Review: The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa

April 25, 2012 3.5 stars, Book Review 22 ★★★½

The Immortal Rules

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.

*** Beware I’d consider my CONS section to have spoilers!! ***

I have no doubt many readers will love The Immortal Rules.  It has a strong willed and stubborn heroine, as well as that touch of romance.  Throw in enough bloodletting action to keep the pace moving along well and you’ve got a good read.

However, personally, I did not love The Immortal Rules, though I did enjoy it. (If I’d loved it I would have finished it in under 2 days – rather than the 13 it took me.  That is a long time for me to finish a book. )  I believe this might have been mostly because I have a tendency to mull over details, and The Immortal Rules had too many things for me that conflicted.

There were some excellent ideas but I felt like all of it didn’t quite gel together perfectly for me.  I had to really break it all down in a list of Pros and Cons.

Pros:

– Allie is a strong lead character, I felt she had a strong voice and inner dialogue that kept me interested in how things would turn out for her.  Her attitude that makes her want to butt her head up against any authority is totally understandable and realistically done.

– Second main supporting character, Zeke,  was totally a “golden boy” but if you can get past that you will probably really like him.  I started to think of him as that shiny happy person you would love to hate but just can’t.  He was idealistic and wanted to watch out for everyone, even complete strangers – though towards the end you see him mature a lot.

– Ruth! I hated her! Which was fabulous because I know I was supposed to hate her.  Now Stick on the other hand, I hated him and that just annoyed me, because HE annoyed me.  I don’t like being overly annoyed to the point where I just want to punch a character in the face.  BUT! – The fact that Kagawa was able to get me to feel so strongly about characters is definitely a GOOD thing.

– The inner struggle that Allie goes through when trying to determine what kind of “monster” she would be definitely kept me interested.  She obviously doesn’t want to give into her vampire nature and you see her struggle against it throughout the story.  The way she matures over the course of the book was well done

Cons:

– Annoying character Stitch in the first part of the book.  He would have been more tolerable if he was at least given ANY redeeming quality at all that would have made it worth Allie’s time at all constantly taking care of him.  I have to admit I seriously hated this character and Allie’s stupid actions in regards to him.  Especially what with her supposed “hardened” outlook on life.

– There were points in the book that were so contradictory.  She pretty much carried Stitch’s weight the whole time they knew each other, and yet later in the book her inner monologue she tried to act as if looking out for other’s and sacrificing for them weren’t already a part of her nature.  It was annoying because – it seemed like false modesty to me.

– The timeline of the plague and the rabids, and the decline of all civilization seemed completely wrong to me.  It’s noted in the first chunks of the book about “6 generations” of vampires” and how all books had been burned and places of learning so that humans could be kept in the dark about their history.  Also, what with the destroying of museums.  So essentially hardly anyone could read.  But then later in the book you learn that it’s more like 3 human generations since the outbreak of the rabidism.  There is no way that all of the buildings in this post-apocalyptic America could have degraded to the state they were in, in just a mere 100 years or less.  Even if the buildings were abandoned and not looked after they would not have degraded that far.

– Onto another point, beer, food stuffs, all sundry items that the traveling group of humans were scavenging for at every town they passed thru.  If that much time had passed since the fall of industry and mass production these products would no longer be good.  The canned goods, perhaps yes, but beer and pretzels/chips – most certainly would not.

– The romance aspect, I see why Allie starts to develop feelings but I didn’t quite see much of why Zeke would develop feelings for her.  I don’t think enough of her character was put out there for Zeke to have fallen for her as he did, at least not until the latter part of the book.

Even considering my gripes I definitely still plan to read the next book when it comes out because it was a good book and I am very curious as to how things are going to play out.

 

 The Immortal Rules

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*Review Copy provided by Publisher, Harlequin Teen, for an honest review.  All opinions expressed are my own.

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Tabitha (Pabkins)

When I'm in the zone I can flip book pages faster than the eye can see - screaming "More Input!" I'm a book, yarn, & art supply hoarding goblin who loves to draw, make toys and craft all sorts of creepy cute things. My current habit is to listen to audio books while I'm arting it up!
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22 Responses to “Review: The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa”

  1. Kristilyn (Reading in Winter)

    Oh thank goodness! I was worried I’d be the only one who disliked this book. Thank you for all of the points you made about the timeline and about Stick. I didn’t even think about the timeline issues, but it makes sense … and I agree that if so much time had gone by and buildings had become completely rundown there would probably be no food left OR it would be no good anymore.

