Young Adult, Futuristic, Vampires
Hardcover $18.99 (484 pages, HARLEQUIN TEEN)
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.
Author Site: juliekagawa.com
Get on Kagawa's Dark Side (5 stars)
Allison Sekemoto is a Fringe dweller, one of a handful of Unregistered humans in a vampire city. To be Registered means willingly becoming cattle and it's better to live near starvation than to be food for the monsters. Scavenging for food by daylight is dangerous enough but when Allie and her crew find themselves stranded at dusk the one thing worse than the vampires will force her to face her mortality.
Becoming the one thing she hates most Allie must learn how to survive, to live by the immortal rules. As much as she is loathe to look at the race she was once a part of as food to go without blood for too long means madness. Is it really better to take it willingly than have the Hunger force her hand? Sent out into the vast unknown beyond the vampire city she finds herself hiding amongst a motley band of humans, trying to pass as one of their kind. But hiding what she has become is difficult and dangerous, especially when it comes to Zeke, the boy who might be able to see her as more than a bloodsucker.
I have to admit, being an Iron Fey series fan, that I wasn't sure Kagawa could pull off the dark premise of THE IMMORTAL RULES. The Iron Fey books are certainly dark in their own way but peppered with wit and humor. In contrast there is a constant sense of tension, a palpable danger through the entire narrative of THE IMMORTAL RULES. Strangely enough, I didn't miss the humor. Each almost-caught scene left me anxious for more, making it a very hard book to put down at night. The world Kagawa has created is fascinating and one I've often thought up, wishing someone would be bold enough to try it. If you read and enjoyed Andrew Fukuda's THE HUNT you will love THE IMMORTAL RULES and vice versa.
While I wouldn't quite call it a romance, the building relationship between Zeke and Allie adds a little warmth to the latter half of the novel. The secondary characters add additional depth to Allie's adventure, providing both a source of comfort and torment for her. In a way she was almost learning how to be more human than she was before becoming one of the monsters.
There's definitely a lot of ground left to be covered as the novel ends, readers who hate cliff-hangers may want to pick this one up and leave it sitting until closer to the next book's release. So many questions left unanswered but in what I felt was a good way. I very much look forward to the next one! If you love dystopian worlds—though this really isn't quite one—or just the concept of humans becoming cattle to the vampires THE IMMORTAL RULES is sure to be enjoyable. If you're looking for a romance with lots of breathy moments, longing looks and such this isn't that kind of story. No Iron Fey style love triangles here either. Just a really great, futuristic tale for the vampire lover.
A Cupcake and a Latte
Goodreads -- several well spoken negative reviews point out flaws you may find bothersome!
Notes: ARC received via NetGalley.