Friday, July 13, 2012

Badass, Katana-wielding Vampire Heroine!

The Immortal Rules
Author: Julie Kagawa

 Violence, Language

I have yet to read the immensely popular Iron Fey series, so The Immortal Rules was my introduction to the work of Julie Kagawa. Based on the first installment of this action filled vampire series, I need to further acquaint myself with the writing of one of the Young Adult world's brightest stars.

Set a few generations in the future, the Blood of Eden series centers around Allison Sekemoto, an unregistered scavenger living in a vampire controlled city were she must beg, borrow, and steal just to survive. During a foraging mission outside the safety of the city's walls, she and her gang are attacked by a swarm of rabids - creatures which were once human but are now mindless almost vampires. Think of the rage-consumed zombie-esque monsters from the film 28 Days Later, but with vampire strength, fangs, and sensitivity to sunlight. The monsters kill her friends and are about to finish her off when she's rescued by a dark stranger who offers her a choice. She can either die of her wounds or become what she hates most. I'll let you guess which she chooses, but just remember if she went with "A" then this would a shorter, much less interesting story.

So that's the background, now for my thoughts and ramblings. I have to admit that it took me a little while to get into this story. But once Kagawa was able to fully sink her fangs into me, she just wouldn't let go. I couldn't explain why until I finished the book and began analyzing it for this review. It turns out that I didn't find Allie all that likeable. I didn't completely dislike her like I did Ember Morris from Kristen Simmons' Article 5. (Read that review here). And it's not like she went off the deep end for 300 pages when her vampire boyfriend she's known for two seconds abandons her to the cliff-jumping werewolves in order to keep her safe. So I didn't hate Allie, I just didn't really like her. That is, until she became a badass, katana-wielding, rabid-slaying vampire. Allison Sekemoto's character was a little reminiscent of the character Selene (played by Kate Bekinsale) from the movie Underworld.

The other characters felt a little flat to me as well, but it didn't bother me much. Similar to Underworld, it isn't character, but rather intriguing plot and razor sharp action that drive this story. Kagawa does a good job of keeping you engaged, wondering what's going to happen to Allie and the band of humans she attaches herself to. There's the obvious questions concerning the potential for a romance between her and Zeke, son of the group's Puritanical leader. But there's more to keep you guessing as well. Will the group discover what she is? How will she control her blood hunger without becoming a danger to her knew friends? Will the group find their Eden, a city rumored to be a human stronghold and last bastion of resistance to vampire tyranny? Because Kagawa does not, for the most part, tell you where in the country as we know it the action is taking place, I had fun trying to figure out where this city of Eden is located.

Overall, I enjoyed The Immortal Rules. It was an action-packed introduction to a new series which I feel has the potential for a quality television show. (Are you listening AMC?) Hopefully, considering Allison Sekemoto's heritage, we wouldn't be subjected to Kristen Stewart in a starring role. I look forward to reading the next installment in the Blood of Eden series. In the meantime, I'll just have to pick up Julie Kagawa's Iron King.

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