Group Review: The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa

2:08 PM

Title: The Immortal Rules

Author: Julie Kagawa
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication date: April 24, 2012
# Of Pages: 485 Hardback
How I got the copy: Library

From Goodreads.com

"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.


My Rating: 5/5 Stars
This review is going to be a little different and longer because I did a buddy read with some friends from my goodreads group We <3 YA Books.  We read The Immortal Rules at the same time and discussed it and then we each took a part to review.  Anything in black are thoughts from my friends and anything in blue are my thoughts.

Plot:
by: Me
Julie Kagawa did not rush over this beginning part of the story like some authors do. She took the time to build the world and let us get to know Allie and why she is the way she is. I knew Allie was going to eventually be a vampire (it says it on the back of the book), but I was surprised with how it happened. I really had no idea where the plot was going because just as I started to feel comfortable with what was going on, Allie had everything stripped away from her again. I was pleasantly surprised when the latter half of the book focused on Allie with Zeke and his group. 

Zeke has such strong beliefs that there is a safe place for humans out there. His faith, although blind at times, is so strong and I wondered if Julie was trying to make a statement about people throughout history have survived on hope and faith. Without their undying faith of this safe haven there would be no plot really. As we follow them on the journey, we learn more about the rabids and how they came to be and we meet villains like Jackal who has so many layers it makes him seem so real.

It’s fast paced in that so many things happen in this book, yet it’s slow enough that we have time to feel for the characters and really enjoy the moments in between all the action. 

Setting:
by:  Vanita  
“In a future world, vampires reign. Humans are blood cattle. And one girl will search for the key to save humanity.”

The world is no longer as we know it. Gone are the days where vampires were imaginary creatures featured in novels. In this world they are real. And while they reign, everything us humans had once grown accustom to, were stripped away from us. Buildings were burned, leaving behind trails of rubble. Schools ceased to exist, robbing us of knowledge and power. If that weren’t enough, they use food, our lifeline, to tempt us into submission. Since the plague, the world has plunged into darkness. It’s every man for himself. Kill or be killed. So this is the world in which our heroine, Allie, finds herself in. 

Her journey begins in New Covenington, a vampire city. In the heart of New Covenington lies the Inner City. The vamps live here, watching us from their towers in comfort. The humans live in the Fringe. All that separates us from them is a wall. And all that separates us from the world beyond New Covenington is another wall, aptly named the Outer Wall. The wall exists to protect us from the rabids but this protection comes at cost, our freedom. 

As the story progresses, we get to explore the world outside of New Covenington, where the prospects of a better life is just as bleak. A chance encounter however provides a glimmer of hope for mankind. Eden. A huge city surrounded by an enormous lake, free of vampires and rabids. 
I loved this world Julie created.  It was so dark and twisted compared to anything else I'd ever read.

Characters:

Allison Sekemoto (Allie)
Allie is a tough little cookie. You kind of have to be when you live a life of unknown. When will my next meal be? Will I die by the hands of rabids or will the vampires get to me first? This is the reality of her life and she knows that. With her mother gone, she has had to rely on herself to survive. Even though she lives with her gang, the closest thing she’s got to a family, she still needs to put in her fair share of the weight. No such thing as a free meal. From this we can see that she’s reliable and capable. She’s seen a lot in her short lifetime. She knows the world can be cruel but she doesn’t take it lying down. She collected books even though it’s against the law. My rebel side smiled at that! She chose to live when faced with the tough choice of becoming the very thing she hates or death. That shows she’s a fighter. Her chosen path isn’t any easier. How many will die by my hands? What will become of my humanity? Am I capable of humanity? There’s a lot weighing on her and this is on top of her worries of survival. I have absolutely nothing but respect for Allie and her strength is to be admired but it’s the moments of compassion and tenderness that really made me love her — her willingness to help a lost boy, the comfort she provided to two scared children and the concern she displayed for a friend. I loved her as a human and I loved her even more as a vampire. In my eyes she can do no wrong. She is full of goodness. Her vampire instincts told her to save herself and run but she didn’t. She stayed and helped. How can I you doubt her goodness after that! 
She was such a complex character and definitely one of my all time favorite characters ever.  She was a kick ass vamp, but still cared for people. 

