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Actual rating 3.5 starsWhen I first found out Kagawa was journeying down the vampire path, I was nervous I mean, vampires have been written about over and over in the YA world and I wasn t sure what could be added I had imaginary conversations, pleading with her, Julie, are you sure you wanna do this And in all her awesomeness she pretty much told me, Steph, chill I got this Do you know what I love about Julie Kagawa I love how she can take a completely overused paranormal creature like fairies or vampires and create a whole new spin on them Just when I was starting to lose faith in the Children of the Night, The Immortal Rules comes along and makes me rethink everything I thought I knew about vampires The Immortal Rules tells the story of Allison Sekemoto living in a future where most of the human population was killed by a disease called Red Lung But that s not the only problem Vampires now rule their world and have caused the human race to become their pets, scavengers, and monsters themselves And let s not forget about the Rabids that stalk the earth just waiting to take a bite or two out of a human Allison hate vampires, but when faced with the choice of death or becoming that which she has always loathed, she chooses the latter When she flees from New Covington, Allie runs into a group of humans She decides to travel with them, hiding her true nature from them as they travel searching for Eden and yes, there are Christian themes in the book , a human city not ruled by vampires She s always thought being a human was hard, but she quickly learns that being a vampire isn t exactly a walk in the park either, especially when you re wanted.The best thing I loved about The Immortal Rules were the vampires These aren t the cute sparkly vamps that try their hardest, fighting their nature, by feasting off animals instead of humans Oh, no These bad boys are vicious killers, just like unlike em It is made very clear early in the novel that vampires have to drink from humans in order to survive and that one day Allison would kill a human no matter how hard she tried not to Hell to the yeah Real vampires They re back That s what I m talking about I also really enjoyed the creativity in this novel Do you know what happens when Underworld and The Forest of Hands and Teeth have a baby The result, if you didn t guess, is The Immortal Rules It was a really cool mix of both flesh eating, zombie like creatures and bloodsucking vamps, surrounding poor, defenseless humans Kagawa wasn t afraid to kill her characters off and show Allison some tough lovin I really hate when authors attempt to give every lovable character in the book a hall pass from death The impact of the scene and story usually suffer, but not here People died, viciously Such is the way of the circle of life.My biggest and only issue with the book was the extremely slow first half It just felt like it dragged on and on I just wanted to bang my head against a wall And because of that, I can t give this book 4 stars However, where the beginning was boring to me at least , the second half makes up for lost time Because this is another thing I love about Kagawa Her action scenes and endings are kick ass I was getting major Underworld vibes from Allison and it was awesome Every time she cut someone s head off, I got ridiculously giddy I m not lying when I say the second half saved this book.Characters In the beginning I really disliked Allie She and I weren t getting along very well because she had an attitude and personality that gave Oscar the Grouch a run for his money I get why she was like that, but that didn t mean I had to like it Thankfully, by the end of the novel, I did end up connecting with her It was very subtle and snuck up on me Of course, it didn t hurt that she was a badass, katana wielder either Useless, she was not Kick some ass, she did Lol Okay, I ll spare you with my Yoda talk, but seriously the second half was a lot of fun.Zeke, the love interest, was just okay for me He was very sweet, caring, loyal, all those things you love to see in a person While I did like him, I feel like I need to see of him it the next book before I make up my mind.Kanin P.S was that derived from The land of Canaan , Allie s mentor was my favorite character We didn t see a lot of him and that made me a bit disappointed, but things are looking up for page time in the next novel.So overall I did enjoy the novel and I m looking forward to book two It looks like Kagawa is planning on kicking it up a notch, so she can count me in D A note on the cover DISLIKE Allison is of Japanese descent Thus, the girl on the cover disappoints me for obvious reasons ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley Thank you More reviews and other fantastical things at Cuddlebuggery Book Blog. This is pretty much everything I want in a vampire book It was a satisfying read Allison was a