The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagwa
or: WHERE THE HELL IS MY GARLIC AND STAKE??!
Synopsis: 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.
It took me a while to get into this book, and it took a while for it to warm up, but once things got going, they certainly got interesting too. The final third of this book was excellent plot wise; gripping and plot twists galore.
There was a large problem for me however. I’ve read so many vampire books, it takes a lot these days to grab my attention. This book struggled to. This book sat on my shelf collecting dust for a good half a year or more before I convinced myself to pick it up and give it ago. I read it fitfully for the first half, struggling immensely with the character of Allison.
And here’s the point where I should probably be brutally honest; I don’t like Allison Sekemoto.
Quite plainly, I think she’s a Mary Sue. She barely improved, and her best moments were when she was helping the group at the end. This is extremely disappointing because there were other characters – very minor characters- who put Allison to shame. On the whole however, I didn’t agree with most of Kagawa’s characterization. I don’t know why, but something felt off but it did and it jarred me for the whole book.
The plot dragged in places, but had the right tempo in others. It was almost bizarre. If I wanted to- which I don’t- I recon I could easily pull out a stick and point to places she went back and re-wrote at a later date. Her skill improvement in these places was obvious.
On the whole it wasn’t a bad book. I think it’s just because I’ve read so many excellent books over the last year I’ve become slightly spoiled.
I also think my patience for the Vampire trope is waning. Once upon a time, Ashleigh loved vampire books. In fact, once upon a time, they were the only books Ashleigh read for a solid 2-3 years. Because of the sheer volume of the books I have read, I’ve become rather critical of them. Now don’t get me wrong, I still love a good vampire book, but they’ve got to be pretty impressive these days to make a dent in the market and in my mind.
Kagawa, while presenting an innovative story line, has unfortunately targeted the two areas in young adult fiction that have been totally bashed to death over recent years; Dystopian and Vampire. Like I said earlier, the story isn’t bad, it’s just a solid ok. I wouldn’t recommend it to my friends, but I wouldn’t forget about it either.
Will I read the other books in the series? No, probably not. I’ve got so many other series I’m halfway through or just starting that this one doesn’t really make my list for series to follow. But does this mean this is the last of Kagawa’s books I’ll read? No. I’ll certainly give her other works a try somewhere down the track.
My last words on this book will be this; it could have sucked more. (HA… Sorry that was a really bad pun)