Thursday, April 5, 2012

Review and Giveaway - The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa

Published: April 24th 2012
Publisher: Harlequine Teen
Pages: 512
e-copy: Publisher and Netgalley

In the dark days since the insidious Red Lung virus decimated the human population, vampires have risen to rule the crumbling cities and suburbs. Uncontested Princes hold sway over diminished ranks of humans: their "pets." In exchange for their labor, loyalty and of course, their blood, these pets are registered, given food and shelter, permitted to survive.

Unregistered humans cling to fringes, scavenging for survival. Allison Sekemoto and her fellow Unregistereds are hunted, not only by vampires, but by rabids, the unholy result of Red Lung-infected vampires feeding on unwary humans. One night, Allie is attacked by a pack of rabids, saved by an unlikely hero...and turned vampire.

Uncomfortable in her undead skin, Allie falls in with a ragtag crew of humans seeking a cure, or cures: for Rabidism and for Vampirism. She's passing for human...for now. But the hunger is growing and will not be denied. Not for friendship—not even for love

With many, many vampire books out lately - most of them very good, the occasional one not so much, I had thought I had just about reached saturation point. That is until I read The Immortal Rules.   I absolutely loved this start to Julie Kagawa's new series, Blood of Eden.

The Immortal Rules did not seem to follow the usual formula and maintained a brisk pace from start to finish. It was dark, gritty and violent, but utterly compelling.   Allie is a very strong character who has managed to survive the 'Fringe' for several years.  When she is given the choice of an extremely nasty death or vampirism. she chooses the latter and embraces her new life - with reservations.  The fact that she fights her new nature wherever she can is believable and intriguing.  The inclusion of the zombie-like rabids adds a degree of tension that is maintained throughout the whole book.

The characters in The Immortal Rules live hard lives in a harsh landscape and there are not a lot of comforts outside of the vampire controlled cities, or even in them if it comes to that.  One thing I was a little concerned about though was the amount of edible  food found in old cans .  Even the best cans have a shelf life and I was a little puzzled by the ease with which the characters gobble down canned foods that appear to have been hidden for at least 20 or 30 years. Perhaps I'm just being picky though?  That and the sudden appearance of a lollipop towards the end of the story were my only queries and the rest of this dystopian/apocalyptic tale felt very plausible. Ms Kagawas' descriptions of the crumbling cities were vivid and easily imagined with harsh contrasts between the landscapes.

Yes, there is a love story, but no it was not insta-love and there were a couple of occasions where the storyline with Zeke and Alllie took me by surprise, which was rather nice.  A host of minor characters, each with varied and very distinct personalities, add to the fun with yet more surprises. Be warned though, Ms Kagawa does not pull any punches and there are some rather graphic scenes of violence, but they fit well with the story.

I have to admit that the ending for me was just superb.  It's not a cliff hanger, and the story ends very satisfactorily set up for number 2, but the last sentence - brilliant.  I really look forward to reading the next in this series and seeing what happens with Allie and Zeke and Kanin.

We have been lucky enough to get a copy of The Immortal Rules from Harper Teen for a giveaway and I highly recommend getting your name in for a chance to win this copy.    Good luck.

This Contest is now Closed

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