- Julie Kagawa
Rating: 4/5 stars
"In a future world, vampires reign. Humans are blood cattle. And one girl will search for the key to save humanity."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 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. (Description from Goodreads)
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I'd been putting off reading 'The Immortal Rules' for a quite some time. While I'd heard amazing things about the book and love YA vampires stories, something was holding me back. When I started the book I was a little disappointed. It seemed my unknown stalling was justified, but the book does pick up and I was really invested in the story by the end. A different type of vampire story than I'm used to.
The book is broken up into 4 sections, each outlining a different time in Allie's life. Allison Sekemoto is introduced to us as a human living on the outskirts of a Vampire City struggling to survive in a lifestyle where you're either the pets (or food source) for vampires or you're an unregistered human who barely makes it through their teen lives. But Allie's life changes when she's turned into a vampire. I'm not giving anything away here - all that information can be found in the blurb. My disappointment came from this same blurb. It was interesting, and exciting and really helped to dragged you in...but I felt like it was too detailed. It told you too much of what was going to happen. I thought the events in the blurb would take up a couple of chapters and then we'd dive into the main storyline, but when it covered over a third of the book I started to get pretty frustrated. There's only so much of the plot you want to know before starting a book and when you spend most of the beginning waiting for new information, it's hard to enjoy. I'll admit, the second section of Allie's life - which detailed the transition from human to vampire, and showed her efforts to fit into her new existence, was a lot more interesting than her human life before. But there didn't seem to be anything new. If you'd read the blurb, you knew what was coming next. Fortunately we hit a point in the story where we were now covering new ground - the third section of the book, when Allie joins a group of humans outside of the vampire city limits. I enjoyed this part of the story so much more because it gave the story a purpose. The action, adventure, danger and excitement is what made the story pick-up for me. That's what kept me reading.
What I really enjoyed about this book was the world it was set it. Vampires are out in the open and they've taken charge of the destroyed world that is the setting for the story. Sometime in the past, the world was struck by a deadly virus. Believing vampires were the cure for this virus experiments were made to help save the human race - the only sustainable food source for the vampire society. But the experiments went wrong and a mutated being was created instead: rabids. A bite from a rabid is deadly. I loved it. It gave the story a dark edge. The vampires were these "all powerful" rulers, evil in their decisions and actions; but at the same time there was a creature out there more dangerous than them. I love the twisted nature of it all. You were never sure when the next rabid would pop up or what damage they were going to cause - Who would fight? Who would survive? Was anyone safe? It all helped to keep you on the edge of your seat and definitely made up for the disappointing beginning.
There is a fair bit of action - the story doesn't lack in excitement once it gets past the first third of the book, what with rabids popping up all over the place, it's hard to avoid. What I love is the main character's approach to it all. After Allie becomes a vampire, she's introduced to my favourite book-action weapon: the Katana and she gets to use it a lot. She may have got extra cool points just by carrying it around on her adventures. I do like a good story that involves sword/katana fights!
And what would any story be without a little romance. I'm sure we can all guess what was going to happen. Allie, the new vampire hiding in a group of humans, becomes pretty close with the good looking human boy, Zeke. Tension builds between the two of them as she struggles with the fact that his blood speaks to her vampire side. And then there's the whole vampire-human relationships...they never work out. It was a cute little side to the story that broke up the danger and disaster nicely.
The ending left me with a few questions, which I'll be waiting patiently to find answers to. I'm hoping book #2 will jump straight into the action. Can't wait.
(Originally posted on Goodreads)