Thursday, May 9, 2013

Eternity isn't Forever

When the plague took over, humans did everything they could to stop it... even if it meant using vampires like lab rats to develop a cure. When that cure turned out to be the cause of Rabidism, a mutated vampiric virus that made humans into unstoppable monsters, the humans now needed the vampires to protect them. In The Eternity Cure by Julie Kagawa, the tables have turned once again.

Kanin turned Alli into a vampire, the one creature she detested most. But when the choice is vampire or death, it is amazing what we will become to save our own lives. But Alli wasn't your typical vampire. She may have battled the Hunger like other vampires, but she didn't want to hurt anyone. And a boy she met by chance was the closest connection to her human side. Unfortunately, once he found out she was a vampire, it didn't matter that she was the one who protected him and his family and delivered them to Eden, the vampire-free sanctuary. She was the vampire who endangered Zeke's family by bringing another vampire after them.

But Kanin has been kidnapped by the crazy Master vampire, Sarren, and Alli feels she owes it to him to save him from whatever Sarren plans to do. Along her travels, she stumbles upon Jackal, another of Kanin's children, who is also concerned about Sarren, but for a very different reason. Sarren is thought to be searching for the labs that created Rabidism. At first, they are convinced he planned to destroy any hope for a cure, but then their realization of his true intentions comes to light... and it is even scarier that the lack of a cure. Now Alli and Jackal must find a way to work together to hunt for Sarren, recover Kanin, and stop the Mad Hatter of vampires from total annihilation of the world. Because there is only one thing worse than the Rabidism virus: a bigger, badder virus. 

If anyone tells you there are no more original vampire stories out there, tell them to check out Kagawa and Fukuda. If they don't think those are fabulously unique, fresh stories, you tell them they are just trying to be difficult. The Blood of Eden series is not only a great vampire story, it is an awesome story all the way around. Not only do you have truly deep characters like Alli, Zeke, and Jackal, you also have a plot that grabs you by the unmentionables and doesn't let go! For me, Alli is a fabulous character, not just because she is still holding onto her humanity (which others see as naive), but because she wants that humanity to define her. She doesn't want to become a cold, heartless vampire, and her will to hang onto her humanity is hard to deny. In fact, it changes everyone around her. I love this character's will to be a "good person" and the effect it has on the other characters. In a desolate wasteland, people should only be thinking about survival, but she sparks something deeper in even the worst of the worst, even in Jackal. A character like this is a great role model for a reader. While they might only be thinking about the vampires and the battles, there is something deeper that is unconsciously internalized- we are who we want to be. I love that lesson, especially for teens who struggle to find their place in the world for years. 

But the story is too fabulous to take a back burner. It is so incredibly exciting, and I could barely put it down. There are twists and turns so novel, I have to go back and reread to be sure I got it right! It is hard to make a story of hope in a barren wasteland patrolled by monsters, but Kagawa does with her magical storytelling. She knows how to craft a story that will hold you in rapt attention and spit you out on the other side, rumpled and tired from reading all night. So don't be afraid to give this to a student who needs an exciting story to hold their attention, or even an adult reader who is looking for an exciting story. This series has it all in spades. It has a brilliant and it will keep you chomping at the bit to get the next book (cheesy pun totally intended!!). 

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