THE IMMORTAL RULES
(Blood of Eden #1)Julie Kagawa
Paranormal Young Adult
Available April 24th
Received from Media Masters Publicity for review
THE STORYYou will kill. The only question is when.
In the dark days since the insidious Red Lung virus decimated the human population, vampires have risen to rule the crumbling cities and suburbs. Uncontested Princes hold sway over diminished ranks of humans: their "pets." In exchange for their labor, loyalty and of course, their blood, these pets are registered, given food and shelter, permitted to survive.
Unregistered humans cling to the fringe, scavenging for survival. Allison Sekemoto and her fellow Unregistereds are hunted, not only by vampires, but by rabids, the unholy result of Red Lung-infected vampires feeding on unwary humans. One night, Allie is attacked by a pack of rabids, saved by an unlikely hero...and turned vampire.
Uncomfortable in her undead skin, Allie falls in with a ragtag crew of humans seeking a cure, or cures: for Rabidism and for Vampirism. She's passing for human...for now. But the hunger is growing and will not be denied. Not for friendship—not even for love.
MY THOUGHTSThose of us who read huge quantities of paranormal young adult literature might read the synopsis for The Immortal Rules and, despite a preexisting love for Julie Kagawa and the Iron Fey series, have a somewhat lukewarm reaction to the idea of yet another vampire tale. Any hesitancy should be immediately discarded however, as Ms. Kagawa thrusts the stunning darkness of her vampires into the paranormal young adult fiction mix, allowing them to carve a violent and gritty swath through their contemporaries and leaving our hearts scattered at our feet in jagged ribbons after we turn the last page. While we had some humor in the Iron Fey books in the form of Puck and Grimalkin, this first installment in the Blood Eden series provides us no such comfort, pairing us with an amazingly resilient heroine who faces a world that's slowly devolving into darker and darker shades of gray until barely any light remains, yanking us along beside her as she adamantly refuses to let us fall behind.
Allie is positively extraordinary; a young woman who is undeniably cold and hard as a result of a life where weakness proves unerringly to be a precursor to death, and where only those of strong will and mind have any chance of surviving. Despite her no-nonsense attitude and her at times seemingly unsympathetic responses to those around her, she never feels closed off or unreachable, instead we see a woman with drive and determination who accepts the constant upheaval of her life with grace and a renewed dedication to survive with as much of her humanity intact as possible. Vampires in this world are synonymous with monsters, and it’s both painful and awe-inspiring to watch as Allie plays with the words that make up the definition of monster–moving them around and molding them to fit her new self as she journeys with her band of humans to end up on the last page with a drastically different definition from where she started.
Though the romance between Zeke and Allie takes a back seat to the epic search for Eden, it’s so beautifully done that a review cannot possibly be complete with out mentioning it. Gloriously absent are feelings of love wedged into geometric shapes, the triangles and squares replaced with a relationship that feels unbelievably intimate despite the subtle nature of it. Neither character is forced to close the distance between them at a rapid pace to keep the plot moving, instead the physical and emotional space that exists keeps us glued to the pages more than sizzling instant attraction ever could as we revel in the infinite possibilities lingering in that slowly closing gap. Where some relationships feel loud and the love seems to scream from the black and white ink as though every letter possesses a tiny mouth that opens up to overwhelm us with a cacophony of romantic sounds, Ms. Kagawa takes a different approach, replacing the noise with quiet murmurings that haunt us with promises whispered across highly sensitive skin.
Despite the fact that Allie is a vampire herself, vampires actually play a fairly small role in this first installment, Allie’s struggle focused more on her clinging to her humanity with every ounce of strength she has than on her actual vampiric cravings and needs, thus making it a story that will most certainly appeal to even those who pronounce themselves tired of bloodsucking stories. The lack of vampire presence in no way means Ms. Kagawa’s mythology feels incomplete or unbelievable, she in fact grants us just enough knowledge to make us feel as though we understand the parameters of the world while keeping everything else behind a dark curtain we can’t wait to pull back in by inch as the story progresses. A truly gripping and mesmerizing start to the series, The Immortal Rules is not to be missed.
Today as part of the promotional tour for The Immortal Rules, I have some very exciting behind-the-scenes information for you on Allison, the brilliant heroine of this new series. The finished cover for The Immortal Rules features a vampire version of our protagonist, and I have the pleasure of sharing with you an exclusive, never-before-seen image of Allison before her vampire makeover! What do we think of human Allison?
Additionally, Allison has a list of rules to live by (or die by as it were) to share with all of us today:
Look out for yourself and your immediate family -- no one else
If you are eaten by vampires because you were dumb enough to venture out at night and get caught, it’s your own fault.
Nothing good comes from a bloodsucker.
If you steal my stuff, I will break your nose.
Knowledge is power.
Like my favorite book of all time, I wish, in my most secret moments, that I could find a hidden door that would take us all out of this place.
My books are my most prized possession.
When you're starving, you can't be picky. That means eating anything--bugs, rats, moldy bread--to stay alive.
This tour promises to be an amazing one, so you don't want to miss any of the tour stops and giveaway opportunities. Please visit Mundie Moms for the next stop, and you can find the full list of participating blogs HERE!
In addition to the blog tour, Julie will also be doing signings at three bookstores near her hometown. Below is the information on those events, I hope some of you can make it!
Tuesday, April 24th at 4pm - Barnes & Noble The Summit in Louisville, KY
Saturday, April 28th at 2pm - The Bookstore in Radcliff, KY
Monday, May 7th at 5:30pm - Lincoln's Loft in Hodgenville, KY
Buy The Immortal Rules here:
Barnes & Noble
Thanks to the fantastic people at Media Masters Publicity and Harlequin Teen I have one signed hardcover copy of The Immortal Rules to give away on the blog today! To enter, please fill out the form below. Giveaway is open to US and Canadian residents only and will run through midnight EST on Friday, April 27th after which time a winner will be chosen and announced on the blog.
In addition to individual giveaways at each tour stop, there is also a grand prize giveaway for the tour itself of a KINDLE TOUCH. Be sure and visit Paranormal Romance for entry details!