The Immortal Rules
(Blood of Eden Book One)
by Julie Kagawa
Before I read the book, I found the cover quite off putting actually, which I know isn't the most common reaction it has had. I am not a big vampire book reader however, so I probably wasn't its intended audience. Blood seeping from eyes and big photographs of pretty girl faces with nice lips are not elements I usually look for in a book cover. However, whilst I am still not crazy about it, after finishing the book I find myself liking it a lot more. The eye blood makes a lot more sense and is actually related to the plot; not wholly gratuitous. However, (again), the girl in the story is described on a couple of occasions as looking Asian in some way. Does the girl on this cover look Asian to you? Nope, me neither.
Some days, all that drives Allie is her hatred of "them." The vampires who keep humans 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, Allie 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 cure to the disease that killed off most of humankind and created the 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.
''They hung the Unregistereds in the old warehouse district; it was a public execution, so everyone went to see"
This book was just...a joy. I was extremely apprehensive going into a vampire book because it is not something I would ordinarily read, but it utterly won me over. Just...pure high tension and gut clenching action.
Highs: The main character Allie (ass kicking heroine doesn't even come close), the tension, the fast paced action, the slow burner romance- LOVED EVERY SECOND.Lows: Hmm. A tad repetitive at times, particularly in the 'inner monologue' sections (it is written in first person from Allie's perspective) in that she thinks about the same things over and over again.
I was page-to-nose with this book right from the beginning. Much like the vampires in its cities, it sucks you in and then drops you in a shuddering heap when it was done with you, exhausted and drained.
The action is so incredibly fast paced. I absolutely loved the beginning which did very much remind me of the beginning of the Hunger Games which is definitely no bad thing. It starts off in The Fringes of the vampire city, where the people are starving and desperate and treated like filth, whilst being overlooked by the glittering towers of the city. Unable to leave due to the huge surrounding, guarded wall and the threat of monstrous, ravenous creatures that lurk in the darkness, the people are slowly starving to death. If you want food and money, you must register yourself to become a 'blood cow' for the vamps; you must let them take your blood for feeding once a month. Allie refuses to become a blood cow, and so is an 'unregistered'. She must scavenge for her food, as she is not given the food tickets she would be issued with if she registered. Her life is therefore highly dangerous and horribly poor.
You can't help but admire and respect Allie from the very beginning. She is definitely not a simpering heroine and she relies on absolutely nobody but herself. In fact, the people around her look to her for their own survival and she, although putting herself first, can't resist a vulnerable soul. The danger and brutality that Allie faces in this first section made me physically afraid for her; the writing is so tense and atmospheric that I was reading the pages incredibly fast just to find out if she would be OK! The settings consist of pitch black sewers and deserted streets that Allie must conquer alone. I was reading at night and became seriously unsettled very quickly!
I love the way the vampires were presented. They exist in a kind of symbiotic relationship with the humans, in that they take their blood without killing them which keeps both vampire and human alive. However, the vampires are much, much stronger in both mind and body, and they could crush the humans with one fell swoop if they wished to. Indeed, vampires still occasionally hunt the humans in the dead of night because their predatory instincts are not fully sated by the blood bags. The vampires are the stronger, more deadly, much harder to kill master race while the humans are their vulnerable cattle who appear incredibly weak and naive. I found this idea unnerving and really dark but loved the high stakes that Allie really was facing and how genuinely terrifying it made this part of the book.
I can't wait to read the next book in this series, and more books by Julie Kagawa. This book surprised me in every way: the characters were incredibly well developed, the plot was perfectly paced with great action and high tension, and the romance wasn't icky. Not what I was expecting from a book about vampires.
This Book has Inspired me to Read: The 'Iron Fey' Series by Julie Kagawa.
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