I haven’t read a vampire book since Vampire Academy, and I thought I’d read it all. Oh boy, was I wrong! The Immortal Rules is an incredible dystopian/ paranormal blend that introduces vampires as you’ve never read them before. At first I was hesitant, but I’m so glad I gave it a change. I loved the world building and all of the characters. This book went in so many different directions that you never could have predicted the ending from how it started.
Allison, the lead, was so strong. She’s a fighter who starts out a starving human struggling to survive on the Fringe until she’s given the impossible choice, to avoid death and live forever. Obviously she takes the vampire out otherwise there would be no story and what I loved is that she just got on with it. Yes, she was conflicted and always questioning her morals and how she would be different, but she didn’t make a big fuss over being a ‘monster’ like you often see in characters like Juliette from Shatter Me and Ruby from The Darkest Minds. Allison’s courage was commendable and I thoroughly enjoyed her narrative, not thinking any of it was tedious or boring. Her inner monologues were actually useful! Who knew that could happen?!
Zeke, the love interest, is my kind of guy, although he wasn’t introduced until around 50%! That’s a whole 50% without any romance, people. Amazing! I think it’s hard not to compare this book to every other book I’ve read before because it just took all the good elements and made it work. So, Zeke is pretty similar to Day from Legend. He’s got a good heart and always puts other people first. He’s a great contrast to Allison and I wish there was some dual perspective so we could know more about how his mind works.
As for the other vampires we have Kanin, centuries old vampire guy who’s mysterious and broody but willing to help and train Allison like a karate trainer. Jackal, bad boy on campus, who has suspicious motives for wanting to capture humans, and a backstory that’s never quite revealed, what’s not to like? No seriously he’s the bad guy and I have a lot of hate for him, but I know he’ll be a recurring character and I can’t wait to find out more about him, because I think there’s a lot we don’t know about him.
Basically, I loved all of these characters, good or bad. They have so much depth and the backstory – oh man – the backstories are incredible.
Allison and Zeke’s romance does not overpower the rest of the story, but was supplementary to creating more tension. There’s a constant sense of ‘will she won’t she’ because one thing you should know about Allison is that she’s incredibly sensible. Not like Edward Cullen who’s just like ‘you know what I’m going to love that human and hate myself because of it but I just can’t…pull…away!’ Okay, there’s a bit of that but she shoots him down a fair few times and fully understands her limits! Enough on that, let’s move on.
Plot and Pacing:
The first section of the novel we meet all of the other Fringers who have varying roles from ‘guy with no name that gets killed in the first scene’ to ‘you will be integral to the rest of the plot, I just know it.’ (Damn you, Stick, you spineless coward!) There was so much emotion in the first section because their fear was palpable. I’d describe the world as pretty similar to the video game ‘The Last of Us’, the settings were almost identical in my head expect slightly darker and grimier. There’s also the whole rabids situation and they’re basically like Clickers, right? Vampire monster hierarchies!
There’s a lot of dialogue for exposition in the first two sections, which makes sense since we need to know about the vampire world. And Kagawa actually goes into detail about how vampires work! Thank you! I’d much rather be given all the information up front rather than have it dragged out until the very end. The only thing I could quite picture – and made me laugh every time it was mentioned – was Allison burying herself into the ground to sleep. Did she just turn into a Tasmanian devil or something and burrow in? Sorry, I just can’t picture it. Other than that the world building was fantastic, and I couldn’t get enough. What made it even better was the world was still being fleshed out right till the very end as we learned more. I think the only thing that was missing was more on Eden – but it’s supposed to be this mysterious paradise for humans so I guess vagueness comes with that – and I wanted to go into the Inner Circle! Maybe Kagawa’s just saving some stuff for the rest of the series.
I love this book, seriously loved it. I guess I didn’t really understand quite how much I loved it till it’s over. So, I gave The Immortal Rules 4 stars it’s great, you should definitely read it, because hopefully it will change your mind about vampire books!