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The Immortal Rules is the first novel in a new series by Julie Kagawa. Her Iron Fey series seems to be quite popular, however I wasn't that blown away by the first novel and have never got round to continuing with the series. The Immortal Rules was available in the recent Kindle sale, and I decided that I may as well give it a go.
Set in the not-too-distant future, the world is now ruled by vampires. Following a plague which wiped out a lot of the human population, the vampires took control in order to safeguard their food supply from extinction. Outside their heavily guarded cities are rabids, zombie-like creatures who feed on humans. Allie is an Unregistered, meaning she does not have to give weekly blood "donations", but it also means she does not recieve food rations and must live a dangerous life of stealing and scavenging. On the brink of death after being attacked by rabids, she is turned by a vampire, and has now become one of the things she hated most in the world.
The opening chapters of The Immortal Rules reminded me of Suzanne Collins' The Hunger Games: we have a young heroine struggling to survive, a world which could be described as post-apocalyptic, and rulers focussed on their own gains. I liked Allie straight away, determined to survive on her own terms as she was, while also trying to look out for her friends. I didn't actually foresee her becoming a vampire; it was probably in the blurb and I just didn't pay enough attention. She struggles with being a vampire, and wants to go against her creators commands to forget about her human life.
The story of The Immortal Rules is packed with excitement. Allie leaves the city of New Covington, which is all she has ever known, and sets out into the big wide world - which is full of rabids and vampire-hating humans. You can never be quite sure what is around the corner, and that is what keeps you hooked on the story. Whether it is the characters and setting of the story, or Kagawa has changed her style, The Immortal Rules certainly had me more gripped than The Iron King did.
Some of the other characters were a bit more irritating than Allie. She joins a group of humans who are searching for Eden, keeping secret that she is a vampire. Among these are Zeke, who Allie is attracted to, although she is sometimes confused about whether she wants him or his blood. He is a nice guy, but can seem a bit sappy and pathetic at times - he blindly follows their leader Jeb without question, and is always nice to everyone. Still, he's not so bad that he made me grit my teeth, but hopefully we won't see too much of him in coming novels.
I thoroughly enjoyed The Immortal Rules, which is definitely more to my taste than The Iron King was. I'm looking forward to the next novel, as this series promises to be a good addition to the busy vampire genre.