Monday, April 16, 2012
The Immortal Rules (Blood of Eden, #1)
The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Sometimes you read a book, you moderately enjoy it, but when you finish it, you have very little to say about it. This is one of those times. The Immortal Rules was a pretty entertaining read, but it simply failed to impress me. I suppose I expected more originality, but instead I got the same old story hidden behind a few interesting details. That’s not to say I didn’t have fun reading it – I did, for the most part, and I’ll definitely pick up the sequel.
Allison Sekemoto grew up in the Fringe, outside the walls of a big vampire city. She has never set foot inside those walls – as an unclaimed and unprotected human, she is easy prey for any vampire she might run into. One day, while hunting for food, Allison’s crew gets attacked by rabids. After seeing her friends die and being savagely beaten herself, she is saved by a Master vampire Kanin and offered a choice: she can either die or be turned into the very thing she hates the most.
I really enjoyed the worldbuilding at the beginning. I was hoping Allison would somehow explore these vampire cities, spend some time discovering New Covington and the life inside the walls. I wanted to know more about how they function, about the vampires and the humans that chose to live among them. I was vastly disappointed when Kagawa decided to lead her heroine out of there and have her wander around through wilderness where nothing was even remotely interesting. I realize that she’ll probably go back in the second book, but I wanted to know more now, and that feeling of disappointment when Alison ran out of the city and when I realized she won’t be going back soon stayed with me throughout the book. The second she left the city and started walking on her own, my interest in the book dropped by about 25%. It didn’t help that the middle part bored me almost to death: the time Allison spent alone and all that wandering around when she joined Zeke’s group didn’t work for me at all. In fact, I think this entire book would have been much better if it were a hundred pages shorter.
Julie Kagawa is undoubtedly a talented writer and I could tell she put much thought into her worldbuilding (especially the first part), but it’s the little things that make a book and in my opinion, she failed in polishing those details, which ruined the story for me to some extent. It bothered me that certain things didn’t make sense, for example, when Allison joined Zeke’s group, they gave her an old tent to sleep in, but she still had to cut a hole in the bottom and bury herself in the ground every night to avoid being accidentally exposed to sunlight. I don’t know how dirty they all were, but it is impossible that no one would notice she was covered in dirt every evening. You sleep in the ground, you come out covered with it no matter what, and nothing short of a long bath and a complete change of clothes could possibly fix it.
Another thing that didn’t work well for me was the romance. I didn’t really understand where the attraction between Allison and Zeke was coming from at all, and to be honest, I didn’t really like Zeke all that much. I like my love interests with just a little bit more fire than he had to offer – he was too vanilla for my taste. I would have loved to see a relationship between Allison and Kanin, the vampire who turned her, instead. It’s the first time I’m actually hoping for a love triangle in the future.
Huh. I guess I had a lot to say after all. I realize that my opinion won’t be very popular in this case, but I had to share it anyway. The majority of my friends really enjoyed this book. After all the gushing reviews I’ve read in the last month, I’m pretty sure my lack of enthusiasm won’t do any damage at all.