Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Immortal Rules: Blood of Eden Book 1 by Julie Kagawa

* * * *

My vampire creator told me this:
“Sometime in your life, Allison Sekemoto, you will kill a human being. The question is not if it will happen, but when. Do you understand?”

I didn’t then, not really.


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 human 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, Allis 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 sure to the disease that killed off most of humankind and created 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.

I’ll admit that I’ve been over the whole vampire genre for a while. With so much out there, it’s kind of hard to imagine that there's something different enough to capture my attention. Julie Kagawa had me devouring each page of this addictive and thrilling saga, showing that she can most definitely create another world as brilliantly as she has done with the Iron Fey series.

Allie is a survivor – hardcore with an abrasive personality. She is fiercely independent so don’t mess with this chick because she will literally cut you down!  One day, after leading a small group out to scavenge for food, they are attacked by rabids. A stranger comes to her rescue and offers her the choice of eternal life or a quick death. She chooses eternal life. And thus begins her journey as a vampire, a species she once abhorred and has now become. Her mentor, the one who turned her, is the master vampire, Kanin. He takes her on as his responsibility teaching her everything he can about being a vampire. He gives her routines to follow and has her studying as well. Yes folks, this vampire is learning her reading, writing and arithmetic. Discipline is how he has survived and he imparts this wisdom to her before they’re separated.

She meets up with a wandering group led by Jeb and his son, Zeke who are searching for Eden, a place they believe exists without vampires. Jeb, a former preacher, is certain that Eden holds all the answers to humanity's salvation. The book does have some religious undertones but it’s not overwhelming. While with this group, Allie becomes close to Zeke, Jeb’s second in command. His innocence and generosity stand in stark contrast to Allie’s eternal cynicism.  Being welcomed into a group who live and work together as a family, is new to her. So she tries to adapt the best she can though her Fringer past is hard to shake. She constantly finds herself at odds with Jeb’s strict rules. She doesn’t stand down which makes for very tense and heated moments. 

There are also many suspenseful moments but none to me are more spine chilling than when Allie has to fight her dual nature. Several times she’s overwhelmed by the Hunger and comes close to feeding off an innocent. The far-reaching ramifications hang heavy around her. The “will she? won’t she?” moments as she struggles to keep the monster at bay are intense. Tugging at her rational side is her new found friendship with Zeke. His gentle nature and naivet√© help to anchor her human side. It’s how Allie has to work hard at holding on to her humanity that’s the most absorbing part of this story.

The book is divided into four parts marking the developing phases of her life. As she moves on with the group and grows attachments, she learns of a far bigger battle that must be waged leading her to unexpected encounters. As horrific as some of the situations can get, it's also exciting to watch Allie in action because simply put, she is bad ass!

The Immortal Rules pulses with never ending suspense. You truly get the feel that they are living in a broken world that's dangerous and unforgiving at every turn. And Allie, who begins the book looking out for herself, learns a bit about family and loyalty and also about what it is to be human.

~ Bel

1 comment:

  1. Immortal Rules is a gritty and scary tale of vampires, rabids and humans trying to survive extinction. Fans of Iron Fey will be surprised to see the darker side of Julie Kagawa. I loved that she is such a talented and multi faceted author. Julie Kagawa has amazing world building skills that to me rival Stephen King. Leave any ideas of the Nevernever and the Fey behind as you plunge into this ravaged land of vampires and rabids.