Monday, April 23, 2012

The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa (Blood of Eden book 1)

“In a future world, Vampires reign. Humans are blood cattle. And one girl will search for the key to save humanity.”

Allison Sekemoto barely survives life as an Unregistered. In a post-apocalyptic world where vampires rule, humans are viewed as two things; food and slaves. Registered humans are tattooed as property of Prince Salazar but are available to any vampire for whatever they need. Registered are provided food in exchange for bloodletting once a month. Unregistered must scavenge and steal in order to eke out an existence. If caught, the punishment is death.

Allie lives with her small gang in a dilapiated school. When the food runs out and no more can be found in their sector, she decides to scavenger in the Fringe; the unprotected no man’s land outside the massive walls of the city. Allie should have no problems if she can return to the safety of the city’s walls before darkness falls. Looking through an abandoned house, she comes across a rabid deer. Allie is able to escape unharmed and hides in a backyard shed. While exploring, she notices a trapdoor in the floor. Jackpot! In the underground bunker, the previous resident stored enough food for Allie’s gang to live off of for months. In climbing the shelves, she falls pulling the cans on top of her. When she comes to, she sees that darkness has fallen and the moon is out. The Fringe at night is no place for humans.

On her way back through the abandoned sewage tunnels, Allie is trapped when a group of mole men corner a man. Warning them to back off, one mole man goes down in a heap and a struggle ensues. When the scuffle is over, Allie peers around the corner to find all four men dead. Seeing a valuable flashlight and no fifth body, she decides to risk grabbing it only to be confronted by a vampire. He lets her go without a fight and Allie returns home.

At home, Stick tells Allie that the city is on lockdown because the vampires are supposedly hunting one of their own. She flashes back to the vamp in the tunnels and wonders how he might be involved. The next afternoon, Allie is rudely awakened by Lucas banging on her door. Relieved to see her, Allie tells Lucas about her incredible find. She pushes to go on a retrieval mission before nightfall and the rest reluctantly agree. The boys are ecstatic by her find and gorge themselves. With the rain now a downpour, light is quickly fading and Allie hears a noise. They run back towards the tunnels but quickly run into trouble. The rabids are out and everyone is attacked. Left dying, Allie is found by the vampire from the night before. He offers Allie a deal; die or become a vampire. She decides on an immortal life in her weakened state.

Upon her rebirth, Allie begins to rethink her decision but Kanin, the vampire. Tells her he will help with her adjustment to her new existence. She wants to know if she can be sustained by drinking only non-human blood. Kanin responds by saying, “let me give you your first and most important lesson, Allison Sekemoto – you are a monster. A demon who feeds on human beings to survive." They go into the city to hunt for prey and come across the Blood Angels gang. Without realizing it, Allie quickly is on the offensive and the blood lust quickly sets in. Kanin has to stop her before she kills her first human. He tutors Allie not only in reading, writing and math but vampire history and survival as well. They go to a long forgotten museum storage are and procure a katana as her weapon.

When the Prince’s men discover where they are living, Kanin and Allie must flee the city. Separated, Allie finds herself on her own, not knowing what to do. She wanders in the wilds for several days before she finds an abandoned town and a lost little boy, Caleb, who is hiding. Realizing that he cannot be alone, Allie feels like she must help him. They soon run into his older sister, Ruth, and a boy her own age, Zeke. Ruth is very suspicious of Allie but Caleb begs her to join their small group and Zeke concurs. As a vampire, Allie knows she shouldn’t interact with humans but they may be the only ones she will come across in the wild. Against her better judgment, Allie agrees to join them.

Turns out that Zeke is the “son” of Jeb Crosse, a religious leader who is searching for Eden, a mythical city that is supposedly free of vampires. As Allie assimilates herself into the ragtag group, she begins to wonder how she will ever be able to feed off of her newfound friends, especially when Zeke causes certain emotions to stir in her.

Who exactly is Kanin and why has he taken an interest in Allie? Why is he being hunted by the other vampires? Does Eden exist or is Jeb Crosse leading his group on a wild goose chase? Can Allie come to grips with her true nature? And what happens when Zeke shows an interest in Allie?

Visit Julie Kagawa's website.
Visit The Blood of Eden series website.

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