Monday, April 15, 2013

The Eternity Cure by Julie Kagawa

The Eternity Cure
by Julie Kagawa
Read: April 7 - 11, 2013
Published: April 30, 2013 by Harlequin Teen
Source: AWAT (Around the World Arc Tours)
Category: Dystopian/Vampires YA
Series: Blood of Eden, book 2

Note: The Eternity Cure is the second book in a series. My thoughts contain some spoilers for book one. Find my review of The Immortal Rules, HERE


My summary: After leaving Zeke and the other humans safely in Eden at the end of The Immortal Rules, Allison is searching for her sire Kanin. Captured by "Psycho Vampire" Sarren, Kanin is being repeatedly tortured, and Allison knows that she's running out of time to save him. Her blood tie to Kanin allows her to sense where he is and also experience his increasingly bleak emotions. Allison's search for Kanin leads her all over the United States, including back to New Covington. As she travels, she runs into many characters - some old, some new and very few helpful. Allison also discovers more about the origin of rabidism, and realizes that circumstances in her world are even more dire than she’d originally thought.


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If I could use a phrase to describe The Eternity Cure, it would be “blood bath.” With lots of violent, gory battle scenes, more vampires and rabids on screen, as well as a new and frightening population of deranged characters, this book is firmly planted in the horror genre. While Allison spent most of her time in The Immortal Rules as the lone vampire living with humans, in The Eternity Cure, she mostly travels within the vampire population, discovering just how scary they can be. This is probably why I spent most of the story on edge, with my stomach churning.

I really enjoyed The Immortal RulesI thought Julie Kagawa's take on vampire culture in a dystopian world was fresh and engaging. I liked that Allison was fierce, and relatable but not whinny or annoying. I even enjoyed the tentative love story, especially because it was Ezekiel Cross (Zeke) who taught Allison to care for the welfare of others. In many ways Allison became more human and compassionate after she turned into a vampire, because of Zeke's influences. But despite the fact that I was excited for the continuation of Allison's story, I found that I was not able to muster the same enthusiasm for the sequel. It took me a lot of time to engage with the story and characters in The Eternity Cure, although I will admit that I was fully invested by the end. 

One of the biggest issues I’m having with this series is the romance. Although I like both Zeke and Allison, I am finding myself emotionally unwilling to invest in a relationship between a mortal and an immortal, when the obstacles in the way of their happiness seem to make the effort not worth it. Unfortunately, this is how I felt for over half of the story. I will admit that this is a recent personal preference - and that I have no idea where this story will take these characters. To their credit, I thought Allison and Zeke's relationship got much stronger and more compelling as this book continued (Zeke also morphs into more of a badass). I am not opposed to them, I just wish that they made me more excited. 

The Eternity Cure ends in a scene that is exceedingly stress inducing. Also for all the blood, gore and traveling that Allison did in this book, I’m not sure that this installment moved the overall story forward very much. Although there were a few revelations – at least one good, I was more interested in the psychological and moral aspects that were present in the first book. The second book mostly featured a continuation of the same internal questions that Allison had already wrestled with. However, I was very intrigued by Allison's character growth/change at the end of this installment. The last few chapters definitely made a difference. Because of that, I am interested in what Kagawa does to Allie in the third book. 

The Eternity Cure was much more of an intense, fighting to survive story. Horror is not my favorite genre, and at times it was tough for me to get through this one. Even so, I was pleasantly surprised several times by characters who popped up unexpectedly in the story (I secretly kept hoping that Grimalkin would show up to save the day. Spoiler: He didn't.), and I especially love Allison's relationship with her mentor Kanin. Although I had a huge breakdown after the final sentence - where I declared "I hate it" and "I won't be reading the last one," on further reflection - after I got over my tantrum, I am invested enough to want to see where this story goes. 

Cliffhanger Scale: This one is very debatable, some would say mild. I'm going to say HIGH for stress level, enough that I wish I hadn't read this over a year from the release of book 3.
Love Triangle Factor: None


17 comments:

  1. Hmm, hmm, hmm! I am a bit torn over starting this series. I thought the Iron Fey series was average/good and I do own both books in this series, though the love-tri is putting me off a little ;)

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    1. There's no love triangle in this series! Is that what you mean? There was one in The Iron Fey, or a pseudo-trinagle, as I don't think Puck was ever much of a contender. How do you feel about cliffys? B/c this one ends in a very stressful moment. Not sure what you'll think of this one. Many people loved it. I'd personally advise to wait until book 3 has released, but perhaps you should also ask someone else.

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  2. Reading this one now so I'll be back to comment later but I am enjoying it so far. Of course that probably has to do with the fact that a secondary character is currently charming me, even though he's not the most heroic of characters. Three guesses? :)

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    1. Finish soon and come back so we can discuss!! I know exactly who you're talking about, though he mostly annoyed me in this book. I don't know what my problem was this time around. I'm definitely one of the lone dissenters, and we're usually on the same page :(.

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    2. He's annoying too but he really adds so much to the book, imo. I mean he's annoying but at least he's SOMETHING and not bland.

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    3. TRUE. I'll have to get an update from you!

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  3. Okay, here's my dilemma. I had only middling feelings about Iron Fey and I liked, but didn't love Immortal Rules. I'd written off this author as "not for me," but all the raves for book two are making me think twice! Especially since I do like horror that is done well. Dilemmas, dilemmas....thanks for making this even more difficult of a decision for me. ;)

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

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    1. I have no idea if you'll like this one or not, Wendy. I think you will probably enjoy the action and horror elements, but I'm not sure about the characters and movement of the story. Will definitely be checking to see if you end up reading this one.

