In New Covington, Vampires Rule. Literally.
The Low Down: Allison “Allie” Sekemoto lives in a part of New Covington called The Fringe. If you’re an Unregistered, that’s the only place within the walls where you can live. If you can call it that. The constant hunger keeps her small band of brothers searching, looking, excavating. Ever since the Red Lung virus killed wiped out most of the population, the remaining humans had been promised security and food in exchange for their blood. Something Allie refuses to do.
When she has to, Allie bravely sneaks away to an area outside the Wall called the Ruins in search of food. Humans lived out here before the Wall was built, but now it is full of rabids looking to eat anyone stupid enough to venture out here at night. Convincing her friends to return with her to help gather a cache of food she found, they are brutally attacked. When Allie comes to, she is told that she’s too badly hurt and won’t survive. She is then given two options by her “savior:” he will kill her so she won’t turn into a rabid; or, he will make her a vampire.
After agreeing to the latter transformation, training, and learning all about her new “kind,” Allie is forced to separate from her Master and go off on her own. Then she meets Zeke. Open, friendly, even with a rifle leveled at her chest, she’s never met anyone like him. Can she safely travel with Zeke, his father, Zeb and their group as they try to find a place called Eden? Will she be able to control herself around humans? What is Zeb’s real reason for wanting to get to Eden at all costs? And how can she keep everyone, especially Zeke, from finding out what she really is?
Best Thang ‘Bout It: At first, I thought “Really? Dystopian + Vampires? Seriously?” But hey, it works. It’s sort of a vampire version of The Walking Dead, really. Allie is kick-ass, Zeke warms her and makes her softer, and the secondary characters are all realistic and varied. It’s ironic that Allie is more human when she’s no longer breathing. And the bad guys? To the bone, people. To the bone.
I’m Cranky Because: Let’s face it: you can’t be dystopian without suffering, extreme rules and whatever chaos caused this state in the first place. Dystopian stories are pretty dour, bleak and gray. On the other hand, you know that eventually something’s going to happen that is going to cause a shift, a Network sort of moment, when the main character decides that they just aren’t going to take it anymore. It just seemed to take a little longer than I would have liked for this to happen. Because once it did, the book was infinitely more interesting and moved at a much quicker pace.
The Bottom Line: If you’re a fan of vampires trying to hang onto their humanity and people trying to find something worthwhile to cling to, then this is the book for you.
The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa was published April 24, 2012 by Harlequin Teen. A free copy of this book was given to Ink and Page in return for an honest review. Big thanks to NetGalley, Harlequin Teen and Julie Kagawa.
Genre: Young Adult Science Fiction Dystopian Fantasy Paranormal Romance Series
Ages: 12 and up
You Might Want to Know: Mild profanity