*This book is part of my Dystopia Book Challenge*
In her newest saga, Julie Kagawa transitions from writing about fairies to writing about vampires. I must say I enjoy the vampires much more.
Kagawa combines the YA obsession with vampires and their obsession for dystopias in The Immortal Rules. As with all dystopias, this novel takes place many years into the future when everything has fallen apart. In Kagawa’s world a disease has wiped out must of the human and vampire population, either killing them or turning them into rabids (blood thirsty creatures that are very hard to stop). This disease gave vampires the power to come out of the shadows and take over, making humans basically their slaves.
Allison “Allie” Sekemoto, the protagonist, lives in the Fringe, the most outer part of her city. Because she refuses to be conform to the vampires rules and allow them to take pints of her blood to feed, she is not allowed in the inner city and must scour for food, along with her crew. Allie hates the vampires and everything they stand for, that is until she’s given the chose between dying and becoming one.
Choosing to live (well, sort of), Allie becomes the one thing she’s always hated most and now has to deal with the consequences. Trying to keep a hold onto her humanity and not turn into one of the monsters she’s always feared, turns out to be a bit more complicated than she expected. Especially when she begins to pretend to be human to fit in with a rag team group of humans she finds outside the city walls. Caught between accepting who she’s now become and trying to remain the girl she always was, Allie begins to realize everything isn’t so black and white between the humans and vampires and if they could figure out a way to work together they might be able to find the cure to the disease that is decimating both of their species.
At first I was a little nervous to try another series by Kagawa. I wasn’t a big fan of the Iron Fey series so I wasn’t sure what to expect. However, because I got this book from the library I figured, why not? I was happily surprised.
Allie is such an interesting character. Having to fight her whole life to survive she’s never been one to keep people close. Instead, she’s fearful to let people in too much because she know anyone in her crew could die in an instant. Ironically, it’s not until after she becomes a vampire and starts falling for a human that she learns more about compassion, beginning to take risks for other people and putting others before herself.
Although there is a classic romance plot, it wasn’t a boring one. The relationship between Allie and Zeke, the second in command of the human group Allie joins, is so very complicated. Between the secrets they are both keeping from each other, the fact that one’s a vampire and the other’s a human, and that they are complete opposites emotionally, makes for an interesting love story.
Even so, what kept me hooked wasn’t just the regular “girl meets boy and falls in love” relationship. It was instead Allie’s relationship with her the vamp who turned her and saved her, Kanin, who constantly argues against holding onto one’s humanity but continues to show compassion towards Allie. Allie and Kanin, along with another vampire Kanin turned, are all connected and that three-way bond is both helpful and a hindrance to Allie.
I’m excited to know what happens next in the series and see how Allie handles all the challenges she now faces.
Favorite Line: “The closer you got to someone, the more it would destroy you when they were inevitably gone.”
Stars: 5 out of 5. I loved it. I really liked Allie and Zeke, as well as all the characters. I either actually liked them or loved to hate them. Kagawa did a good job of showing different sides to every character, making it very difficult to decide who’s side I was on.
Borrow or Buy: Borrow. As much as I loved this book I can’t see myself rereading it.