strong, but imperfect female lead This is a sort of post apocalyptic dystopian alternate reality deal where a virus wipes out most of the human population Vampires decide to come out and take over, fulfilling the role of the tyrannical government.Humans exist as pets and must donate blood Unregistereds live as scavengers, barely scraping by Some operate in gangs I won t go too much into it because this is a book probably most of my friends have already read and if you haven t, then spoilers.It has a nice goth moody vibe and even reminds me of The Walking Dead a bit because there are vampires infected with the virus called rabids who are like slightly intelligent zombies.I really liked Kanin, Allison s mentor I am definitely continuing the series The section with the human group Allison ended up with was kind of meh I didn t overly like the romance The crazy vampire gang leader king was entertaining I thought this was a great read Buddy read with the MacHalo group. WARNING INTENSE FANGIRLING TO FOLLOW run away while you still canThis book was SO AWESOME It was nothing at all like I expected it to be, but I think that actually made the reading experience interesting First off, I promise I will not make any Twitard references, no matter how strong the temptation And believe you me, it will be almost irresistible As a lot of reviewers have mentioned before me, Kagawa takes vampires back to their original, scary, monstrous selves or does she See, there are vampires in this story, and they are way cooler than most of the watered down, emasculated vampires we ve seen in YA fiction these days, but that doesn t necessarily mean that this is a story about vampires Not in the way that, say, Dracula is This is a coming of age story than anything else Which makes it a very special snowflake in its genre, because the themes of self exploration and self discovery and growth are not ones that are common to the YA PNR genre or even the YA dystopian one And yet, despite its strong underlying message, this book is neither slow, nor preachy in fact, it moves smoothly and lucidly towards a satisfying conclusion that still leaves the reader panting for This book had all the action and romance my lil ol heart could desire, but it never lost sight of its ultimate goal in the pursuit of shallow entertainment Julie Kagawa s second series, at least at this moment, surpasses her first offering by leaps and bounds While I did like the Iron Fey series and on a side note, the opening chapter of the spin off series was tantalizing damn you Harlequin , it did not engender the kind of compulsive devotion and respect this book did It s not that Julie Kagawa did something different with vampire lore In fact, one of the major selling points of this book is that she didn t however, the story she has to tell, and her protagonists, were compelling While I was initially a little disappointed that the love interest was human, I couldn t help but acknowledge that the romance served as a powerful vehicle for Allie s journey to self actualization.But while Allie was spellbinding as the protagonist, Kagawa managed to avoid the rookie mistake of making her overshadow all of the secondary characters There were so many players in this book who emerged as actual relatable characters in their own right Kanin, whom I loved, Jeb, who frustrated me and made me suspicious by turns, Darren, who I was mentally cheering on for defending AllieBut Zeke and Allie were, undoubtedly, the best part of the book Allie stole my heart when she decided that she would prefer being a bloodsucker to being dead I like the fact that she was such a realist More of a cynic actually And I absolutely, totally, adored the fact that it was only after she was dead and something non human that she really managed to discover her humanity Allie the Fringer was little than an animal with a strong survival instinct, and a vague dream of being Allie the vampire is the one who makes the choice to be forgiving and selfless and loving, even And her transformation into that person is what makes this book so unique and so very special I also loved the way Kagawa played with power and gender roles in the book It s always Allie who s coming to Zeke s rescue, and yet, you never get the feeling that Zeke is powerless or helpless or unhealthily co dependent In fact, Kagawa makes it subtly but unmistakably clear that while Allie has the physical and occassionally moral superiority, Zeke s humanity and faith and generosity of spirit are their own kind of power In fact, put the two of them together, and they seem to complement and supplement each other s strengths, and that sort of equality is what makes for healthy romances I also know that one of the reasons this book, and the romance, worked, was because Allie was not a centuries old vampire She was a baby vamp, and with the memory of her human life still so very fresh, she seemed human than not most of the time