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?
THE IRON FEY SERIES is my favorite YA fanatsy books. I love them. I don't read a lot of paranormal and never zombies. I love Kagawas wrting but not sure if Immortal Rules is for me.ReplyDelete
See, you are the person this post was written for!ReplyDelete
Try it!!!! If you love her writing, I think you'll like it.
Lol. I don't know, blood, zombies, vamps...I won't sleep for a week!Delete
The only thing that gave me nightmares was the movie I Am Legend.Delete
I am not a zombie person either. I've heard amazing things about this book though, and her others. Not sure that I will pick this one up anytime soon. It sounds a little more adventurous for me and something I need to be in the mood for. But thanks to your review I won't be saying "nah I won't ever read that" about this one!ReplyDelete
Glad I got you to put it on your "maybe" list!Delete
I read this book despite generally preferring lighter fare...and I really loved it too! Allie seemed very real and human (even once she was a vampire) and she was a great character!ReplyDelete
I completely agree. I'm really glad I tried it!Delete
I like edgy and I'm really looking forward to reading this. Even more now that I know you liked it even though it wasn't the kind of thing you usually like. And I know what you mean about the cookies! I tried to read I Am Not A Serial Killer over dinner... worst idea ever. That book opened with a graphic depiction of the main character helping his mom embalm a dead body!ReplyDelete
Yeah, I usually don't eat and read, especially if I want to pass the book on. But I was reading this on my kindle, so I thought, oh, I'll just have a cookie. Bad idea!!!Delete
I haven't read this yet! But I so cannot wait to! I love that it combines vampires and a post-apocalyptic world. :)ReplyDelete
Then it is perfect for you!!!!Delete
I loved this book!! I think I'm falling in love with Julie Kagawa's writing style. I've only read one Iron Fey book, but enjoyed it a lot. Allie is such a kick ass character and does retain a lot of her humanity even after she is a vampire.ReplyDelete
I glad you gave it a shot even though it's not your normal type of read and even glader that you enjoyed it!
I did really enjoy the writing and loved Allie. I think that's what made this book work for me!Delete
I am planning on reading it, although I wish it had less blood and gore. Thanks for the review!ReplyDelete
I just read those parts really fast. And no cookies!!!Delete
Hmmm. I might be in the minority here. I really didn't like the Iron Fey series. I wanted too, I really did but the characters fell flat for me. That being said, I will probably read this book. The story sounds pretty awesome and if Julie Kagawa can write a main female character that doesn't lose her wits this time when a dude is around then I am sold. Thanks for the review!ReplyDelete
I didn't read that series, but Allie is a great, strong female character. Let me know where you come out on it!Delete
I've read and really liked Julie's Iron Fey Series, so when I found out she was writing a series with Vampires, I immediately added it to my TBR. I actually prefer Vampire books over Fey (Fae) books, so I was really excited about this one! Amazon has FINALLY shipped out my copy and I should get it within a couple days. So glad to hear you loved it! Great review Jen.ReplyDelete
This is perfect for you -- hope you love it!Delete
Yay!! So glad that you liked it. I know that you were hesitant about it, but I am so glad that you read it. Now you just need to read The As The World Dies series by Rhiannon Frater!! That series rocks. It's really about survival and coming together with other people to do what it right. I know it's zombies, but it's so good!!ReplyDelete
I will put it on my list.Delete
See, this is how the zombie-lovers draw you in. Slowly....
*evil laugh* Come to the dark side....Delete
I have this book in the video I am posting tomorrow of books I've won.. I don't know when I would be able to read it thoughReplyDelete
You must have a lot of books to read!!!Delete
hundreds... i'm drowning.Delete
"There were some gruesome scenes in this book, and one of them came right when I was eating cookies."ReplyDelete
That totally cracked me up for some reason. Now I feel kind of bad, I hope you didn't choke or anything:)
So I totally caved last night (what a surprise!) and bought this (along with Insurgent)and after reading your review I can't wait to get started on it! I really enjoyed the Iron Fey books (all but the 4th one, which was disappointing to me) So I am already a fan of Julie's works. Glad you tried this one and liked it Jen even if it is a bit on the gory side:)
Then I'm sure you'll enjoy it. Let me know.Delete
And watch those cookies!
Wonderful review jen! I am definately planning on reading this book! ( just this morning i went all around the internet looking for excerpts, which was fun!) I really liked your summary of this book!ReplyDelete
I'm also not a fan of zombies, but for some odd reason i don't mind vampires. i guess bloodsucking doesn't freak me out as much as brain eating.
I'm glad your enjoying this book! you should definitely read the iron fey series (if you haven't already) its amazing and does not have gore.
:) Awesome job!
Thanks so much for stopping by!Delete
I will put the Iron Fey on my summer reading pile!
I'm in two minds about reading this. For one, if I should not have a cookie while I read it, maybe I ought to pass.ReplyDelete
On the other hand the reviews have all been great.
Just don't eat while reading it if you don't have a strong stomach.Delete
It's really good ;)
SQUEE!! Sarah just read it and she has nothing but AMAZING things to say! I am sooo excited to read it. My arc is waiting patiently but I can't seem to get to it fast enough!ReplyDelete
Great review, friend!!
I know the feeling!Delete
I have so many books in my pile. Must. Read. Faster.
There were some gruesome scenes in this book, and one of them came right when I was eating cookies. LOL! Don't you hate that?! I'm not a big fan of gore myself, but I can somehow tolerate it in books more than in movies. I guess because I can kind of skim over it on the page and if I see it on the screen it's like imprinted on my brain...ReplyDelete
I guess Kagawa has decided to take it up a notch, because the Iron Fey series is not gory at all. I did really like that series, so I'm excited to read this one. And it sounds like a really cool premise. So I'm glad you liked it despite the gory bits. I think I should be okay, then, too. ;) Great review, Jen!
Well, maybe some people would read it and say, "That wasn't gory at all." I think it's okay for vampires to be gory.Delete
And I completely agree. I can read gore because I can skim. My husband just rented some completely gruesome Ryan Gosling movie (Drive) and I accidentally caught a scene that is still grossing me out. Ugh!!!
I LOVE Ryan Gosling but I just can't watch that movie. My husband was watching it one day, too, but luckily it was some day where I was going out or I was holed up in the bedroom reading or something, so I didn't see much of it.Delete
I know. I was just hoping to stare at Ryan Gosling. I really didn't need to see that other stuff....Delete