Book Review: The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa

Title: The Immortal Rules (Blood of Eden #1)

Author: Julie Kagawa
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance, Paranormal, Science Fiction, Vampires, Post Apocalypse, Dystopia
Release Date: March 26th, 2013 (First published April 24th, 2012)
Publisher: Mira Ink / HarlequinTeen
Format: Trade Paperback
To survive in a ruined world, she must embrace the darkness….

Allison Sekemoto survives in the Fringe, the outermost circle of a walled-in 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 dies and becomes one of the monsters.

Forced to flee her city, Allie must pass for human as she joins a ragged group of pilgrims seeking a legend—a place that might have a cure for the disease that killed off most of civilization and created the rabids, the bloodthirsty creatures who threaten human and vampire alike. And soon Allie will have to decide what and who is worth dying for…again.

Enter Julie Kagawa’s dark and twisted world as an unforgettable journey begins.

I was never skeptical to try this novel. Vampires or whatever, if it’s Julie Kagawa, I’ll read it wholeheartedly.
I’ve read novels with vampires as supporting characters before, but I’ve never read novels where it totally focus about vampires. I mean like, vampire protagonist, vampire-y plot, vampire city, and everything about vampire, so yes, this is the first. (I’ve read tons of vampire manga though, but I won’t count them. lol) And yes, I didn’t try reading the very famous Twilight Saga. I watched the movies, but I never bothered reading the novels. I’m not one of those haters, alright. It just didn’t interest me. So, for my very first vampire novel… oh my god, I was just so stunned!
Look. I’ve read Kagawa’s Iron Fey series — Faeries? Magical! Totally awesome! I’ve read Talon — Dragons? Cool! And now… Good lord, Julie Kagawa has done it again. I don’t really understand why I’m still so surprised. 
The Immortal Rules is a very dark, extremely intense and stunning vampire novel!

I’m not kidding. I thought I would see some sparkling-glowing-glittering-blinding-beautiful vampires while reading the novel. But no, what did I get? 
Badass vampire heroine. Intense and action-packed battles and bloodbaths. Engaging writing style. Very detailed world-building and back stories. Intense plot twist and turns and mysteries.

The Story. I didn’t really know that this is also a dystopian novel not until I started reading. And when I first stumbled with the words “Fringe”, “wall”, “inner city”, I thought about Divergent, The Hunger Games, and other dystopian novels I’ve read before. But as I go on, no, this is totally different. It still gave off the same dystopian feels just like the others, but The Immortal Rules left a stronger impression on me. We don’t have Jeanine Matthews or President Snow as rulers here. We have a Vampire prince. Yes. Talk about vampires who rule a whole city? And outside the city walls, lurking were rabids. These rabids, were more like zombies. That’s why humans chose to lived with vampires and become bloodbags inside the city walls instead of being devoured by these scary  and horrifying rabids.
When I was just about 30 pages I already felt the intensity of this novel. I kept going on and all the while I was reading, I was always on the edge with every scenes. Whenever there’s a fight scenes, I always get out like I was the one fighting that whole time.

“You don’t dwell on what you’ve lost, you just move on.” -Allison

The Characters. Our dear heroine, Allison Sekemoto, is not just like any other heroine who always end up with trouble and will just wait to be saved. Allie is not the common damsel in distress female protagonist. She is smart, strong, brave, and tough. She can handle herself just as perfectly right. Although there were times when emotions overwhelmed her, most of the times, she thinks first before doing something completely stupid. And before I knew it, I started to love her more and more. A beautiful, exotic-looking vampire girl with a katana, as according to Zeke. So much for being an Asian vampire samurai, don’t you think? Allie totally exceeded my expectations on what kind of heroine I would find in this novel.
Then I came to these dark risky journeys. I was able to meet the mysterious vampire Kanin, Allie’s teacher. Kanin is so interesting, and I find him, I don’t know, cool and handsome? lol. I even made a mental note that he might be Allie’s love interest. Ah, I won’t tell anymore than that. Then I met more menacing vampires like Sarren, the psycho vampire, and Jackal. 
I just like how Julie Kagawa has been so faithful on what we already believe vampires are. Strong, bloodsuckers, soulless, heartless, and dangerous monsters. They sleep during the day like the dead (well, they’re technically dead) or else they’ll burn into flames when exposed to sun. They needed to hunt and feed to keep their immortality. We don’t have those flashy and sparkly vampires under the sun (from what I’m always getting from mangas. lol).

During Allie’s venture, she found a group humans. There, I met Zeke, hateful Ruth, Caleb, Darren and the others. She stayed with them and traveled with them to find some safe haven. There were so many things going on and I’m not just about to spoil you. Zeke, this charming handsome guy, was at first very boring to me, knowing that he’ll have a big big role on the story. But that downside was overshadowed by the subsequent happenings. He eventually grew on me. Then I started liking him more as much as I was hating Ruth. lol. 
The Writing. The world-building and back stories were too detailed and engaging. Not flawless, but perfectly absorbing. I’ve always love Julie Kagawa’s writing style so I wasn’t that much surprised on that. But the whole story was nothing compared to what I’ve expected. I actually received so much more and it totally exceeded my expectations on this novel. A dystopian sci-fi vampire novel, that’s just too cool! Plus there were some nice twist and turns. Some things I predicted were right spot on, some were just too wrong which kinda surprised me. 

“The closer you got to someone, the more it would destroy you when they were inevitably gone.”

The Romance. I didn’t look forward on too mushy and cheesy romance this time. Well, because we have a very dark story here, I was just too focused on the main plot ahead. There are no romantic scenes to fangirl until about 60% of the book, I guess? But when  it finally happened, oh, everything just went light and vivid at the same time. I was just too glad how the added romance perfectly balanced darkness and light. It’s just beautiful as it was — well, at least for me.

Final Verdict. Overall, I totally love this book! It became my instant favorite just as soon as I finished it. I never really thought I would love a vampire novel this much. The feelings I have for this book is just too strong to ignore now. I totally recommend this one if you want some dark twisted story with intense actions and a very strong and likable heroine. I am so excited for the book two and its developments!

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