TITLE: The Immortal Rules
AUTHOR: Julie Kagawa
SERIES: Blood of Eden #1
PUBLISHER: Harlequin Teen
Note: This ARC was given to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
The Immortal Rules is the first book in a compelling new series from bestselling author Julie Kagawa. I must admit, when I first heard about this book I was sceptical, mainly due to the tonne of vampire books already out there and Kagawa’s previous statement saying that she’d never do one. However for the most part I’m glad she did, and she’s certainly introduced some fresh ideas to this abused genre.
Allison Sekemoto is a wonderful new heroine to get behind, and her daily struggle to survive has shaped her character into something truly unique. She’s brave, snarky, and also has a streak of selflessness that is truly rare in the world she lives in. It’s not exactly a spoiler to say that she becomes a vampire (the synopsis will tell you in the first paragraph), but the reasons behind her choice and the way she feels only make her more endearing and admirable. One of the highlights of this story is how vivid this world and the characters are, and that only seems to draw you in even further.
The plot is a real winner – vampire and dystopian? Now, don’t get me wrong, I am seriously not a fan of the former. It has been done to death in every author’s search to be the next Stephenie Meyer. Boring. But, give me bloodthirsty, vengeful, non-sparkly monsters that are actually scary? Now that’s a story. Kagawa hasn’t shied away from the more distasteful parts of vampire life; she gives you the violence and the blood and every reason possible to hate vampires…yet you still keep coming back. I felt like I was right with Allie through every scramble and atrocity she experienced, and that was definitely enough to get my heart pounding and my brain screaming ‘Whoot go Allie!’.
As you can probably tell, I liked this book. But it just wasn’t The Iron Fey. One disadvantage Kagawa seems to have is that any book she writes just cannot live up to the masterpiece that was that series. The Immortal Rules didn’t quite capture my imagination in the same way, it didn’t spark all my emotions and have my grabby grabby hands itching pick it up at the most obscene hours. So, slight warning to all Iron Fey obsessors: Don’t expect the pure genius that was in those books. Sure, go ahead and enjoy this one, but I think I speak for all when I say that it didn’t quite get there. Not yet.
Another thing that let it down was the romance. Now, I liked Zeke, I really did. He was cute and mature and caring and…kinda boring. To be honest, I thought Kanin was the love interest for the first 20% of the book, I was expecting someone dark and tortured and incredible brave…someone a lot like Ash (I know, please don’t judge me!). I loved how Zeke came to accept Allie, vampireness and all, and defended her against the group when they would have killed her rather than trusted her. But I just didn’t feel that ‘pizazz’ that I’ve come to crave, more like a lukewarm awkwardness not dissimilar to middle school romance. I just didn’t feel it, and that’s spoilt the rest of the series slightly for me.
Overall The Immortal Rules is an enthralling new novel that I would recommend to Kagawa fans and to those who want to get away from mainstream vampire books. A great mix of adrenalin, paranormal, and a darker plot that’ll keep you turning the pages; I can’t wait to see what happens next.