers. Those who refuse to register live on the fringes of society and must barter, scavenge, and steal to survive. Allie is one of those living on the fringes. She loathes the vampires and wants nothing more than to rid the world of them.

There are also the vampire-zombie like creatures known as "the rabids," a result of the plague that hit. For these monsters, killing and eating human flesh is a primal urge. When Allie and her group are caught by rabids while scavenging outside of the "safe" zone, she is saved by a vampire. The problem is that she's now dying. She must choose between becoming a vampire or dying far too young. She's not ready to die, but living as a creature she despises won't be easy.

The Immortal Rules was everything I hoped for and more. Allie is a teen, but she has the strength of some of the best heroines in adult fiction. Nothing comes easy for her, and the decisions she faces are often unimaginable. Yet, despite this adult-like strength, she still has those child-like instincts that often put her in danger. The balance of youth and having to take on adult responsibilities was well blended.

This book is a little more gruesome than the Twilight books. There are the zombie-like vampire rabids who will tear things apart if they have the chance. Vampires are affected by sun. Humans are walking meals to many of the "monsters" in this new world. It's all portrayed with grim detail without being overly graphic. I liked that balance a lot. It had that touch of horror without straying far from the romantic quality of the storytelling.

As this is the first book in a series, things are left open. There's still far more to come with Allie, and I am extremely eager to find out what happens next!

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