In the futuristic ruins of Chicago, vampires have entirely taken over after a plague wiped out most of humanity. Desperate to maintain their food supply, the vampires make the humans register themselves and donate their blood. Allie, an orphan, is an Unregistered who lives on the Fringe and thieves to survive with a small band of friends outside of a vampire city. Allie hits the jackpot when she discovers a deserted house containing cans of food that will feed her “family” for months. When she leads them to the food supply in a dangerous area infested with rabids, she loses her family and her mortality in the same night.
Kanin, a mysterious vampire, gave Allie the choice between a mortal death or eternal life as a vampire, the very creature that Allie loathes. Allie would rather survive as a vampire than succumb to death, so she agrees to let him “turn” her. Kanin teaches Allie what she needs to know to thrive as a vampire, including that she must drink blood within a certain amount of time or she will go mad. Soon Allie and Kanin part ways, and Allie falls in with a band of humans who are searching for Eden, a place with the technology they need to find a cure. Allie must guard her secret carefully or they will destroy her, but only if her Hunger does not get in the way first.
Allie is a strong character; in the beginning she is sort of lifeless and empty, and it’s actually when she becomes a vampire that she begins taking emotional risks and thinking with her heart rather than her survival instinct. Her love interest is Zeke, one of the humans who is part of the group looking for Eden. He especially touches the humanity that still remains in her.
At times The Immortal Rules is really slow; toward the beginning Julie Kagawa tosses out too much information all at once via Kanin, and I’d rather she provided that information in bits throughout the novel and in other ways than pages and pages of back and forth dialogue. I enjoyed the characters and the setting enough that I’ll be continuing this series with a few minor reservations.
Jennifer graduated from the University of Utah with a BA in English. She occasionally dabbles with her own fiction writing, particularly with the Young Adult and Paranormal genres. She currently resides in Utah with her husband and daughter.
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