Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Review & Giveaway: The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa

Release Date: April 24, 2012
Series: Blood of Eden #1
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Preorder: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

In a future world, Vampires reign. Humans are blood cattle. And one girl will search for the key to save humanity.

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.

The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa is a gripping blend of paranormal and post-apocalyptic horror. The outlook is bleak for the scattered humans living in the Fringe, where the spectre of starvation pales in comparison to the constant threat of thirsty vampires hidden in the shadows and their even more grisly cousins, the rabids. The rabids are a testament to Kagawa's limitless dark imagination. They are mindless killing machines with sharp claws, sharper teeth, and an unquenchable thirst for blood -- but without the sleek gentility of a normal vampire. This world is truly the stuff of nightmares.

Allison Sekemoto is a survivor, hardened by the grim realities of her daily life. She is cynical and stoic -- or at least she tries to be, but even the constant threat of impending death (or worse) can't quite keep her from seeing the good in the few remaining humans. However, Allie soon finds herself one of the creatures she despises, but rather than letting the struggle turn to angst, she carries on. Kagawa doesn't shy away from the troubling realities of vampirism, and it is fascinating to see Allie struggle with the newfound darkness in her own nature. Readers will never lose sympathy for this hungry girl who chose life over the unknown abyss of death, and resolutely faces the consequences of that fateful choice.

Allie meets quite a few characters on her journey, spanning the range of humanity -- from staggeringly naive teenagers to men more dangerous than the monsters they fear. Thankfully, Kagawa turns the clichéd setup on its head: rather than the helpless human among supernatural men, Allie is powerful, strong, and haunted by demons of her own. It is refreshing to see the heroine struggle to protect these fragile humans -- especially one innocent boy -- from herself, rather than the opposite scenario usually found in paranormal YA.

Allie can't help but be attracted to Zeke, who is almost too good to be true and the polar opposite of everything the vampires represent: hope, light, compassion and kindness. The Immortal Rules is not paranormal romance, and their relationship is tense and uncertain throughout much of the novel. However, Zeke's faith provides an excellent foil for Allie's cynicism, and the potential is there for their attraction to evolve into star-crossed love as the series progresses.

At times, though, the novel feels meandering. The narrative drive is unclear and episodic, trailing behind Allie as she aimlessly wanders through the desolate countryside. There is a great deal of exposition that will hopefully be tightened in the final version to keep up Kagawa's usual thrilling pace while still giving readers a crash course on this brave new world.

The Immortal Rules is a solid setup for a series unlike anything else on the shelves. Kagawa took this tale in directions woefully unexplored in the vampire lore that came before. I cannot wait to see how the significance of the title, hinted at in this first installment, plays out throughout this utterly unique series. Kagawa has a flair for taking staid tropes and molding them into exciting new mythologies, and The Immortal Rules won't disappoint even her most rabid fans.


Disclosure: I received an advance galley from the publisher for an honest review.


Thanks to Harlequin Teen and Karen at Media Masters, one (1) lucky reader will win a finished copy of The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa!

To Enter:
  • Leave a thoughtful comment on this review with your email address so I can contact the winner
  • US and Canada only -- prize will be shipped by the publicist
  • Ends 4/17 at 11:59 pm EST
  • One (1) winner will be randomly chosen
  • Subscribing and tweeting/facebooking are appreciated, but not required
  • Please review my giveaway policy
  • Extra entries are available -- please leave your total in the comments along with relevant usernames

Extra Entries:

Come back tomorrow for a Q&A with New York Times Bestselling Author Julie Kagawa!


Krista said...

I have seen this book on other blogs and wanted to read but never review, so now I'm even more excited!

Krista said...

I'm a follower via GFC and NB thanks

Jessy said...

Everyone is saying this is really original and I can't wait to see what makes it stand out from all of the other vampires books out there.

+5 GFC-Jessy, Twitter- @emma015, facebook- Jessy Boz

findjessyhere at gmail dot com

Jessy said...

Everyone is saying this is really original and I can't wait to see what makes it stand out from all of the other vampires books out there.

+5 GFC-Jessy, Twitter- @emma015, facebook- Jessy Boz

findjessyhere at gmail dot com

Rummanah Aasi said...

I'm really excited to see one of Julie's books. I haven't read anything by her yet. I'm also really curious as how she melds the paranormal with the post-apocalyptic genre.

Please don't enter me in the giveaway as I have the ARC from Netgalley.

Michelle @ Book Briefs said...

I have been on a dark kick lately so this book sounds like it will be right up my alley. Plus I have a soft spot for paranormal and Julie! Thanks for the great review and for the chance to win the book!!


Katharyn Vela said...

I usually can't stand Vampire books usually but i love Julie and I can't wait for this. The premise of this book sounds amazing!

+5 (for julies blog I go by Katharyn V, for twitter I'm @katharynv and facebook is Kat Vela)

email is: katvela12345 At hotmail Dot com

Vivien said...

I'm so bloody looking forward to this. I love vampires, and I really love Julie's writing style, so this is bound to be epic!!!!

+1 GFC Julie: Vivien
+1 Julie twitter: @deadtossedwaves
+1 HarlequinTeen twitter: @deadtossedwaves

total = 4

deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

Love anything by her!! Been wanting to get my hands on this for awhile lol thanks for the awesome giveaway!!


tetewa said...

I've been hearing alot about this one, sounds good! Twarner419@aol.com GFC tetewa

Tanya1224 said...

This book sounds a little more Urban Fantasy to me..I like a little romance intertwined but I see this doesn't have any. I really enjoyed The Iron Fey series so I want to try this and see...you never know. Thanks for your review =) I'm an email subscriber and follower of your blog. Tanyaw1224

+5 I follow Julia and HT on everything ;)
FB as Tanya Wires and twitter as Tanya1224


Casey (The Bookish Type) said...