So it was conceivable that she was still attached to human beings, rather than seeing them merely as a succession of food items A few very small things bugged me, such as Kanin telling Allie she didn t need to breathe the thing is, they ve been talking, and you can t talk without breathing, because how will your voice box work without air Also, in the penultimate scene, I kind of wish Zeke hadn t fed her, you know It felt like it had descended into an overly dramatic cliche But all in all, a truly awesome book I loved it as if you couldn t tell and I cannot wait for the next book to come out I hope we see of Kanin there, he is becoming a firm favorite Definitely a book I would recommend if you re looking for an entertaining, action packed book that is also thoughtful My thanks to Harlequin and NetGalley for providing me with an ARC of this novel. 3.5I ve been reluctant to start a Julie Kagawa book ever since I heard the heroine of her Fey series described as weak and constantly in need of saving , they re simply not the kind of heroines I like to read about However, there was something in me that just couldn t ignore this whole dystopia vampires thing she s got going on here I guess it doesn t matter how many shitty paranormal books I read, or how much I hate Twilight, I think I ll always be that girl who grew up on Buffy give me mean vampires and a spunky heroine any day.I have to say that The Immortal Rules does have a lot going for it, I enjoyed it a lot, especially the beginning and end parts Allison Sekemoto is one tough cookie who s had to deal with the harsh realities of everyday survival her whole life The world of the novel reminded me somewhat of Angelfall supernatural apocalypse, vamps instead of angels have taken over and the human race is seen as inferior, kept alive only to feed and serve the vampires There is also a peculiar breed of zombie vampires, these are called Rabids and are vampires which have become infected by an incurable disease.One night, Allison is attacked by Rabids and lies on the brink of death until a vampire offers her a choice die or become that which she has hated her entire life In a weird way I like that Allison makes the morally questionable choice and takes any chance she can get at survival, a lot of authors can t resist writing MCs that are self sacrificing and uber perfect, it pleases me that Allison is flawed like we all ultimately are Allison continues to kick ass and put survival first throughout the book, there s some romance but it forms a small subplot that doesn t overtake the main focus of the story.I also like how dark and gritty the novel is Kagawa doesn t tame up the descriptions of gore and violence, even the daytime seems dark and foreboding in this story I do think that the novel s 500 pages could ve been cut down by at least 50, particularly in the middle where the pacing slows a bit and some of the events feel a little pointless and dawdling This is the bit where the romantic interest is introduced and the action disappears for a while Thankfully, though, the love interest is sweet and kind these creatures are a rare breed in young adult urban fantasy so we have to give a little cheer every time we spot one.And now for the negative.My big big issue with this novel is the way Kagawa portrays the only other female character She is a malicious, manipulative, jealous bitch character and we never get to see another side of her She is mean to Allison for no reason other than the fact that they are both girls of roughly the same age and she sees Allison as a threat that could come between her and the guy she likes I can t even begin to understand the usage of such a character in this novel Normally when authors do this, it is to make the heroine look better but Kagawa doesn t seem to have a problem with Allison being a bit of a controversial and morally questionable character, so why was this needed Do authors just think it a necessity to have a bitchy girl character in their story There goes all that strong heroine feminism straight out the window.Another smaller issue is why every vampire is 100% definitely without question EVIL, except Allison and her sire It doesn t really make sense, in fact, it seems kind of ridiculous that the only vampires with touches of morality are the ones we re supposed to like Perhaps when we meet vampires later in the series this problem will be rectified.I d like to take a quick moment to comment on the cover and say I seriously think Tatiana was onto something with this whole tinting covers with non white characters Allison Sekemoto is Asian, whether that model on the cover is Asian or not I cannot tell because her face appears to be blue Coincidence Just fitting in with the vampy theme Perhaps, but I hope this trend stops soon.To finish on a positive note, I really did find this an entertaining read and I will pick up the sequel to see where Allison ends up next The real strength of