Spooky! Scary!, Young Adult

Are those your fangs or are you just happy to see me?

The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa

The Skinny: In Allison Sekemoto’s world, vampires make the rules. Humans serve one purpose: serve the vampires. But in Allie’s case, she is an Unregistered, a human who is off the grid, struggling to stay alive. Until one fateful night when she is attacked by the Rabids, vampires who are wild, and she is given the choice: die or become one of the things she hates most in her world, a vampire. Allie chooses to live as the dead and learns the ways of vampires from her creator. When she is forced to flee from her home and the city walls, she joins up with a group of rag tag humans who are in search of the city of Eden, a city that is free from vampires. But in order to remain with the group, she must pass as human, a task that becomes increasingly more difficult as she grows closer to Zeke and her Hunger takes over.

BFF?: I honestly couldn’t decide if I liked Allison or completely despised her. I loved the fact that she was blunt to a fold, a survivor who knew what it took to stay alive. I loved how she felt things, how she understood the world around her. What I didn’t love, and eventually came to hate, was that she was kind of a smart-ass because it wasn’t like the funny smart-ass; it was the “she’s such a bitch and I think I hate her” kind of smart-ass (and sorry for all the cussing, she just incited all those words). I guess I didn’t see why she was so overtly hostile towards EVERYONE she came in contact with. While I thought Allison was a great, well-written character, I just didn’t seem to connect with her in a good way.

Readability: Although I thought it took me FOREVER to read this, I thought it read very well. It wasn’t choppy or full of modern colloquialisms that sometimes irk me, but instead flowed really well and kept me engaged in the plot.

Crush Level: 5
I have a major feeling that Zeke is gonna wow me eventually, but in this book he didn’t. I mean, the boy was pretty great, very sweet, etc. But yawn. The only time that I really thought “wowzers!” was when he was getting kind of riled up and passionate about his role in the group. I look forward to how he develops though; I think he’s gonna eventually knock my socks off!

Bonus Points:
Zombie Vampires

We all know my weird obsession with zombies (and how I think they’re the scariest monster out there). So what happens when you have zombies that are also VAMPIRES?! There was something eerily creepy about them, how they could just pop up out of the ground, like daisies! and eat you up before you knew what was happening.

Back to Basics Vampires

Remember when vampires used to be the BAD guy? No? I think it was the late 90s, early 2000s… Anywho, Julie Kagawa brings back the baddies. There’s no sparkling here, no sexified “I wanna jump your bones Eric Northman” vampires roaming around in this book. These are cold-blooded killers who are smart, savvy, and know just how to get what they want. Oh, and if you’re confused about what they want, it’s your blood.

Mentor

I love when there’s a mystic mentor in a book, who is sort of vague and rolls his eyes a lot. Kanin, Allie’s mentor and creator, served this purpose and was really a fantastic character. Downside? We don’t get to see much of him.

P.A.G.A.N Ceremony

There’s a scene that reminded me so much of the scene from Dragnet that I couldn’t help but think that it needed to be a bonus point. Trust me… when you get to this part, you’ll definitely start imagining this scene, minus Dan Aykroyd and Tom Hanks.

The Waltons

At some point in the book Allie and Zeke stumble upon a compound where a family lives. And I’m not talking about a mom, dad, 2.5 kids and the family dog. I’m talking about the Waltons sized family… everyone, including grandma and grandpa, living under the same roof. I don’t know about you, but there’s no way my entire family would survive under the same roof. Someone would get fed to the rabids at least once a week.

Commencement Speech: Like most people, when I saw that Julie Kagawa was taking on a vampire book, I sort of inwardly groaned. Not because I had my doubts, but because really… where exactly could you go with vampires these days? Well, you can put them in a dystopian society where evil vampires rule the world due to a virus that overtook the human population.

I was expecting something similar to Kagawa’s Iron Fey series, but boy… was I completely blown out of the water with this one. It was NOTHING like her other series. This one was much MUCH darker, not only in tone and theme but in the language, action, and characters. There were many times that I felt uncomfortable (in a good way, of course) and was left thinking “Wait, this is a YA book?” For the first book in a series, this one gave me more than ample information about the world, the characters, and the backgrounds of both. I didn’t feel like I was left on tons of cliffhangers, but given just enough to go on that I’m anxious to see where Kagawa takes us in this series.

Yearbook Quote: Either way, the choice was death, because vampires were dead, they just had the audacity to keep living

Superlatives – Most likely to NOT sparkle

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4 thoughts on “Are those your fangs or are you just happy to see me?”

  1. Yay for zombie vampires. This book is such a departure for Julie Kagawa and it has me so intrigued. Glad to hear she pushes the boundaries of YA. Must fit it in soon!

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