Wednesday, May 2, 2012
Just Finished Reading... Immortal Rules
By Julie Kagawa
Published on: April 24, 2010
by Harlequin Teen
Source: Received an e-ARC from the publisher via NetGalley. You can read my review policy/disclosure here.
If you're a regular reader of my blog, you know that I'm a little ... squeamish. I like my paranormal creatures on the tamer side of the spectrum. And I'm REALLY not a fan of zombies.
So maybe me reviewing Immortal Rules is like a vegetarian reviewing a steakhouse. But I'm trying to expand my reading horizons. I've also heard great things about Julie Kagawa's Iron Fey series. And in my opinion, a good book is a good book, no matter what the genre.
My summary: Allie Sekemoto is an Unregistered human living on the city's fringes. Being Unregistered means that she isn't subject to vampire bloodletting, but it also means that she gets no meal tickets, so she and and her gang of Unregistereds have to scrounge for life's essentials. That's fine with Allie; she would rather be free and hungry than be subject to the vampires who've taken over after the human population was decimated by the fatal Red Lung disease. One day, on a mission to get food, Allie is fatally injured by the rabids, the zombie-like creatures stricken by a mutated form of the disease. She's saved by Kanin, a vampire, and given choice: die or he'll turn her and she can live as the one of the creatures she loathes. She makes the choice to live, and is taught vampire ways by her sire. But Allie is consumed with self-hatred, especially when she encounters a band of humans who have faith that there is an Eden, a place where they can be safe from rabids and vampires and find a way to save humankind.
My take: This is edgier paranormal stuff than I usually read. The vampires are seriously sinister and the rabids are a lot like zombies. There were some gruesome scenes in this book, and one of them came right when I was eating cookies.
But I loved Immortal Rules. Why? Because this book was, at its core, a timeless tale about faith and hope and the resilience of the human spirit.
Allie hates vampires more than anything. But when it comes down to it, she chooses to live. And then she struggles mightily with that choice, with the fact that she's become the thing she most hates. When she meets Jebbediah and his plucky religious group, she is touched by their faith, even though she fears there is no Eden, even though she knows the group would never trust her if they knew the truth about her. As a vampire, she has superhuman strength. She knows if this fragile band of humans is ever to make it to Eden, they need her help.
Allie is a fantastic character. She reminded me of the classic loner hero of an old Western, riding down Main Street, ready to defend the townspeople from ruthless cattle rustlers. Or the wandering knight errant in an Arthurian romance, traveling from place to place, fighting villains. Of course, Allie fights with a katuna, a samurai sword, instead of a six-shooter pistol. She yearns for human connection and understanding. She begins to have feelings for Zeke, a human boy, knowing that he will reject her when he realizes that her heart doesn't beat, that she drinks blood.
For those of you who can't get enough of edgy urban fantasy and gruesome post-apocalyptic chaos, Immortal Rules has all that and more: flying body parts, heart-pounding fight scenes, blood galore. But if you're like me and can do without that stuff, I think you should still try this book. In it, I found something I could really relate to: a simple story of a girl who just wants to be loved and accepted for who she is.
Have you read this book? Planning to?