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.
(Summary from Goodreads)
Review: Sometimes there are books you love so much, it's difficult to vocalize what you liked about the book. When I first heard Julie Kagawa was writing a vampire book, I jumped on it. I'm not sick of the vampire trend as long as the vampires aren't sparkly fairy princesses. I've been a Julie Kagawa fan from the beginning--and not just because we share the same first name. With a series as long as The Iron Fey, she must have been used to Meghan's voice. The total 180 she did with Allie's voice shocked me, and so did the comfort she had with the character. Was this even the same author?
Why yes, yes it was.
One of the many things I liked about this story is the portrayal of vampires. They were hunters, plain and simple, and didn't do that nasty animal blood thing that's oh so popular in the YA market. Nope, vampires had to drink blood or else they'd go insane...and still have to drink blood.
The story starts out with Allie and her gang of Unregistered. The world building is fantastic from page one. She doesn't try to dump the information over you like a pot of freezing water and shock you into her world nor does she throw in random terms that you don't understand the meaning of until halfway through the novel. The system in her world is simple; vampires rule and the human serve them. Because Allie and her crew are Unregistered, the vampires ignore them and they have to fend for themselves. They don't have food rations or anything so everyday is literally a battle.
I loved Allie. She didn't appear to be a very nice person, and didn't seem to want to be a nice person, but took care of Stick, regardless of his uselessness. Allie was a butt-whooping, tough girl, always thinking about survival. I loved her refusal to sit down and be weak, which does make sense in her circumstances. If she was weak, she'd be dead already.
The character interaction in this story was brilliant. You could really get a sense of their different personalities and I never thought that they were just talking for the sake of dropping information. Yes, we did learn things through dialogue, but it never felt forced or like info bombing. Even though we didn't meet Zeke until halfway through the story, it was worth the wait. I love how in Julie Kawaga's books, the romance aspects never take over the plot of the story! Zeke was steady, sweet, and caring. He wasn't perfect but we love him anyway. He and Allie had similarities but the parallels between them made their romance believable. It wasn't just a "Hey, I just met you, and this is crazy, but here's my number, let's run away and get married and love each other forever and ever and ever." Their romance had to grow. Kanin, Allie's vampire mentor, was the classic mentor figure. He was still an intriguing character and the air of mystery that surrounds him makes me want to know more.
Julie Kagawa is probably the queen of action scenes. Her pacing is so natural and so smooth that it feels immediate. There's no clunky awkward prose from her. The plot is intense and the book is just addicting. As soon as you pick it up, you know you won't be able to put it down until you're finished, and even then, the characters and the story haunt your thoughts. Overall, this was a book about survival and change.
Julie Kagawa took two popular trends in the YA market and created something so different and so original that it's a must read for everyone, even if you don't like dystopian or vampires. Read The Immortal Rules. You won't regret it. (I think she's some kind of magician.)
Rating: 5/5 stars