PJV Quickie: Julie Kagawa has again left me awed by her mastery of the written word and her ability to breath new life into something that has been done over and over again.
Author: Julie Kagawa
Series: Blood of Eden #1
Publication: April 24th 2012 by Harlequin Teen
Received eARC from NetGalley
Links: Author Web >> Author Twitter >> Purchase Book >> Goodreads
Rating: 5 out of 5
Kagawa forwards her book with a note about how she never wanted to write vampire fiction. I’m so glad that she decided to give it a go. Her creativity and unique voice took two overdone genres, dystopian and vampire fiction and produced something so unique that everyone will most likely be copying her in the future.
It really is no secret that I’m a fan girl of Kagawa and her other series The Iron Fey. What I take as her perfected craft, is the ability to create these beautiful characters. Characters that are shinning stars within the YA genre, perfectly flawed, yet larger-than-life in their struggle for “the greater good”. ‘The Immortal Rules’ protagonist Allison “Allie” Sekemoto is one of those perfectly constructed characters. Allie lives in the Fringe as an unregistered human. She is no one, is on the brink of starvation or death at every moment, the only thing that keeps her moving is the constant search for food and to protect the few people that are close to her. Just when she thought she hit the score of her life, her world is shattered as her gang is ripped a part by Rabids and she lays dying. She is not alone though, the thing she hates the most, a vampire, rescues her and gives her a choice: Become a monster, a vampire, or die.
Allison chooses to live and from that day on is faced with a new struggle. The Hunger and what kind of monster she chooses to become.
Often in these fantasy novels, the act of becoming one supernatural or another is often romanticized. Yes, they talk of the repercussions, the hunger of being a vampire, or the fact you might accidentally kill another human, but in ‘The Immortal Rules’ the choice actually seemed to leap off the pages and become real. I think this was the beauty of the novel for me. Because it seems, in other vampire novels, vampires are separated and given different “moral codes” to live by. Judge not the vampire because he is different from the humans. Their crimes are diminished because of their nature. They become a romantic figure, when in essence they are a monster, feeding on us. Yes, we don’t judge the lion that eats the antelope — but that lion was never once an antelope himself.
Kagawa shines light on the essence of the vampire in her ‘The Immortal Rules’ with just one line from Kanin, Allie’s maker:
“You will always be a monster – there is no turning back from it. But what type of monster you become is entirely up to you.”
I think this is what made the novel for me. I’m a sucker for an inner struggle and she had a few in this novel. She had the struggle of the human made monster and the story of the human struggling to survive in a dystopian world. Then she even included the struggle of the monster/human romantic entanglement to add even more depth.
But wait there is more…
On top of the basic essence of the novel, Kagawa created a back story that was well flushed out and original. I never stopped once and questioned the story, it was perfectly crafted and laid out for me. Secondly, the plot sequences were well-developed and fast paced, leaving me glued to page after page, unable to put the book down. Nothing dragged about this novel. As each new sequence was introduced I was just sucked further and further into the novel. This is a must read. You can’t get any better than this.
Fans of vampire fiction a must read. Fans of dystopian fiction a must read. There is a bit of violence and heavy topics so I’m throwing a 14+ recommendation on it. There is nothing overly graphic, sexual or inappropriate, so parents will not have worry. Adults will also enjoy because it is written in a mature tone.
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