Saturday, April 28, 2012
The Immortal Rules
YA; Dystopian Paranormal
Source: Received an e-ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Unlike most people, I did not enjoy Kagawa's Iron Fey trilogy. Firstly I mostly hate fae stories but I also really hated the romance of Meghan and Ash (want to punch his stupid face) so I was initially going to skip this because I mostly hate vampire stories and hadn't had a good experience with the author's previous work. But then everybody seemed to be reviewing it and I am very susceptible to hype. So I picked up a copy to give it a shot.
The beginning did not ease my suspicions as it seemed to drag on and on. I didn't really care about Allison and her gang's struggle for life on the Fringe and I was so fed up with weakling Stick and his inability to toughen up and care for himself. While I admired Allison for her unrelenting hatred of vampires, nothing much was keeping me engaged with the book. However I do like the main character's name (Allison (that's with 2 L's) is my favorite sister's name) and seriously pretty much everyone raved about this book. I kept going.
At the end of the first section is when Allison is almost dead and has the option to die forever or to become a vampire. She chooses to survive and is turned. This is when I was really drawn into the book. Her mentor is Kanin, an ancient vampire with many secrets who trains Allison in what she needs to know. She will forever have to battle her Hunger but she has the ability to decide what kind of monster she will be. I love Kanin and lament his disappearance from the narrative so early but the book actually got even better (and we should see more of Kanin in the next book-fingers crossed)!
After Allison is on her own, she falls in with a band of humans and must masquerade as one despite suspicion from several members of the group. One who accepts her almost unquestioningly is Zeke, the second in command in the party on the search for Eden, a human city entirely without the menace of vampires. As they journey, Allison continues to struggle with the monster within as she has to make many difficult choices such as how to feed to keep herself going and how far she needs to go to help everyone on their quest.
While the internal struggle of Allison hating her new nature as a vampire plays a big role, to my delight, there is also a lot of action, which was very exciting and helped keep the book moving. Vampires are impossibly fast and nearly indestructible which gives Allie an edge but sometimes she has to face other vampires and what then? Those who like a lot of action will be well-pleased.
Those who like well-developed characters will also be pleased though. As mentioned, Allison continues to be deepened throughout her narration but the other characters get the full-scale treatment too. Of particular interest to me were Zeke as the human love interest who is probably the nicest person Allison has ever met, giving without expectation and acting in what Allison might think is a naive way. And yet he has deep resources of strength and determination. I did like Zeke; he's just a good guy. His father is a strict man determined to protect the whole even if it means sacrificing an individual. And as mentioned earlier, Kanin was probably my favorite character.
Overall: Slow beginning but even this vampire story hater was won over by the masterful writing and plotting. I will definitely be back for the next book.
Cover: Not only is the model staring at me (something I find creepy), her eye is dripping blood (doubly creepy) so while it's appropriate (because vampires do cry blood in this world), it is not to my taste at all.