Saturday, August 18, 2012

Review: The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa

**Note: a copy of this book was provided via Netgalley - thank-you! - in exchange for an honest review. I also bought myself a copy beforehand, but still thought it a point to mention. :)


The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa
My rating: 5 of 5 genies
Genre: YA, Dystopian, Horror, Vampires, Romance, Adventure
Published: April 24, 2012
Pages: 485
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Source: Netgalley (Thank-you!) and Purchased
Format: eBook and Hardcover
Purchase At: The BookDepository.com or Amazon.com



Goodreads Summary

"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.

My Thoughts

The Immortal Rules was not what I expected. Honestly, I hadn't really given the book much thought following its release, besides a few shinning reviews and my awesome steal of a copy at Walmart; I got it for 8 bucks! Hardback. WIN!! Though, I was still hesitant to actually read it because the other book by Julie Kagawa - Iron Fey - did not leave me a happy camper. I was kind of pissed at this book actually, regarding it with all the affability usually awarded to stray cats or squatters. I have an addiction and buy cheap books whenever possible, so sue me, but now that the book was mine...what was I to do with it? Donate it to the orphanage? Let it decorate my shelves? None of those options really work for me. Good money was spent on this.

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Deep in my mind I was unconsciously avoiding the book like the plague, Iron Fey was alright but took 2 readings for me to tolerate it, and there wasn't a need for a repeat of that. Still, my friends were going a little insane about this book's greatness, it's ability to cure cancer and whatnot; quite frankly they scared me a little, and so I figured giving it a try would validate not only our friendship, but also their sanity. Thank goodness, The Immortal Rules is certifiably 100% fresh!

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Everything about this book is so good, it doesn't beg you to keep reading, you are the one begging for it not to end. Ever. I think I groaned a little in my hotel suite when the arrow on my Kindle wouldn't give me anymore pages. I wanted to throw it on the ground out of frustration, but in the end, I ended up cradling poor Tookie (my kindle) and crying like a giant just stole my lollipop. Ah, it still hurts to think about it!

Allie is incredible. Allie is so badass, she adds an entirely new facet to the definition. Like seriously, this girl? She will impress you. Allie is giving, vulnerable at instances, cautious and an all around admirable heroine. She goes above and beyond what I thought to expect of her, making me regret in a big way not having met her sooner. I love this girl, um...vampire, because she does not let her situation define her. Allie was Turned when she along with a couple of friends went in search of food amidst the Ruins, and her life is never the same. The world, not as it should be, is ruled by vampires in a system where humans trade blood and service in exchange for the vampire Master's protection and well-being. Living in the Fringes, Allison and three other friends defy the system and forage the remains of the world to survive. One night as their stocks continue to dwindle, a particular run through the Ruins promises to yield plentiful bounty, but the kids are ambushed and Rabids - viciously mad vampires infected with a disease tearing the world apart - intercept the group before they can make it back to their Haven in the City.

Everyone ends up dead - supposedly - and Allie is on the brink of perishing when a Master vampire, Kanin, offers her a choice: Die, or Survive on as a Vampire, the species she detests? It happens that years of having to look thrice behind her back and scavenge for everything has made Allison quite the survivor, guess which way that pendulum swung? Yeah.

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I was expecting a lot of self-loathing post her Turning. Not going to lie, a part of me dreaded the assumed angst to come. This is how I saw it happening:

Typical newly Turned Vamp: 'Ah, I'm a monster, I eat people and crap."

100 pages further into the book. The character still hasn't moved, she's in shock still.

Typical newly Turned Vamp *speaking around the jug-full of blood currently in their mouth*: Gosh. My life, like, will never be the same again.

Post another 100 pages, nothing has still happened. Is there a trend here? If this character moves, we have reached the climax!

I will not lie to you, if that happened, I would have killed something. Or myself. More likely the first option is true, turns out, Allie and I have that in common, the want for survival. That, or I'd be too lazy to actually enact violence...Meh. I settle for this:

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Works like a dream!


Luckily, there was none of that! Not really. She, Allie, was more so resigned to what she had become and focussed on learning how best to understand, cum sustain her immortality. The beginning of this book was decent, but it was seeing Allie become a vampire and her interactions with Kanin - do I smell a love interest? - that really piqued my interest. It was great that Julie Kagawa acknowledged the wear of this particular genre, vampires have been done to death, and didn't assume the audience ignorant of the supernatural being's abilities or weaknesses. In fact, I would go so far as to say that she enhanced those weaknesses by backing them with real emotions and motives; Kagawa was kind of amazing, in everything, really, and I couldn't let go of Tookie for fear of missing out on the adventure.

I took my kindle everywhere and read in each place imaginable, the restaurant, food court, shopping mall and bathroom. Everywhere, this book demanded my attention. Which brings me to another equally intriguing factor: the plot and its characters, both were very well done and overall consistent to the point of near perfection. I won't spoil anything, but know that the characters really helped make my reading better. All of them, Jeb, Zeke (insert a million hearts here), Allie, Kanin, and even Ruth contributed in a huge way; they were alive to me and when something bad or good happened to them, I had to care. What kind of person would I be if I didn't?

Zeke is special to me because of his nature and the way his character progressed; there was a great deal of progression seen from both him and Allie, and the good little Preacher's son became a very worthy leader, one of the best I've seen in Dystopian YA. His heart touched me as did Allie's, and the two of them being together brings hope for the desolate world in which they live. Is it naive of me to think that as long as Zeke or Allie are there, the world cannot possibly fall? Now I'm just getting sentimental.

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Overall, I guess my opinion cannot make anyone love this book as much as I did, not necessarily, and some may find reason to complain in places I did not, that is fine. This is just a review, nothing more, and this is me clocking in to say that I FREAKING LOVE EVERY BIT OF THE IMMORTAL RULES! In every way, this book is stupendous.

The Immortal Rules was innovative, exciting and everything from the well-spun plot, fabulous characters and great world building left me with a huge sense of satisfaction and definite plans to get my hand on that sequel. I'm dying to know what happens, is the cure for Rabidism found, what happens to Kanin...Gimme, Gimme. So... I'm a fan now, of Julie Kagawa and this book, and I guess that means my $8 was well spent. I'll be reading more of this author. Lots of love!

genies: WOWZA. Yes, this is that book, the book you've been looking for! 
You need this novel in your life, take it from me. 


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The Truth And Nothing BUT...

Going by FTC guidelines, allow me to point out that all the novels reviewed on this blog were either bought by me, or given by an author or publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Those books received from Authors and Publishers will be stated clearly as such, as will the ones purchased by myself. There is no shady business going on; no coercion, bribery or compensation has or will ever be received in exchange for any reviews. These thoughts are mine, wacky as they may be, and my honest opinion is all you can truly expect. Still reading? You should be off checking out those awesome reviews ;)