Kanin
Kanin is a vampire of a complex nature but that’s what is so compelling about his character. His view of his kind and of the world differentiates him from the other vampires. He isn’t under any illusion. He knows what he is and the capabilities of his kind yet he doesn’t let that define him. He’s the type of vampire who’ll leave a pair of sneakers in exchange for taking blood and that’s what is so endearing about him. He may see this as a debt to be paid but to me it shows something much, much more. He only drinks when necessary and even then he makes good choices with whom he drinks from. For him to feel and think that way speaks volume. Other vampires wouldn’t be so considerate. There is plenty of goodness in Kanin even though he may not see it. I hope we will get to see more of him!
I thought he was mysterious.  I hope we see more of him too!

Ezekiel Crosse (Zeke/Zee)
Zeke is one amazing human being. He’s brave, kind, friendly and genuine. He would risk his life for others. A very rare find. You'd think he's lived a shielded life for someone who is so full of light and goodness but he's scathed just like the others. He has experience great loss and carries a heavy responsibility. Such a heavy responsibility can weigh anyone down but Zeke never complains. He and Allie are alike in so many ways, their inner strength being one of them, yet their differences balance each other out. He treats her like an equal. That in itself is a testimony of the kind of man he is.
He is adorable.  I wish he was a real person.  

Jebbadiah Crosse (Jeb)
Jeb is a hard man to figure out. As a Minister of a Church, one would think he would never leave anyone behind, but as a leader living in a vampire-reigned world , he doesn't have that luxury. There are tough decisions and he has to be the guy to make them. He lacks the openness that Zeke possesses which I won’t hold against him due to his beliefs and past experience. It was frustrating at times. I was screaming at him to trust Allie!!! God knows the girl has proved herself! He was tough on Zeke but his love for him and the others were evident and that good enough for me. 
There were times that I wanted Allie to just go all vampire on Jeb when he was being ridiculous and mean. haha.

Stephen (Stick)
Stick is such a weak character. He’s constantly scared, dislikes confrontation and very dependent. There isn’t a whole lot that we know about his background and how he became who he is but that’s still no excuse. His betrayal left me conflicted. I thought he was better than that! I sincerely hope he can redeem himself in the future. I’d hate to see all of Allie’s goodness get thrown back in her face. 

Ruth
As annoying as she was, it was refreshing to see her among the other characters. Her jealousy and pettiness kept reminding me that these people (Allie, Zeke and Darren) are just teenagers. It really hit home on just how much of their youth they were missing out on. I also couldn’t hold a grudge against her. She had every right to be suspicious of Allie. Hell, I would be too! She was only out to protect her family. That I can understand.
Ya I was glad there were some real characters in there.  Obviously someone had to suspect something of her...not everyone is so welcoming and blind.

Jackal
Jackal, our resident bad guy, was surprisingly easy to relate to. I mean, is it completely wrong to embrace who we are? Granted, I'm human and he's a vampire, so our answer won't be the same but I can understand where he's coming from. What I enjoyed about his character is the contrast he brings to Allie. Both were on the brink of death and survived, yet they couldn't be any more different. Why is it so easy for him to embrace his new way of living? He was a human once. Time? Is that all it takes? “Humans aren’t friends, sister. Humans are pets. Food. Minions. Not friends.” 

Cover:


This cover is so beautiful and so much more different than her Iron Fey series. It's not a colorful, bright cover, signifying adventure, romance, and happiness. It's a dark, gritty cover, signifying that it's going to be a dark, realistic book in a post-apocalyptic setting. The cover gives you a hint that the book won't be anything like her previous books. It's bracing you for one heck of a ride, full of adventure and vampires.
It' so dark and foreboding.  I love the contrast of the red on the black and gray.  It also makes you wonder why the vampire girl is crying and why she looks more angry and determined than sad.

Romance:
Like her first novel in her first series, the Iron Fey, the Immortal Rules didn't have a lot of romance. Julie likes to focus in on the adventure, the gory details, and then along the way, she twists in a little bit of romance to satisfy all the romance addicts, including me, in the world. It's not one of those books where romance devours the whole thing but when it does happen, it's so sweet and Julie makes every second of the romance count.  
I hope the second book has more romance, but I understand why she didn't put too much in the first book. It was more important and realistic for her to do more world building and stuff in the first book.
  
Order here:



“He suddenly leaned in, and his fingers brushed my cheek. Warmth flooded my skin, and I frozen, waiting for him to pull back. 

He didnt. The tips of his fingers lingered on my cheek for a moment. Then, very slowly, his hand slipped forward, the palm brushing my skin. Frozen, I stared at him, watching his face as his fingers moved from my cheek to my forehead to my chin, like a blind man tracing someone's features to see them in his mind. 

"What are you doing to me?" he whispered.” 
― Julie KagawaThe Immortal Rules



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