Title: The Immortal Rules [Blood of Eden 1]
Author: Julie Kagawa
Genre: Paranormal, Romance, Dystopian, Vampires, Post-Apocalyptic
Rating: 5 Stars
Description/Synopsis: 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.
WARNING - SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT - REVIEW BELOW
I ADORE this book. I know, I know, everyone wants to whine about how vampire books are overdone, but I really don't care. I love vampires - and this isn't a vampire tale like any other. The vampires in The Immortal Rules are ruthless, savage, sometimes even rabid, beasts. There's no seductive, sparkly vampires here. In fact, the closest we come to a "nice" vampire is the main character, and even she'll admit that you should never trust a vampire.
I really liked Allie ... and well... all the characters. They each had distinct personalities and depth to their characters. I even liked the villains.. and usually I don't. I think my favorite part of this book though, was Allie's struggle with humanity. She came from a background where even the humans were barely human and had to decide to become the one thing she hated more than anything - a vampire. Even up until the very end though, she struggled to maintain her humanity, not just in the "I'm going to show compassion" way we normally see... no, Allie took the more complicated route.. She still didn't trust people or vampires, but she did her best, struggling with her nature, and the nature of those around her in order to protect what little humanity she could still find in the world. I came away from this story with a great respect for this tragic individual who was willing to sacrifice everything in order to save just a handful of humans even though she knew in the end she'd have to leave them. Allie may be one of my favorite book heroine's. She was naive at times and often made bad decisions, but she wasn't a whiny, helpless heroine. She sucked it up when it mattered and did her best to atone for the mistakes she made. The girl had guts.
I also really appreciated Zeke. It would have been so easy for him to become a character much like Stick - a helpless, naive human that depended on others. Instead, despite his horrific situation in the group (I hate you Jeb - in a loving way.), he tried his best to see the good in the world and help every person he could - even when it turned out the people he trusted betrayed him. Despite his deep-seated hatred of vampires, he struggled to hold on to that hope, and eventually was able to see Allie for what she was : Just a girl that made a hard choice and struggled to be what everyone said she couldn't be... a vampire that retained some semblance of humanity.
I thought the ending was perfect.
I think it would have been too nicely wrapped up if Allie had stayed with Zeke and the group, instead she went back out into the fray, intent on continuing her journey and paying back the kindness shown to her. It was tragic to watch her walk out of the gates of Eden and turn her back on the group that had become in a way, family to her, but I was cheering her on as she did it.
I feel incredibly blessed to have been given a chance to read the sequel on NetGalley directly after this one, and I can't wait to get started!