Review: The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa

From the back cover

We are vampires, Kanin had told me, on one of our last nights together. It makes no difference who we are, where we came from. Princes, Masters and rabids alike, we are monsters, cut off from humanity. They will never trust us. They will never accept us. We hide in their midst and walk among them, but we are forever separate.

Damned. Alone. You don’t understand now, but you will. There will come a time when the road before you splits, and you must decide your path. Will you choose to become a demon with a human face, or will you fight your demon until the end of time, knowing you will forever struggle alone

While I’m not the biggest fan of the vampire genre I was intrigued by the premise of The Immortal Rules.  Vampires, Zombies all bundled in with a dystopian setting was enough to pique my interest and I’m so glad I read it – Julie Kagawa it turns out is a fantastic writer!  Set approximately 60 years into the future, civilisation has collapsed, rabids (aka zombies) roam freely infecting and killing people while vampires now run the worlds cities taking blood donations from the city’s human dwellers in exchange for food and protection. In one of these vampire cities you meet Allison a human who detests vampires with a passion and would prefer to live near starvation, scavenging and stealing to survive rather then become a vampire “pet” or donate her blood. Through misfortune Allison ends up attacked and near death when offered a choice: die, become what she hates, a vampire.

What I love about this book is that you follow Allison on parallel journeys. The book is very much a traditional physical journey where she leaves the city she grows up in and meets up with human travellers who are looking for a fabled human city called Eden.  Along with  this physical journey the reader is also taken on an incredibly difficult emotional journey where Allison has to make some hard choices and question the very essence of her beliefs.  I love books that make you think, books with substance that really makes you ponder the characters handling of specific situations and this novel keeps you on the edge of your seat really blurring the line between good and evil.

The future Kagawa paints is bleak and incredibly well thought out.  The first quarter of this novel sets the reader up with a solid understanding of how the world is now run; a group of vampire cities with human subjugates and rabids roaming free turning anyone in the wild into rabid fodder.  You get a good insight into vampire politics, and while this isn’t particularly important for this novel I imagine this foundation will serve its purpose in future Blood of Eden books. Along with an understanding of the vampire cities you also get to spend time in “the wild”, life outside the city in a world fraught with danger and infectious creatures. Overall the world building is complex and vivid, it really enriches the readers experience as you follow Allison’s path.

The characters and their development also get a big tick from me.  Allison is kick ass which isn’t too surprising considering the life she grew up with, survival of the fittest definitely rules the fringe of New Covington.  She’s shows a lot of inner strength when faced with moral dilemmas and handles them incredibly well but not without subtlety showing you how much inner turmoil some of her choices has given her.  Even though she is a monster you just can’t help rooting for her and her own moral code speaks for itself – vampire or not this girl has heart.

The romance between Zeke and Allison is built up at a steady pace and you really connect with them.  There is no love at first sight rubbish in this book, instead it’s gradually built upon and by the time obstacles come between them you really want it to work out because the love seems so authentic and deserved.  Zeke is a lovely character and a breath of fresh air from all the alpha male types that plague young adult novels.  While I’m sure he won’t do it for everyone, his confidence and ability to trust and help everyone he meets in such a harsh environment just makes me want to give him a great big cuddle!

The end of the novel is fantastic and the entire story is wrapped up neatly leaving just enough openings to make the reader desperate to get their hands on the sequel.  Overall this book really reminded me a lot of The Study series by Maria V Snyder.  While it’s classified as Young Adult it in many ways seemed more like an adult novel and I think for this reason it will be a hit with both the YA and Sci-Fi/Fantasy crowd.  If you swore never to pick up a vampire book again, this book is worth breaking that promise over. One of the best Young Adult books I’ve read for awhile and I think it’s worth being added to anyone’s to-read list!

Thank you Netgalley and HarlequinTEEN for providing me with a copy of this novel for review. The Immortal Rules is being released on the 24th April 2012.

