Saturday, August 4, 2012

The Immortal Rules

by Julie Kagawa
Read: June 13-20, 2012
Published: April 24, 2012 by Harlequin Teen
Source: Library Book
Category: YA

"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.

This FABULOUS book made me think of 3 questions:

  1. What would society look like if the vampires came out of the darkness and took over? 
  2. If you were forced to choose between final death and becoming a vampire, which would you pick? 
  3. Does what you are, define who you are?

Although extremely powerful and deadly predators, vampires are always lurking in the shadows quietly feeding on the humans that run the world around them. But what would society look like if the vampires came out of the darkness and took over? Creating whole cities of people to serve them? That is the America in which Allison Sekemoto lives in Immortal Rules. Only it’s even worse than that, because the human population has been decimated by disease and there are other monsters besides vampires walking the earth. 

I like that Julie Kagawa explores this concept, because it is always at the back of my mind when I read a book about vampires. When they are the predators and we are the prey, what happens if they decided to be in charge? Let me tell you the answer to that: Nothing good.

Living on the Fringe of a vampire city all her life where she has to scrounge for food wherever she can find it (and whatever she can find), Allie is a survivor. She has seen countless friends die, does not trust easily and has learned not to get too attached to anyone. But still she is loyal and compassionate to those she cares about. She does not wallow or cry about her life. She keeps moving forward. I really liked Allie and the strong heroine she represents (reminded me of Penryn in Angelfall, which I also recently read). Her character made sense in her world, because if you don’t fight every second of the day to live, you’re dead.

Allie also hates vampires whom she sees as soulless monsters responsible for the struggles and sacrifices she’s had to endure in order to survive. But then everything changes when she’s forced to make the choice of her life. If you were forced to choose between final death and becoming a vampire, which would you pick? Would you hold onto your humanity even while you died and were buried in the ground, or would you decide to become one of the very beings that you despise? When Allie faces that decision, she chooses self-preservation.

Does what you are, define who you are? Once Allie becomes a vampire she has to overcome her own prejudices about her nature and decide whether being a vampire makes you a soulless monster. Or if she could choose to be something different.

I loved the growth that Allie found throughout the course of the novel. The humans and vampires that she encounters– including Stick, Kanin, Caleb, Jeb, Jackal and especially Zeke – have a profound effect on the decisions that she makes about how she should live out her existence as a vampire. As she struggles with the question of who she is, it is not an easy journey. Allie makes mistakes, and faces fights and prejudices (both from vampires and humans) along the way. But I loved seeing her stand up and become her own person (vampire) amidst it all.

Much of Allie’s growth comes from her interactions with the human boy name Zeke that she meets along her journey. Fiercely loyal to his family, he is also compassionate and brave. And In many ways, he is the opposite of Allie, especially because Zeke never stops seeing good in people. The way he looks at life has a big impact on Allie. Plus, I loved reading a story where the heroine is the vampire, the stronger, faster predator, and the hero/love interest is the human. But even as a human, Zeke holds his own and has a lot to teach Allie. He is a great counterpoint to her, and I loved the ways that she grew and changed because of him. Bonus! No Love triangle. 

Rating: 5 stars!
Love Triangle Factor: None!


  1. Good gracious, reading this just now makes me want to go back and read this book again ASAP. I just love Julie Kagawa and am convinced she basically writes for my enjoyment.

    It is interesting that you've raised these questions. It's been long enough since I've read this that it's really fun now to think BACK on the scene when Allie's given the choice of final death or not. THEN, I didn't know the outcome of the story and I thought the plot/characters were headed in a different direction. NOW, of course, I do, and I wonder if my answers to the questions would've been the same or different if I'd have taken the time to think on these questions at this point in the book - before I knew the ending. I'm not sure that makes any sense.

    This world was just so different and odd. JKagawa took such liberties with this mash-up. I loved it so much. Can't wait for book two. I'm such a fangirl.

  2. Oh I love her as well! Can't wait to read more of this series. And the Lost Prince! Have you read that yet?

    NO I get what you're saying. Also, Allie's preconceived beliefs of what a vampire is supposed to be really made the story more interesting. I wonder if she would have chosen differently if she knew what was to come? But it takes a strong person NOT to choose self preservation if it's offered (especially if the alternative is death).

    YEAH I love when vampire stories are different. Adding the post-apolyptic like society to the vampire world was pretty brilliant - and made sense (if vampires were real that is).

    Thanks for your comment!

    1. I have NOT read The Lost Prince yet. I'm a little bit nervous about it to be honest. I'm SO quirky about books and surprisingly freaking out about it being non-Megan/Ash/Puck. WHY? THEY'RE NOT REAL. And I'm an adult.

      I'm hoping that with JKagawa doing two series at a time this doesn't turn out to be like Cassandra Clare, because the way she straddles the two series is torturous.

  3. I agree. I always get nervous when that happens. I'm already invested in Immortal Rules (and all Cassie Clare books), so hope nothing is delayed.

    Does Megan not make an appearance at all? You'd think she would...But I know what you mean. Although I'm excited to see what happens to Ethan. Is it going to be another trilogy?

    1. I don't know if it will be another trilogy or if there will be four of them like the first Iron Fey, but she is (I think) already working on book 2! I'm sure Megan and Co. will make appearances, of course, but I hope their roles are more than a sentence here and there. Who knows!?


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