Saturday, April 21, 2012

Review and Giveaway: The Immortal Rules

The Immortal Rules (Blood of Eden, #1)The Immortal Rules

Series: Blood of Eden, #1
Author: Julie Kagawa
Other Notable Works: The Iron Fey
Reading Level and Genre(s): YA Dystopian, Paranormal Romance
Features: Vampires
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: April 24, 2012
Source: Publisher for review
*Note: The text featured in this post is from an Advanced Reader's Copy (ARC). Changes may have been made in the final proof.
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.
So obviously, because this book is from Julie Kagawa, you can automatically assume it's going to be totally awesome and kick-butt, right? Yeah, pretty much. But don't be expecting pretty, sparkly fairies and a "hot boy with sword," because we're talking evil vampires and zombies this time. This book is definitely of edgier and darker fare. I've always liked Kagawa's writing and her portrayal of strong female characters. Allison is snarky, loyal, and strong. She's a relatable and human character, guys. Okay, so I just totally contradicted the whole book because she's actually a vampire. But that's where we get to the core of the story. Allie hated vampires with her whole being, and then... she gets turned into one. Fate probably rolled around in laughter when dealing out that one. She constantly battles her vampiric urges, and wants to help humans, not, well, eat them. Even with her good intentions, nobody in their right mind is going to trust a bloodsucker, and she has to accept that. In the end, she's lonely, and it's heartbreaking.

There isn't as much romance in the beginning-middle section, which is fabulous. Guys, I'm seriously getting sick of insta-love crap. The concept of soul mates is a little ridiculous, especially when it's basically See a guy. Feel attraction. MEANT TO BE. Zeke was a sweet guy and genuinely likable. Unfortunately, he didn't quite capture my heart like swoon-worthy Prince Ash did. He was weak in the way that he was too selfless and just didn't know when to stop. Percy Jackson fans, you know what I'm talking about? (Them fatal flaws.) Sometimes, you just gotta know when somebody else is dying... and dying for them probably won't make anything better.

I found it really amusing when I realized how much the vampires were like zombies. The whole sleeping-in-the-dirt and clawing-out-of-the-dirt thing was.... quite laughable. But not in a bad way. It's like they're vampire-zombie hybrids. And I never realized until later that many people compared the rabids to zombies. I don't really have much expertise in the zombie realm. In fact, if these things are legit zombies, then this book is my first zombie book.

There was a bit of a lull in the beginning of the beginning. The plot was kind of slow, and I just didn't know where it was going. The characters didn't even know where they were going. They were literally just walking around. Not exactly the most exciting stuff. Later on, though, the story gets better, there's a ton of action, and it's so ridiculously fast-paced that there are times when you have to go back and re-read scenes that just come in a flash and go. I read this book in one night, and I kind of regret that, because I think it made me absorb the book less, and just not enjoy it as much as I could've. Sort of like when I cram in a World History AP chapter in the night before a quiz. I obviously do not enjoy that.

Last but not least, there are two things I have a serious problem with. One: Stick is a major jerk. He is high on my list of book character jerks, because.... well, he's just not a good person. (Trying to keep this PG here.) I didn't like or trust him early on, and then later, he's just... a donkey. Granted, I understand his motives and his feelings, but I just didn't like his character at all. (I also disliked Rat, but he dies anyways, so I don't really care.) Another thing. The cover. Are you freaking kidding me? Dearest publishers, I am so grateful to you for publishing such fantastic, wonderful books. I really am. But why are you going to publish a book that is completely from the viewpoint of an Asian chick, and then not even bother to find an Asian model for the cover? For one, that is extremely misleading because Allie Sekemoto is obviously Asian, and that cover girl is not. I'm pretty sure we're not that difficult to find. (Other points of interest: Here's a tumblr post in which Cassandra Clare answers some questions about her book covers. Yes, they used an Asian model for Jem in Clockwork Prince.) I suppose it is a major improvement that Allison is Asian at all, so props to Ms. Kagawa for that.

So now that I've made my contribution to political activism, I would like to step back from my meaner side and just say that this book is a definite read if you are a Kagawa fan. Heck, if you're a vampire fan. But Kagawa doesn't do sparkly vampires, either. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and I'm very excited to see where Ms. Kagawa will take us with her new adventure. I am disappointed because I didn't get the ARC edition with a sneak peak of The Lost Prince, but hey, I am at least comforted with the knowledge that there will be a continuation of my favorite Iron Fey series!

First Line:
They hung the Unregistereds in the old warehouse district; it was a public execution, so everyone went to see.

Quotes That Stood Out to Me:
(Another thing I really liked: Julie used a Narnia reference!! If you know me at all, you know C.S. Lewis' series is my all-time favorite.)
Rat held up his arm, and my stomach went cold. In one grubby hand, he held an old, faded book, the cover falling off, the pages crumpled. I recognized it instantly. It was a made-up story, a fantasy, a tale of four kids who went through a magic wardrobe and found themselves in a strange new world. I'd read it more times than I could remember, and although I sneered at the thought of a magical land with friendly, talking animals, there were times when I wished, in my most secret moments, that I could find a hidden door that would take us all out of this place.
Thanks to the awesome people at Harlequin Teen and Media Masters Publicity, I have a finished copy of The Immortal Rules to give away! Just fill out the Rafflecopter below. Please note that your shipping information will be forwarded to the publisher.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Disclaimers: Per the FTC regulations, please note that iLive, iLaugh, iLove Books does receive books for review for free by publishers or authors. For every book reviewed – whether sent by publisher, author or books purchased, it will be graded with a clean and open mind. A free book received will not influence any opinion of the contents of the book.
Spoilers may or may not have been present in this review. While iLive, iLaugh, iLove Books does review honestly, reviews are not specifically checked for spoilers. Attempts at avoiding spoilers are made, but not all are removed or fixed. This disclaimer is a general statement placed on all reviews as a warning to those who read them.


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