PUBLISHER: Mira Ink (UK) | Harlequin Teen (US)
RELEASE DATE: May 2012 (UK) | April 2012 (US)
FORMAT: Kindle, 484 pages
GENRE: Paranormal, Young Adult
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. (Goodreads)
As a fan of Julie Kagawa’s Iron Fey Series I was highly anticipating the release of THE IMMORTAL RULES.
THE IMMORTAL RULES is a post-apocalyptic vampire novel set in a dilapidated America written from the point of view of the main protagonist, Allison Sekemoto (Allie). Allie is human, an unregistered teenage girl who lives on the outskirts of a vampire city called New Covington. An unregistered human is someone who is not owned by a vampire and so does not provide blood, which means to the vampires she doesn’t exist. This is a dangerous way to live as vampires own and control everything: food, clothing, shelter, even knowledge. To survive, Allie has to scavenge, but if she is caught stealing or reading then the punishment is death by hanging.
Allie is part of a small gang of four and is protective over Stick, a small boy that seems unable to fend for himself, and shares whatever she has with him. She proves to be an independent, courageous, determined, caring individual from the offset taking great risks to save herself and her gang from starvation. Food is scarce so she leaves the safety of the city walls through the sewers to try and find some in the ruins making sure to be back by dark. The city walls not only keep them penned in, they act as a protection from the rabids.
Rabids are mindless, bloodthirsty creatures that were accidently created after vampires were purposely infected with the red lung virus, that was decimating the human population, to try and find a cure. Rabids live freely outside the city so going to the ruins is a great risk for Allie, especially when darkness falls.
On a trip to the city from the ruins, Allie runs into a stranger who she quickly realizes is a vampire, unexpectedly this vampire has a civil conversation with Allie instead of harming her. The strange vampire turns out to be a master vampire named Kanin. Kanin saves Allie when during a return trip to the ruins with her gang to retrieve the food goes wrong when the gang is attacked by rabids. Allie’s wounds are fatal so Kanin gives Allie a choice, die or become a vampire. Allie chooses to survive as a vampire, a creature she loathes. Kanin teaches her the rules of survival as an immortal explaining the complex hierarchy that exists in the vampire community, who can make another vampire, how to hunt and feed but most importantly how to survive. However, Allie refuses to let go of her past and returns to the ruins to see if any of her gang survived.
Kanin is a wanted vampire and should not be in the city, however Allie’s actions leads to their vampire hideout being discovered. Kanin protects Allie and sacrifices himself to be caught allowing Allie to flee the city but she is alone. During Allie’s journey she has an occasional nightmare and experiences some of the torture Kanin’s captors are inflicting upon him. It’s these nightmares that determine the next road Allie takes when the path splits and she is again alone. During Allie’s journey she has an occasional nightmare and experiences some of the torture Kanin’s captors are inflicting upon him. It’s these nightmares that determine the next road Allie takes when the road splits and she is again alone.
Cast out she wanders and discovers the world outside the city, everything is desolate, only coming into contact with animals and rabids. Lacking human blood her body starts to give in to the madness and bloodlust of the monster she has become. Her bloodlust drives her to try to satiate her hunger through animal blood until she hears a rumbling and sees lights travelling along a road. Investigating the noise she comes to the first road since leaving the city and finds raiders.
Raiders are a dangerous motorbike gang who live in the old human city Chicago and they work for the vampire, King Jackal. The raiders viewed Allie as a weak lonely human girl who they could take advantage of little did they expect Allie would eat them for dinner as the bloodlust controls her, fulfilling Kanin’s teachings.
“Sometime in your life, Allison Sekemoto, you will kill a human being. Accidentally or as a conscious, deliberate act. It is unavoidable. The question is not if it will happen, but when.”
Hunger satisfied and again in control of her bloodlust Allie continues on the road, which leads her to find a large human group of wanderers who are searching in hope for a place called Eden, a human settlement that is rumored to exist, which is entirely free from vampires and rabids. Allie instantly likes Ezekiel Crosse (Zeke), a 17 year old blonde, blue-eyed boy who is second in command and he invites her to stay. As the group travel at night and sleep during the day she is able to continue her journey with them hiding her true identity, and keeping her bloodlust in check.
The book picks up pace as Allie interacts with others and she is able to finally show her true personality as she fights and hides the monster within. I enjoyed the relationships she formed with the rest of the group and the efforts she endured to not eat certain members of the group. Allie’s protectiveness as she helps to defend the group from rabids and raiders, and her kindness as she tries to hunt and provide food for the group to lift some of the burden from Zeke shoulders, and her strength as she continues to fight the monster she is, makes Allie an intriguing and loveable character.
After a feeding that goes wrong the group find out what she is and drives her away despite her saving Bethany’s life, an eight year old girl who got swept away in a river, and are too scared to trust her even though she has protected and never hurt them. Allie decides that even though they want her gone she is determined to help them to get to Eden although it’s from the shadows.
When the need arrives Allie is able to help Zeke and preserve a secret by taking on King Jackal in his own city trying to rescue Zeke’s group and their leader Jeb.
Who will survive King Jackal’s Chicago and find Eden? Will Zeke be able to see her as anything other than a monster? And what will happen to Allie if they find Eden? The following quote explains the difficult choice Allie had to continually make and the strength and determination she possess.
We are vampires, Kanin had told me, on one of our last nights together. It makes no difference who we are, where we came from. Princes, Masters and rabids alike, we are monsters, cut off from humanity. They will never accept us. We hide in their midst and walk among them, but we are forever separate. Damned. Alone. You don’t understand now, but you will. There will come a time when the road before you splits, and you must decide your path. Will you choose to become a demon with a human face, or will you fight your demon until the end of time, knowing you will forever struggle alone?
In THE IMMORTAL RULES Julie Kagawa creates a monstrous futuristic vampire world in which humans are no more than cattle. Despite Allie’s hatred towards the vampires she is scared of death more and as such chooses to become what she hates most. It’s her struggles to come to terms with what she has become, trying to keep hold of her humanity, maintaining her caring nature that makes her a strong lovable character who you want to survive. As she finds love in Zeke she decides that some things are worth dying for and will do whatever it takes to ensure he reaches his goal.
Overall I loved THE IMMORTAL RULES, I couldn’t put it down. Having vampires as the sun hating blood suckers of nightmares all set in a dystopian future, two of my favourite genres, is a great combination. I can’t wait for the next book in the series as we continue on Allie’s journey to find her sire Kanin. Well worth staying up until 4am to finish.
BOOKS IN SERIES ORDER
1. The Immortal Rules
2. The Eternity Cure
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