Rating ★★★★★

Author Julie Kagawa
Book series Blood of Eden: Book #1
Genre Dystopian / Vampires / Young Adult
Publisher Harlequin Teen
Published April 2012
Source Netgalley ARC
More The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa at Goodreads
The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa at Amazon
The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa at The Book Depository

I really must get a copy of this book.. everyone seems to love it! Enjoyed your review :)

It was a great read :) Have you read the Poison Study series? I think you would love it too (not that you dont have enough books to get through atm hahaha)

Rebecca Hipworth says:

I really want this book. :)
This and Darkness Before Dawn sound sooo good.

This book was really really awesome, I definitely recommend reading it when you have a chance!

Great review! I’ve been wanting to read this book for awhile! Need to get my copy soon! =)

Thank you – it’s so worth reading, I hope you get your hands on it soon!

Great review! Makes me really exited to start diving into my copy of it :)

Hope you enjoy it!

Read it and love it.
My favorite character is Kanin, I really want to know more about him!

Kanin was really fascinating – I can’t wait to find out more about him in the sequel :)

Great review. I enjoyed this book for the same reasons! I love it and can’t wait for book two!

Thank you :) I can’t wait for the sequel as well, hope it’s as good!

Wow… great review! All those reasons made me love this book so much! :) I agree that this is not a typical vampire book and I just love the journey Allison faces throughout the book and how much she changes.
I need book two so badly!!!

Cheers :) I hope the sequel is out soon – I’m desperate to see what happens next, it was such a good series starter :)

sarah elizabeth says:

I read this but i didn’t like it quite as much as you. think i had unreal expectations maybe. hoping that the second installment is better :)

I haven’t read any of the Iron Fey series so I think that it perhaps worked in my favour – I had no expectations :) I’m hoping the sequel is awesome too!

I really want to read this book, I’ve heard so much about it :)

I hope you get your hands on it soon – it’s fantastic!

I’ve heard nothing but good things about this book! Honestly I wasn’t very interested at first, I guess I’m just tired of vampire books but I think I’ll give this book a chance. Great review!

Please do – you won’t regret it :)

Diana Dimovska says:

Julie Kagawa’s name is practically heard everywhere. Alas, I haven’t read anything from her works till now. This book is reviewed as amazing on every blog I’ve visited. Must read this book.

This was the first novel I’ve read of hers as well and it was really brilliant – I definitely suggest reading it as soon as you can!

Sarie G Wolfswan says:

I am quite exited to read this book, something different on the vampire novels i have lately read.
Thanks for the review!

I’m a huge fan of Julie Kagawa! I want to read this book so bad. It’s on the top of my list of books to get. Great review! :)

I hope you get hold of it shortly! This is the first book I’ve read of Julie’s and it was amazing!

Hi! New follower here! :)

I haven’t ventured too far into the Vampire genre yet. The only books under my belt are the first 3 installments of the Twilight series. I read those when I was in my late teens, but as I grew older, I lost interest in Bella’s story and never got around to finishing the saga. I suppose I was looking for more conflict, more action, and gore. lol!

After reading your fab review, I may have to give vampires another shot. The premise is very intriguing to say the least! :)

This is definitely nothing like Twilight! It’s a more mature novel, more new adult then young adult and much darker. I hope you give the vampire genre another go – this is definitely a book to appreciate :)

Yes! What you described is exactly what I’m looking for. :) I’ll definitely be reading this one now! Thank you!

Martina Koleva says:

I’ve seen this book around the blog-sphere but never really stopped to read a review. I don’t know if I ever even read a description of it but from the moment I saw that cover I said to myself that I will read it. I still haven’t but I really, really want to give it a try. I hope I get a chance to do that soon. Your review is just one more reason for me to want it.

It was a fantastic read, I hope you get a chance to read it soon!

Yet another book I’m just starting to learn about that everyone seems to be talking about! I just added this to my wish list on amazon. Of course my TBR list is a mile long, but some day I’ll get to it 😉

Tea in the Treetops: Episode 1: Introductions | The Oaken BookcaseThe Oaken Bookcase says:

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Review: The Immortal Rules, Julie Kagawa | The Oaken BookcaseThe Oaken Bookcase says:

[…] “If you swore never to pick up a vampire book again, this book is worth breaking that promise over.” – Tea, Daydreams & Fairytales […]