Thursday, October 23, 2014

Review: The Immortal Rules - Julie Kagawa

The Immortal Rules
Julie Kagawa
Series: Blood of Eden
Genre: asdf
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Word Rating: Gritty
Goodreads | Amazon  | Book Depository

Yes! YES. YES.

I love the premise of this book, the characters, the writing -- just about everything.

If you don't know yet, this book is about a girl named Allison Sekemoto, who lives in a community of humans owned by vampires. She struggles to survive and eventually, while scavenging outside of the community's walls, she dies. And is brought back as her nightmare. She trains with the vampire who turned her and then runs off, meeting a group of humans and chasing the legend of a cure. Beautiful premise. So beautiful, it sets Kagawa up to explore both dystopian and fantasy aspects of contemporary literature, while criticising and enhance the tropes throughout her book.

The characters stood out to me the most. They were all so fleshed out. Allison's character stuck to me the most -- she was harsh, realistic, and determined to survive. I loved that there were no compromises with her.Allison is selfish. Full stop. There's no heart of gold to redeem this character, and as such I expect her to act like a person rather than a superhero. It's fairly rare and really refreshing to see a character that honestly represents people in fantastic and extreme settings. Even when she dies for Stick, it's more or less circumstantial.

Speaking of Stick, I hate him. It's hard for me to straightforwardly hate a character, so thank you Julie Kagawa, for creating such a weak, pining, worthless individual. He can never do anything for himself, and he abandons Allison immediately after she becomes a vampire. However, I loved hating him, because he's realistic as well. Stick is what most people would turn into. Scared, introverted, and terribly dependent.

I loved that Kanin's role wasn't overemphasised, both as Allison's mentor and as a love interest. His heart is in the right place yet there is danger about him, which is maintained throughout the book. I contrast this to Zeke, who is completely out in the open about himself and his love for Allison and being a leader. Their romance was devoid of the insta-love that often plagues both paranormal vampire and dystopian books.And there was no nonsensical love triangle formed out of the fact that Kanin turned her. He doesn't own Allison, he is her mentor. It's weird that this is so revolutionary. I think this contrast really highlights Kagawa's ability to form characters who fit in her setting properly and not to put pressure on something that is external to her message (i.e., not making a big deal out of the romance when the characters are being hunted constantly).

On that notion, Kagawa certainly has a great grip on world-building. From the wilds and the Vampire Principalities to the gleaming towers and the museum and the rest, there is so much packed into the world. The governing and social systems as well are very clear, and it's not hard to grasp why Allison, an Unregistered human being, is so oppressed.

The writing itself is beautiful, in form and diction, as usual for Kagawa, and the plot twists and turns with her welling tension throughout. There was quite a natural pace to the story and nothing feels quite forced.

All in all, read it!

- Marlon

Are Vampires still a thing for you? Or is the trend dead?
Let us know in the comments!

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