this series opener is, for me, the idea that we always have a choice, that we don t have to accept what society and other people tell us about ourselves, that we can choose to be a better person I think that s what Allison does, it s so easy to let go and just become a monster when life shits on you, but Allison chooses to be something better than what people expect from her and it s a message I really appreciate. I am absolutely obsessed with Jackal 3,5 5 So, where to start I had this book on my shelf since 2012 or 2013, but I never had time to read it And today I finally did Right away I have to say that if I read this six years ago, I would have been ABSOLUTELY ecstatic I would have freaked and asked for And where now it was a pleasant read, it was lacking Somehow I would say this is 3,5 stars for me So few points I love the whole world At first, I thought that a rabid was a typo for a rabbit Dont s ask me why I was actually pretty okay with Allison she was an interesting main character I want to know about Kanin I am obsessed with Jackal He s just thy right character for me Stick is a useless idiot Can someone, please, explain to me how Jeb s group survived that long Because that s absolutely beyond me They have zero survival skills, and it seems like pure luck until Allison joined And you want me to believe that they were okay for over three years The Ruth disliking Allison was pretty cheap view spoiler As was killing her off Made zero sense hide spoiler In a perfect world, Julie Kagawa s The Immortal Rules and I would have been best friends Look what the story has to offer A vampire ruled post apocalyptic world The return of vampires who are blood drinking monsters and not brooding lovers A heroine who wields a katana and kills zombie like vampires with it What could go wrong with any of this, you ask Sadly, a lot could and did, at least for me.In the vampire city of New Covington, Allison Allie Sekemoto yes, she s of Asian descent and, no, the cover does not reflect this in the least lives life on the fringe of society She s an Unregistered, someone who isn t listed in the system and who doesn t need to have monthly blood draws but there s a downside being Unregistered also means that you re on your own as far as food goes Therefore, Allie does what she can to survive, even though doing so means joining a gang and eating whatever she can find even if that means moldy or maggot infested food What follows is a story of survival turned on its head as Allie ends up becoming what she hates the most yet still strives to survive against vampire and human alikeWhen I started The Immortal Rules, I really expected a story that would amaze me with its world building, its characterization, and the Us Vs Them mentality of humans and vampires coexisting in a society Sadly, none of it really left an impression on me.One of the most disappointing things about Kagawa s novel is that, rather than be a new entity unto itself, it seems a patchwork creation of plot elements that have been explored in other vampire centric stories You have a girl who fights the monster inside herself even as she strikes down bloodthirsty creatures to protect the people she cares about That story was explored in the 2005 animeBloodYou have a seemingly incurable strain of virus that destroyed nearly the entire human race and turned many into creatures bent on devouring the humans who have survived even though all seems hopeless, some humans still search for a cure even if it means sacrifices along the way The 2007 film I Am Legend based on the novel of the same name already followed such a post apocalyptic scenario and in a two hour film, not almost 500 pages I can understand some similarities after all, vampires have become a product of pop culture, over the past 30 years especially, so it stands to reason that someone writing a vampire novel would unconsciously or not draw inspiration from other works already out there But here s the thing the work needs to stand enough new ground on its own that it can be seen as something not entirely derivative of components seen in other works within the genre In my opinion, The Immortal Rules is derivative than innovative, so my reading experience wasn t as enjoyable as I had hoped it would be.I can t say I felt the nearly 500 page length was justified either As I read through the novel, I couldn t help but note long stretches where nothing of importance happens The first part Human kept me fairly intrigued, but I felt my interest wane with each successive chapter Though Kagawa had a good handle on keeping the mundane passage of time such as days or weeks to a few paragraphs, the overall feel of the novel to me was one of monotony, even despite some action scenes that should have helped to keep me riveted Nothing surprised me in this novel even though I so wanted to be on the edge of my seat, glued to the story and desperate to find out what happened next.Aside