Goodreads summary: "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.
Julie Kagawa is a hugely talented writer – I’ve said that enough in my reviews of her amazing Iron Fey series. The first in Kagawa’s new Blood of Eden series is hugely different from her other books in many ways, yet the quality of the storytelling and character-building remains high as ever. I loved The Immortal Rules – it definitely revitalises the vampire myth, bringing back the fearsome, blood-drinking monsters from legend, and proving that it’s possible to breathe new life into a tired literary theme.
The Immortal Rules is set in a future world where vampires not only exist, they rule humanity. Forced to expose their existence after a disease which has decimated the populations of both humans and vampires, the immortals now dominate our race. Humanity – or what remains of it – lives in fear. Registered humans are used as blood cattle, with the most elite acting as ‘pets’, betraying their own to serve the ruling vamps. The Unregistered live on the streets, risking their lives for their very survival - because to steal from the vamps means death. But to Alison Sekemoto, the idea of belonging to the vampires is repellent.
The vampires may rule the city of New Convington, but outside it, rabids roam, victims of the disease. After a brutal rabid attack leaves Allie on the brink of death, she is faced with a choice: let the rabid virus spread and become a savage man-eating monster – or allow her rescuer to turn her into a vampire, one of the creatures she despises. Wanting to survive, she chooses the latter.
Now Alison must learn how to live as a ‘monster’, dependent on drinking the blood of humans. Under the guidance of her creator, Kanin, she tries to adapt to her brutal new existence. But when she learns her master’s shocking secret, she is compelled to leave, and finds herself joining a group of humans who are searching for a city named Eden, where there are supposedly no vampires – and even the possibility for a cure for the rabid virus. But how long can she last without revealing her true nature? And will she ever find acceptance?
The writing was, as usual, faultless, and the dystopian fantasy world was realised in vivid detail, from the ravaged, crumbing cities to the endless wilderness between. As I said before, this is very different from the Iron Fey series. Allie, the protagonist, is far tougher than Meghan – though of course, this is a different story entirely. It’s great to see vampires as the feared creatures they should be – and it makes for an intriguing and compelling tale as Alison tries to do the apparently impossible: live as an immortal whilst retaining her humanity.