Tuesday, July 10, 2012

A Vampire Book Immortalized

The Immortal Rules (Blood of Eden)
Sometimes they are elegant but ruthless. At times they are shimmery, but murderous. They can act like rabid animals or the most gentle of gentlemen. But they are everywhere. Vampires are in every culture, every literary tradition, every contemporary culture, and certainly all over the young adult genre. So why should you read yet another young adult vampire book? Because The Immortal Rules: Book One of Blood of Eden by Julie Kagawa is a vampire book like you have never seen before!

Allie refuses to become registered and have blood taken twice a month to feed the bloodsuckers who run her city, even if it means getting a food ration. She and the other Unregistereds scavenge for food even though stealing is a crime punishable by more than just death. Out on a food mission beyond the city wall that protects the humans from the rabids (people turned into zombie-like, mindless vampires who live like animals and would rip a human to shreds), Allie finds a food haul in a house that can't be passed up, even if it is risky. She and her crew go back for the food, but the rabids do what they do best, leaving Allie torn apart and dying. When a passing vampire offers her a choice to die from her injuries or die and become an immortal vampire, everything she despises, she chooses life, even if it is a life as the undead. 

After a brief period of lessons and education into the life of a vampire by her sire, Kanin, Allie is forced to flee the only city she has ever known. She doesn't want to hunt or hurt people, but Kanin warned her that denying the Hunger that can only be sated by human blood will slowly devolve Allie into a furious beast with no control over her own body. She can last about two weeks without human blood, but alone in the desert has left her desperate. Luckily the first people she stumbles upon are ruthless raiders, but shortly thereafter, she rescues a little boy who became separated from his traveling group. Allie is uncertain of the group, but she still hasn't lost her human side. She craves the company of others and is willing to fight the urge to feed in order to protect this rag tag group of travelers who are in search of Eden, a land with no vampires and no rabids. But Allie isn't the only predator out there, and she may have assumed a position she can never succeed at. 

Wow. Just Wow. Kagawa created a vampire world like you have never seen before. This post-apocalyptic wasteland combines the desolate PA world with terrifying dystopic societies, and rabid, mindless creatures hunting where you least suspect it. This is an EPIC read that will cut you off from everything you should be doing just so you can plow through the story page by page. Vampires may be old hat for most authors, but Kagawa makes them new and fresh and terrifying again. I loved this story and can NOT wait for the next installment. There is a sense of closure at the end of this story, but it is only a temporary conclusion, with the story open for more of Allie's story. You will be content with the ending but dying for the next book, a perfect conclusion in my opinion!

And Allie is a fantastic main character. She knows what she has to do to survive, but her inability to let go of everything that makes her human is what keeps her going. But her presence in the lives of the ones she wants to protect not only keeps them alive, it also puts them in harms way. This is an inner conflict Allie cannot deny and one that rips her apart. She knows the right thing to do, but she cannot give up her one attachment to her humanity she has left. It is a transformation you will feel right along with Allie from page to page. This is a complex, long novel that would appeal to anyone who likes an exciting story. It is probably best for high school students, but adults would enjoy this vampire tale as well. Kagawa knocked it out of the park with this one!

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