from all of that, what really annoyed me about this novel is that it suffers from something I m going to call the Strong Girl Spotlight, where the heroine is the only girl of worth in the novel In a world of mainstream fiction and media dominated by male main characters, why would such a thing a strong female main character bug me Well, I believe that a story shouldn t get props just for having a strong female character as a lead I mean, what does it say about the story if a the only important girl in the plot is the heroine, b all the other girls in the story are much weaker physically, mentally, emotionally, what have you by comparison to the heroine, and c the only other notable female character is mostly defined by her hatred for and jealousy of the main character Thus, I can t say this story won any feminist badges from me Believe me, I wanted to love Allie as a character, as a strong heroine surviving as best she could in a crummy world but I felt maneuvered to like her, especially with the lack of any other likable or notable female characters.With all that being said, I think that people who enjoy vampire novels, post apocalyptic novels, or both will likely come away liking The Immortal Rules, even despite its flaws and the similarities to other post apocalyptic tales This is just one of those cases where I d say, Try it from the library first if you want to read it As for whether I ll continue on and read the next book in the serieswell, I guess I have a year to decideNote I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley Wow This book is one of my new favorites for the year.If you think you can t read another vampire book for a while because you are sick of the unoriginal plots and characters that have been around lately you are like me Rest assured, this book is completely original and creative For starters, vampires rule the world in this story The Immortal Rules is set in the future, and it s humans who are going hungry and forced to find ways to get food Vampires have the control and even reading is illegal The vampires want the humans to stay as ignorant as possible about the past.Our main character is a girl named Allie who is just trying to survive She loves to read okay so this trait is not very original , and she s the strong, brave girl in her group She absolutely despises vampires and the control they have over humans When she is attacked one night she has to decide if she will become a vampire herself.This book surprised and impressed me I was surprised that I was so impressed I really went into this with mixed expectations I first thought bleh, vampiresboring but then I thought Julie Kagawa is an author that everyone seems to enjoy, she will bring it The world building in this story is perfectly executed As soon as you start reading you will be in this desperate world, and feel the hopelessness of this place ruled by vampires The rabids are truly terrifying as well They are I guess half zombie, half vampire, and 100% creeped me the F out The romance was actually beautifully done, and this is from someone who doesn t usually care about romance much at all The story itself was often quite intense and engaging When you get into this book you will need to keep reading, because this book does a fantastic job at sucking you in As soon as one little issue is resolved she throws something else at you Her writing is just fantastic, and she is the queen of suspense.I am one of the rare people who loves YA yet has never read the Iron Fey series by Miss Kagawa I m not sure why, really, because it is highly praised my all of my friends, and has decent ratings and whatnot Either way my point is just that I can t compare this to her other series, but I have been seeing other reviewers say that this series is much darker.I can t think of any YA lover that I would NOT recommend this to Part Paranormal Romance, Fantasy, Dystopia, Vamp, Zombie, and much , it has so much to offer. 3.5 stars Well, now, these dark vampires were pretty fun to follow Julie Kagawa is such a master in world building Indeed after having loved her fairy land in The Iron King which is much hated by many of my friends, but what can I say, I loved it and I m not even ashamed , again I felt myself completely immerged and eager to learn about the violent and merciless world we discover here See, to me a great world building isn t necessarily complex No Of course it mustn t be overly simplistic, but above all that, in my opinion, a well done world building is coherent, without holes in it, and let us immerge into it straight away That was the case here Always leave yourself an out that was the first rule of the Unregistered Do whatever you want hate the vamps, curse the pets but never get caught Welcome to New Covington, city ruled by Vampires, where humans are either pets understand minions and food or unregistered and then surviving by stealing and scavenging. You want to escape shakes