16 June 2012

The Immortal Rules; Julie Kagawa

The Immortal Rules (Blood of Eden, #1)The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Dystopian vampires... I'll admit it, I wasn't sure I wanted to read this but I'm glad I did.

In this world, there are vampires, rabids (a type of vampire) and humans.  Humans in New Covington are either Registered, which means that they "donate" blood monthly, or Unregistered, which means they don't get the perks of housing and food that the Registereds do.  Allie is an Un, scrounging for food on a daily basis and sharing shelter and provisions with a very small gang.  One day she finds an amazing hoard of food and tells the gang - on their way to find it, they're accosted by rabids.

Allie nearly dies but is found by Kanin, a vampire who isn't quite like the others.  He Turns her, then trains her in martial arts, reading/writing/'rithmatic and vampire lore.  Kanin's clearly searching for something and a crazed vampire named Sarren is searching for him.  Thanks to Allie, Kanin is killed and she's now on her own, striving to be a "good" vampire who doesn't Turn humans.

Her journey leads her to a small band of humans searching for a mythical island named Eden.  Jeb, their leader, is one of those righteous, stoic men, but the others seem ok (and Zeke, Jeb's son is way more than just "ok").  She lives with them for a while, trying to hide her vampire nature and nearly succeeds... And I'll stop there so as not to spoil the rest of the book.

Here's the thing: as good as the writing is, this is (for me, at least) a marriage of two genres that are, well, played out.  Stake 'em, Dano.  There's nothing really new here: no interesting additions to the vampire myth, no twist on dystopias that made me go "hmmmm....".  That canned food and petrol would still be around and useful 60+ years after the plague?  Not really buying that (a stash of Twinkies, on the other hand, I'd believe in a second!).  Finally, the cover.  Allison Sekemoto is described at times as "exotic", yet the cover?  Not so much.  Pretty, if you like blood-red eyes and tears of blood, but not exotic.

Copy provided by publisher.

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