Author: Julie Kagawa
Series: Blood of Eden (#1)
How Received: publisher ARC
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.
It's been a while since I read a vampire book I really enjoyed. Most are stereotypical and formulaic and overromanticized to the point of ridiculousness. The last one I really enjoyed, well enough to read again, was probably the Vampire Academy series, all of which I own.
Of course, I might actually end up reading The Immortal Rules again.
Don't let the size of the book daunt you -- the story, despite its length, is well worth a read.
There are three things I absolutely adore about Kagawa's new dystopian vampire novel:
- the world
- the characters
- and how the romance was handled.
Kagawa's world building was one of the reasons I loved her Iron Fey series so much; she's detailed and intricate in a way that's not overwhelming or detrimental to the story. There were so many little things that I loved -- how the world came to be, how the vampire society was described, how all the different societies and levels interacted within New Covington and all the other places.
The characters were absolutely fantastic. Not gonna lie, I think Allie's badass and quite possibly one of the best female characters I've read in a long time -- definitley a large improvement on the Iron Fey's Meghan. She knows how to handle herself, isn't afraid to push away other people and actually uses her brain.
Do you know how often, in vampire books, we see female characters actually use their brain and not succumb to the "oh em gee romance!"? Not very often.
Which is another reason I liked this book -- despite the fact that I don't think there needed to be a romantic plot line (the book would have worked just as well without one), I liked how this one was handled. Her attraction to Ezekiel came, not from an actual physical or emotional attraction (I think), but because he was the most human thing she could attach herself to, and the less human you are, the more humanity you need to cling onto.
Maybe that's just me reading into the story, but I think that's a big part of it. Hmmm. Perhaps a discussion for a post another day -- why certain characters choose certain people. Think I should do it?
But speaking of characters -- and I realize this review is going in circles -- the side characters were just as interesting as the main characters. Though some of them felt flat and stereotypical (Jeb, some of the vampires, some of the raiders) most of them were rather interesting.
And bonus points for having vampires that aren't pretty or sparkly or can control their lust or whatever it is that vampires do. No, these vampires are dead, will kill you, and certainly aren't something you want to fall in love with.
In fact, I think if the humans in this world knew how to read, and read something like Twilight, they might legitimately fear for their ancestor's lives. Not many vampire fangirls would survive in this world, I think!
Final Rating & Overall Comments: 9/10. A fresh take on the vampire story without the newly found mushy gushy romance appeal to it -- and plenty of action!
Cover Comments: The main character is Asian. The cover model is not. Screw you, person who chooses cover models. If you're not going to go with the proper ethnicity, don't do a face at all! (Expect a Friday Fronts post in the future on this one.)
Have you read The Immortal Rules? What did you think, especially compared to The Iron Fey series?