head Now, that s what I call a bad idea Outdoors you will find hybrid creatures who will most likely rip you apart Literally Oh, and we re in a post apocalyptic area, where everything kind of fall apart, so be careful when you find a house, the roof could be destroyed rather easily You ve been warned Let s talk about the characters, shall we Allison is badass Fierce, sarcastic, brave, loyal She s the heroine of her own story, stands for herself and doesn t let other bring her down High five, girl, I like you already Tired of these heroines who always need savingAllison is the one who saves others Annoyed by overlong inner whiny monologuesAllison is sharp, strong minded, confident in her choices, even if what she has to do to respect them isn t the easier path to follow far from it I was afraid I wouldn t be able to control myself, and I would end up killing someone.And, deep down, a part of me didn t care That was the scariest thing of all And cherry on top, the girl uses a katana A fucking katana Well, that s pretty obvious that she s my favorite, isn t it As for Zeke, I need to point out that even if it took me longer to be truly interested in him, his hopeful personality won me in the end You know, he s the kind of character whose comments can bring a real smile on your face, who we can t help but want to both hug and shake a little And that s what Allison felt, and if I wasn t already a fan of her, I would have loved her for that No blind admiration from her, but recognition of something as rare as hope trust Yes it can be annoying but do you want to get my opinion just say yes already, you ll have it anyway In a world as dark and twisted as that one, an hopeful and fundamentally kind character is such a breath of fresh air So, what He could be sexier More smart ass Hell yes, but then, we have Jackal and Allison for that.Now, the guy is blond Not that I have a problem with that or anything but seriously The guy is blond Sorry, I might have some weird preferences when it comes to my male leads fantasies Fortunately he doesn t have long hair Yes, Ethan Sullivan, I m looking right at you And there re the Vampires Monstrous, heartless, selfish, who need to bury themselves underground to avoid the sun finally, YA vampires who don t own big cars and sparkle No, thank you Really, I d prefer not In The Immortal Rules there s no good vampires, but only different shades of Evil Allison included But then, are there such things as Evil and Good out there I m not really sure, and that s for the best We are vampires, Kanin had told me, on one of our last nights together It makes no difference who we are, where we came from Princes, Masters and rabids alike, we are monsters, cut off from humanity They will never trust us They will never accept us We hide in their midst and walk among them, but we are forever separate Damned Alone You don t understand now, but you will. Overall, the plot kept me interested but even if I never was bored to death, I must admit that the pacing was uneven indeed after a strong beginning that captivated me, I found the middle a tad weak but absolutely adored the last 30% Apart from that, my main complain is the unnecessary and childish girl s hate Oh, how it annoyed meI mean, I m trying to be kind here, but why create such insta hate from Ruth toward Allison There s no reason to explain it at first Absolutelyno reasonLook, back when I was a teenager I always had guys friends than girls, but I would have never hated a girl on sight just for having made an apparition Note that I wasn t struggling to survive in a rude world in the middle of a mainly male group So, this bitchy hate In my opinion, it was completely unnecessary In a nutshell Here s a really good first book of a trilogy I m eager to continue, as I m sure there re to know about this dark and twisted world PS No, my friends, you re not delusional I did post parts of this review last year Then I did delete it when reshelving today, because somehow, I m a moron like that Just like that I guess I should be grateful to be an organized kind of moron Oh well It reminded me that I should read the sequel soon For of my reviews, please visit (READ E-PUB) ⚸ The Immortal Rules õ To Survive In A Ruined World, She Must Embrace The Darkness Allison Sekemoto Survives In The Fringe, The Outermost Circle Of A Walled In 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 Ofthem The Vampires Who Keep Humans As Blood Cattle Until The Night Allie Herself Dies And Becomes One Of The MonstersForced To Flee Her City, Allie Must Pass For Human As She Joins A Ragged Group Of Pilgrims Seeking A Legend A Place That Might Have A Cure For The Disease That Killed Off Most Of Civilization And Created The Rabids, The Bloodthirsty Creatures Who Threaten Human And Vampire Alike And Soon Allie Will Have To Decide What And Who Is Worth Dying For AgainEnter Julie Kagawa S Dark And Twisted World As An Unforgettable Journey Begins