Publication Date: April 24, 2012
Author: Julie Kagawa
Buy Now from Indiebound
Allison Sekemoto survives in the Fringe, the outermost circle of a walled-in 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 dies and becomes one of the monsters.
Forced to flee her city, Allie must pass for human as she joins a ragged group of pilgrims seeking a legend—a place that might have a cure for the disease that killed off most of civilization and created the rabids, the bloodthirsty creatures who threaten human and vampire alike. And soon Allie will have to decide what and who is worth dying for again.
First thing first, yes this is a vampire book. Yes 99 percent of vampire books created in the post-twilight vampire fetish “how the heck did this get published” cringe-worthy love triangle angsty “don’t love me, I’m a monster” era were absolute garbage, so much so that even the word vampire will get your book tossed out of the publishing house faster than you can say “sparkly vampire abs”, there are several things that put Julie Kagawa’s The Immortal Rules above the rest.
- The world is F*cked, which is why the vampires have decided to come out of the shadows. Yes, this has been somewhat done before in works such as Helsing and I am Legend. However, unlike many post apocalyptic novels, this one takes place sixty years after the main event, so, to many of the main characters, this hellish world is simply reality as they’ve known nothing else. No angst and drama about “the world before” here. Just undisguised cynicism and gore.
- The vampires didn’t cause the apocalypse. A completely unrelated plague did. And a bunch of scientists that decided using vampire blood to find a cure was a good idea. Spoiler, that’s how zombies are made. Really fast, really scary zombies.
- The main character is smart, pretty, and throughout the novel becomes kind of a badass. Sound familiar? Well, she’s also a vampire. Everyone’s afraid of her. She murders humans and drinks their bodily fluids. No sparkles here.
- You know all those juicy moments in books where characters reveal secrets, and everyone runs screaming from the vampire main character as she mauls a bunch of gang members she tricked into attacking her? Yeah, those are everywhere.
- And lastly, love triangles. Yuck. Dystopian hell worlds don’t have time for that. And neither does Allison. Yes there is a guy. But forget dark and mysterious. In fact, he is kind of squishy and human. But the book isn’t obnoxious about it. It’s not the main story. It’s just sort of a thing that happens, in between the slaughter and bible readings. Really sets the mood.
Yes, okay, I get it. You’re skeptical. I was too. At the time, I was so over dystopia and just the word vampire made me cringe inside. However, I’m so glad I gave this book a chance. It’s become one of my favorites to go back and reread as everything is so…satisfying. There are never any parts where the action lags unbearably, no moments when the lovey dovey mush becomes unbearable, and, most of all, none of those moments where a character misunderstands something and bad things happen because of it. You know spoilers about Twilight (although, be honest, we’ve all read the series) , like the whole second Twilight book where Bella gets all suicidal and goes cliff diving and Edward thinks she’s offed herself so he tries to commit suicide and that’s the whole book? (Spoiler, done) Yeah, I can’t stand those. They’ re just so… avoidable and frustrating. The Immortal Rules is just pure enjoyment, and having read the book, there is very little I would want to change.
I recommend this book to anyone who’s a fan of urban fantasy, and wants a nice, satisfying YA read.