@Tanya1224 -- There is a hint of romance, but I wouldn't go so far as to classify it as PNR. It's not completely love-free though ;)

Samjam G said...

I am loving this book so far! Great review! :)
email: samjam@earthlink.net
Facebook: Samantha Rose Geesin
twitter: @samjamrose
Blog:Samantha Rose
HQT FB: Same as above
HQT T: Same as above

Emily said...

I can't wait to read this book.
I have heard amazing things about it and Julie Kagawa isan amazing author! I'm sure this will be just as good as her other series!
I can't wait to read your interview with her!

email address: emilykaiser24(AT)yahoo(DOT)com
Like Julie Kagawa on FB: Emily Kaiser
Follow Julie on Twitter: @theladyreads
Follow Julie's Blog: GFC - theladyreads
Like Harlequin Teen on FB: Emily Kaiser
Follow HarlequinTeen on Twitter: @theladyreads


Stephanie27 said...

I adore the Iron Fey series. I can't wait to see what Julies has come up with now. I can't imagine it is anything less than epic.

+1 Julie twitter- @Stephanie_27_
+1 HarlequinTeen twitter- @Stephanie_27_

drinkshrunkentears at gmail dot com

TayteH said...

I like the review, but what about the romance in the book? Is there any? I mean, I'm not all about it, I love the action, but still, curious here.

+1 Liking Julie
+1 for liking HarlequinTeen
Name: Tayte Hunter

+1 for following Julie's Blog
Name: TayteH

+1 for following Julie
+1 for Folling HarlequinTeen

Total entries: 6

Thank you!

Casey (The Bookish Type) said...

@TayteH -- People keep asking about the romance, so I've updated my review. In a very long novel, the romance is not that central. There's a hint of the possibility of a romance, but that's about it. The focus of this first book is on the darkness and horror of the world, and Allie's struggle with her place in it.

donnas said...

Great review. Thanks for taking the time to share it.

+1 Like Julie Kagawa on Facebook - Donna S
+1 Follow Julie on Twitter @donnas1
+1 Follow Julie's Blog donnas
+1 Follow HarlequinTeen on Facebook Donna S
+1 Follow HarlequinTeen on Twitter @donnas1

bacchus76 at myself dot com

Lexie@BookBug said...

I'm reading the Iron Fey series right now. At first, I wasn't sure I would like it but now I can't put it down!! I can't wait to read more by Julie! So creative and clever!
+1 Like Julie Kagawa on Facebook: Lexie May Hogan
+1 Follow Julie on Twitter: @LexieBookBug
+1 Follow Julie's Blog: Lexie@BookBug
+1 Follow HarlequinTeen on Facebook: Lexie May Hogan
+1 Follow HarlequinTeen on Twitter: @LexieBookBug
Total = 5
lexie.bookbug at gmail dot com

sarabara081 said...

I am so excited to read this book! I have yet to read the Iron Fey series and I have heard great things about Julie's writing. It has been awhile since I read a vampire book but the characters and plot sounds interesting. Great review and thanks for the giveaway! :)

+1 Following Julie's blog: sarabara081

+1 Following HarlequinTeen on FB: Sara Slattery

+1 Following HarlequinTeen on twitter: @sarabara081


Book Addictions by Christina said...

Awesome giveaway i am dying to read this book! I've read a couple reviews now and i read the teaser in the back of Iron Knight. Even the over is awesome. Julie is such a wonderful mind.

Gfc follower. Christina


Lizzzzzzeeeeyyyyy said...

Lately, Julie Kagawa has been one of my favorite authors. I loved her Iron Fey series and expect the same intoxicating writing in her newest novel. I can't wait to see how she writes a semi-horror novel as opposed to the romantic Iron Fey series.

Aylee said...

Reading this one now from NetGalley and loving it. I also love that it hasn't fallen prey to the cliches that we're used to in paranormals, namely the helpless girl surrounded by powerful men!

Thanks for hosting this giveaway!
+2 Follow Julie and HarlequinTeen on Twitter (@AyleeArgh)
+1 Follow Julie's blog (GFC Name: Aylee)

Christina said...

I'm really interested to hear that there's not really any romance; that will make a nice change.

The rabids sound so creepy!

cynicalsapphire at gmail dot com

I follow Harlequin Teen on FB and Twitter (@Reader_Fictions / Christina Franke)


Kimmie M. said...

I keep hearing so many wonderful things about this book, I can't wait to get my hands on a copy of it!

Liked Julie and HarlequinTeen on FB: Kimberly McFarland
Follow Julie and HarlequinTeen on Twitter: @Kim_McFarland89
Following Julie's Blog: GFC-Kimberly McFarland

+5 Total


Taking it One Book at a Time said...

Your positive review just put the icing on this WANT cake!
Thanks for the giveaway :)

Jess @ Taking It One Book

Follow GFC
Like Julie & Harlequin on FB - Jessica Hansen
Follow both on Twitter - @takingitonebook


The Teen Book Guru said...

Thanks so much for the awesome giveaway!! I love all of Julie's books, and I can't wait to read this one!! I'm a new follower. :) I'm also a new blogger and I just can't believe how nice everyone is!! :D

+1 entry- follow Julie's blog via GFC ( The teen book guru)

I don't have fb or twitter... So I can't win anymore entries :( good luck to everybody!!

Bookworm1858 said...

I really like the sound of this darker take on vampires; sounds just like what the marketplace needs. Can't wait to read this!

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