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  4. Lauren, I'm so glad you enjoyed this one, despite a few flaws with its plot. I know for a fact, though, that I won't be reading this. I read the first two Iron Fey novels (didn't finish Book 2 actually since I was so fed-up of the MC) and then while I did like The Immortal Rules, it's one of those books I wouldn't regret not having read. I wasn't a huge fan, I felt no connection to Zeke whatsoever, and I was personally hoping he'd die a tragic death because, like you, the romance held no sizzle for me. So, the admission of even you, who loved The Immortal Rules, finding it tough to connect with the romance and characters in this one has me shaking my head. I'm so glad that Kagawa has a huge fan base and with such original ideas, I'm not surprised. Her execution and writing simply doesn't work for me, though. Still, very lovely review, dear! :)

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    1. Zeke was a major problem for me in this one, though I will say some interesting things happen with him in the second book. I totally understand your decision to not spend any more time on this series. I feel invested enough to continue, but I didn't feel like I HAD to before I read this book (or now really). I DO want to know what happens, so I'll at least ask someone to tell me. Glad you know your style, friend.

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  5. While scary vampire books are NOT my thing at all, I read the Immortal Rules and liked it. Met Julie at BEA and she is one of the loveliest people ever. But after much thought, I decided not to continue in the series, and after reading this I'm glad I did. The "blood bath" kind of book is not my thing at all, and I agree wholeheartedly about the fact that human-immortal romance is just a recipe for heartbreak.

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    1. I think its interesting that you like thriller/murder/serial killer books but not scary vampire/horror. I would love to meet JK some day. Meeting authors always makes me really want to LOVE their books, too bad it's not enough :(. I'm VERY nervous about Zeke and Allison's relationship going forward!!!

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  6. Okay, I love this review from you. I needed to wait until I posted mine before I could come back and fully engage in your thoughts. I knew how you felt as you went along with this, including your declaration at the end, which made me both chuckle and a little bit sad. HOWEVER, you make some very good points in this story:

    1-I also took a little while to engage to the point where I really, really loved the book. I liked it, but it was so vastly different from The Immortal Rules that I felt like I was walking on shaky ground for a little while. That being said, once I figured out that this was a horror-ish "YA-Tarantino-type" book (like I called it), I was able to actually relax (believe it or not) because I felt like I UNDERSTOOD the story better and where JKagawa was moving with her plot. I don't always choose that type of story - horror isn't my first choice. However, I think that it ended up working in the end for this story, and I'm wondering if she'll perhaps pull back a little and maybe go back towards The Immortal Rules a little in the final installment? I guess we'll have to see.

    2-I don't remember you always being so very steadfast in the dead/undead relationship thing until fairly recently - have you always been this way? You mention it briefly in this blog post, but I'm not sure if this is in reference to this book or in general. But I'm noticing in your blog posts of late, this is a recurring theme. This is interesting to me because it is a bit of a trope in YA and for those of us that love paranormal books, it's hard to escape sometimes. Good to know about you when I'm thinking of recommendations and such!

    3-I feel like the romance had to take a little of a back seat to survival in this one. It's there, but not as there as the developing feelings of the first book, which were much sweeter. However, I do like this Zeke. I went into The Eternity Cure not having read the synopsis, trusting JKagawa completely, so when he showed up (not a spoiler) I was like WHAT!!?? Like you, I kind of like him in this book. I like his growth over the story arc so far.

    4-Allie continues to amaze me. I tried to think critically a little bit when I was reading this one (because your Immortal Rules review was the first time EVER, I think, it occurred to me to think critically while reading a book - I loved the way she continues to question her choices, her loss of humanity while trying to hold onto it, etc. I LOVE her as a character and by the end, I just loved her even more. She is one of the best parts of this series by far, in my opinion.

    5-As much as I LOVED this book, even I got squeamish a couple of times. I always do with horror, but still find that I like it occasionally if it fits within the realms of my convictions.

    6-Ultimately, more than anything, what I'm thinking that I understand here is that you've not completely given up on the series. I see some reluctance or perhaps some caution, and I think that is perfectly okay. But I trust JKagawa and I'm interested in what is coming up. I think it will be interesting, but I suspect (perhaps wrongly, but still) that like the Chemical Garden series, THIS BOOK could potentially be the darkest of the trilogy. Who knows? I'd love for a little shift back toward The Immortal Rules, but we just won't know until we get there.

    FANTASTIC REVIEW. I wasn't sure how you would pull it off with your feelings, but I can see that you are like I am, emotional, and when you step back sometimes, thoughts can change about the books you read. I LOVE reading along with you and still may shoot you an email. Perhaps when Heather is finished?

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    1. YES Let's do a big discussion later when H finishes. And I did try to be clear and not just emotional about my thoughts, so I'm glad you thought that I was able to explain myself. I DID like this enough to continue the series. BUT I'm very wary if book 3 is exactly like this one. All the Tarantino stuff got to be too much for me personally. Also, I start hyperventilating if I think too much about the very end. AAAAAAHHHHHHH. But as I said, I am interested in Allie's mindset at the end of this one.

      Maybe I will try to get that novella. Perhaps it WOULD help?

      YES, the immortal/mortal issue is a recent problem for me. It stems from something specific, but it's sort of spoilery to talk about. I just want everyone to have HEAs and going through a whole trilogy and the couple not ending up together, or one living forever and the other not, is tough for me to emotionally invest in. But I've always been one to be hesitant when a relationship doesn't look like it's going anywhere long term. We can talk more about this offline.

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  7. Eeep!! I've been reading so many good reviews for this sequel. I didn't absolutely love TIR but I do really like Kagawa's writing style so I've been eager to read this one. Sounds like it'll be great!

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