Forbidden romances. Dystopian worlds. Unimaginable creatures. Dark nightmares. Beautiful dreams. All within the Realms of an Open Mind.
Vampires today are romanticized to the point that they are no longer feared as monsters. In fact, they are admired, envied, and desired. Julie Kagawa's vampires aren't completely old-school, but their brutality hits closer to the lack of humanity in these ever-evolving monsters.
Allison Sekemoto loathes vampires and the control they have over the city and every human in it. She doesn't much seem to like humans either, but she does what she must to survive. That's her entire life: survival.
She's an intense character; honest and courageous, she faces life head on and accepts it for what it is: unfair and brutal. When she becomes one of the monsters she hates, she doesn't dwell on her decision, but adapts.
You don't dwell on what you've lost, you just move on.
In fact, I think that becoming a vampire made her more human, if that makes sense. She works so hard to resist the urges that her "demon" forces upon her that her humanity seems to be pushed beyond any limits she had known before the change.
I do have to mention Kanin, her creator. Talk about tortured. This guy literally carries the weight of the destroyed world on his shoulders. I sincerely hope he finds what he's looking for and can forgive himself.
Allison's opposite in every way, Zeke still has faith that there can be good in the world. His optimism is almost naive, but deep down, he knows what he's facing, what dangers lie around every shadowed corner; he just chooses to hope.
And sometimes, hope is the only thing that gets us through the day.
Their relationship is ... strained, each of them wanting something that should be impossible. It's a nice switch-up; it's typically the guy who's the badass, mysterious vampire and the innocent girl who needs to be saved. Refreshing to see this human/vampire dynamic from a different perspective.
Julie Kagawa's world building is amazing. We are led from a rotting vampire city filled with starving people to the outer world littered with vicious rabies to the ruins of Chicago to the safety of Eden. It's quite the journey, and Kagawa transitions from one world to the next with ease, enveloping us with her descriptive writing and the emotions that are transferred to us through the characters. (One element I do hope to learn more about in The Eternity Cure (Blood of Eden #2), is how the plague came about and destroyed the free world. Kagawa touches upon the subject, never going into it too deeply, but from what I can tell, there's an excellent setup to learn more.)
The story as a whole is simply amazing. Action packed, heart-breaking, hopeful, and brutally honest, I can say that The Immortal Rules is more than I expected. The concept of humanity shines through all the monstrosities, allowing us to remember that the human spirit is stronger than we give it credit for. Even as a "monster," Allison holds on desperately to her loyalty and the nature to protect those she cares for.
With such well developed characters and a fast-paced, intense story-line, readers will carry around this story long after the last page is turned.
(Also, check out my "Questions for Discussion" post about The Immortal Rules via Hubpages!)
Happy Reading Everyone :)