Blood of Eden/Book 1
Harlequin Teen/April 24, 2012
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.
After reading and loving Julie Kagawa's Iron Fey series I was more than willing to read anything she writes, even vampires. Vampires don't have the pull for me that they use to but Kagawa change my mind with her dark, violent, emotional story of a world gone horribly wrong. At just under 500 pages I was surprised at how fast I flew through this book. It was hard to find a stopping point when I found myself
Allison Sekemoto could be called many things - fighter, survivor, cold-hearted, loner. She is seventeen but only by sheer guts and instincts has she managed to stay alive this long. Her life is a continuous struggle for survival, living in the Fringe where not only vampires but rival gangs offer a constant threat. With no family, Allison has only her small gang and a need to fight back against the vampires to keep her going.
Allie is such a well developed character. At first she comes across as cold, with little feelings for anyone else. She is loyal to her gang members but much of that comes from the need to belong to a gang to survive. Through Allie we see how the many orphans are forced to grow up quickly if they are to have a chance at survival. Allie is compelled to make so many life or death decisions and it's not just her life in danger. We see how Allie wrestles with her survival instincts as they conflict with the moral dilemmas she faces. Allie is far from being a stagnant character. She changes from a human to a vampire but it's as if being a vampire brings out her humanity.
The Immortal Rules is told from Allison's POV but that doesn't stop the reader from getting to know the other characters. Kagawa does well in showing, through Allison's eyes, how the plague and the sixty years following has affected each character. We don't learn everything there is to know about Allison and the "people" who come into her life but there is plenty there to allow the reader to form opinions about these characters and what drives them to make the decisions they do. No info dumps here but rather the bits and pieces of each characters' lives are well blended throughout the story.
The action may take place on the page but it can get your heart rate up as Allie fights for her life. Even knowing from the blurb that she will become a vampire doesn't lessen the impact of the danger Allie confronts. Long after Allie becomes one of the fanged she still faces enemies that can kill her. The tension and emotions run high but the fight scenes are just as intense. I loved the way the fight scenes were written. It was so easy to picture the action, the moves of each character and the resulting pain and death.
The world Kagawa has created is a dangerous place filled with menacing creatures, courageous humans, a vampire who needs redeeming and a brave and reckless heroine who learns that it's okay to give a damn about others, even at the cost of your own life. In The Immortal Rules Julie Kagawa has proven the vampire crazy is not over but is just gearing up for something new.