    Anyway … thanks for this!
    Kristilyn (Reading in Winter) recently posted…DISCUSSION: Stepping back, taking breaksMy Profile

  2. DannyBookworm

    Oh I’m so sorry you didn’t like it as much as you hoped! It’s so horrible when you expect to love a book and then ended up dissapointed!
    And yep, 13 days to read it definitely speaks volume!

    Not every book is for every one and I personally loved it! I loved the world and epecially Allie! Those timeline cotratidtions somehow worry me… I will keep that in mind when I read it again :))
    DannyBookworm recently posted…Character Interview: Galen and Toraf from Of Poseidon by Anna Banks! & GiveawayMy Profile

  3. Ellie

    I did wonder about the canned food but thought that maybe some places hadn’t been abandoned that long. There were obviously communities elsewhere that were getting by and that the rabid situation had developed over time. I thought that only Allie’s generation couldn’t read and it had just been banned in her city. Her mother read and there were still books about. There are buildings round here that have maybe been empty 20 years and are in a bad way, it happens. I was hungover when I read it do maybe I missed all those inconsistencies but I thought it was believable enough for a book about vampires (ie fantasy not science fiction).
    Ellie recently posted…Heart-Shaped BruiseMy Profile

    • Pabkins

      Very good points. I just pointed out things that seemed inconsistent to me. I still found it mostly believable but I tend to look at the flow of things a lot and get nitpicky about those sort of things. Yes, I agree the rabidism outbreak and spread did happen over time. Same with the Red Lung. But hey even if it is fantasy she’s basing it off of what could happen that it springs from our reality so timelines are definitely important. Thanks for sharing your point of view!
      Pabkins recently posted…Review: The Immortal Rules by Julie KagawaMy Profile

  4. Amanda

    I can definitely see Stick being a bit annoying! He got on my nerves too a bit.

    On the destruction front though, we do know what used to be Chicago (aka Old Chicago) is now at least partially underwater. I’d assume whatever caused that probably didn’t help the structures in the rest of the area.
    Amanda recently posted…Daemon Invasion – Tour AnnouncementMy Profile

  5. Sarah (saz101)

    Oooh, I’m reading this one now, and I’ll still have to see… I’m really liking how… bristly Allie is, and how she REFUSES to be someone’s ‘property’, even if it’s just in name, and to have a decent meal.

    Thanks for the heads-up on the ‘CONS’ spoilerishness. I just skimmed, and skipped when I saw names ;D

    SO agree with the scavenging food. No WAY would any food be good, 3 OR 6 generations later, but… hmm… we shall see 🙂

    Fab review!
    Sarah (saz101) recently posted…STORM BLOG TOUR: The People of Storm Fantasy Casting with Brigid Kemmerer!My Profile

  6. Scarlett

    I didn’t really read your whole review because I’m in the middle of the book right now. I did realize that you have a different opinion than what others have expressed (as in not a gushing one) so am excited to come back and see what exactly you liked and didn’t like about the book after I am finished.
    Scarlett recently posted…Review: The Guild vol. 2 by Felicia DayMy Profile

    • Pabkins

      I do the same thing! I don’t like to read the reviews of a book I plan to read until after I’ve read it. Then I feel like there is that chance to have the other reader’s thoughts stuck in my head. Look forward to hearing what you think!

  7. Paige

    I agree with you I absolutley hated Ruth too! Although that didn’t stop me from being a tad sad with her ending =/ Awesome review =)

    ~Paige @ Comfort Books
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    • Pabkins

      haha – when she died I was like “Ding Dong the Witch is Dead!”

  8. Ari

    It is nice to hear both about the good and the bad. I plan to read it soon. And if you want to read the next one, that makes me think that the ‘pros’ won the battle, LOL
    Happy midnight reading!

    • Pabkins

      Oh definitely I am totally interested enough to read the next one. I’m a firm believer in that sometimes the follow up books are better than the first. Its like getting on your feet in the morning, it can be a bit shakey at first – even for seasoned writers I’m sure. This is my first Julie Kagawa book I’ve read so I’m giving her a chance.

    • Pabkins

      You loved it huh? I must read your review then if you’ve written one!

  9. Bookworm1858

    I didn’t even think about the timeline issues while reading this; I was more interested in trying to figure out where in the US they were. I was so happy to read about their trip to Chicago since that at least gave me an idea of where the characters were. Thanks for sharing your less than rave review-not every book can please everyone and we definitely need the people who don’t love a book to share their opinion too!
    Bookworm1858 recently posted…DNF-The Keepers of the HouseMy Profile