Thanks to Hayley Lawson, our Guest Host!
Robert’s quick summary:
Allison Sekemoto hates Vampires. Unfortunately, she lives in a post-apocalyptic world, where after a virus killed most of humanity, or turned them into “rabids” – a sort of vampire gone wrong – the vampires, or bloodsuckers as she calls them, have become the ruling class.
To avoid becoming a source of food for the vampires who rule her city, New Covington, Allison chose not to be registered. Unfortunately for Allison, that means scavenging an existence with the other Unregistered in small gangs inhabiting the Fringe. Most of the time, hunger is the main driving force, and Allie has become quite the streetfighter.
Until one day, her hunger, and the lack of food available at her usual scavenging haunts, drive her to explore outside the city. A trip regarded by many as foolish … or fatal.
For Allison, it IS fatal … with one dire consequence. She is resurrected from the point of death by another vampire.
And now she is one of them.
A bloodsucker – but a bloodsucker who might just be able to save the world from a slow death by bloodsucking.
The Immortal Rules is by Julie Kagawa
So what did we think? (From a reader’s perspective)
1. (Robert) I really liked this book – the story is different to the de-rigeur vampire thing (eternal-living handsome guy gets crush on human girl), and it starts out with plenty of action; in media-res, and then very quickly whips you off into an adventure, which then changes to fights, a road trip, more fights, vengeance – there’s plenty going on here!
2. (Hayley) I’m a huge fan of strong female leads; all of my books have strong female leads. Allie is real, raw, has compassion fierce & tough. I loved her smart ass comments. Allison Sekemoto – Allie character develops as the story moves through the four sections. Each section you learn more about Allie’s character and how she grows from an orphan to a vampire that protects the living. I love first person POV it makes me have a stronger connections with the story. All of my books are written in the first person.
3. (Robert) The early plot point where Allison is forced to choose to become a vampire herself is great, because we already know how much she despises them. What a conflicting choice – and we, the reader, want her to make the “wrong” one of course! Nice.
I really want to read on and find out what happens!
What did we think from a writer’s perspective?
1. (Hayley) I felt that there was a good level of pacing and actions. I’m a bit action fan and love fight scenes.
2. (Robert) There are quite a lot of twists and turns, as if a skilled author knew where she was heading, but allowed left-field events to happen, as long as it got her to the end outcome – there’s a lot to learn from that combination of what feels like pantsing with loose plotting.
3. (Robert) There is quite of a lot of narrative exposition, especially in the early part. Allison pretty much tells us about the city, about the bloodsuckers and about her life as a Fringe gang member. Occasionally I felt this could have been done with more elegance, but just like Harry Potter has affair bit of backgrounding, I didn’t feel it overly intruded on the story. Only that, having experienced this so well done in other books (The Scorpio Races fore example), it was noticeable here. Kagawa writes it so well, however, that is it interesting to discover more about the world, and perhaps only a writer might observe this, or think, “Why is Allison talking to me? Why is she explaining this?”
This used to be much more the case with earlier books, but our TV and internet habits have made us less patient with exposition! Here, at least it is well done, and perhaps all I have is a style disagreement!
Hayley and Robert’s Famous Takeaways:
1. Certainly worthy of reading on, and nice to have another angle on the old vampire story! I wonder who will be pretending NOT to be a vampire on Halloween, then suddenly show their teeth!
2. The conflict is clever – plenty of likable characters, horrible but properly motivated antagonists, and Allison’s own predicament – stir nicely together to make for a pacey adventure.
3. A YA vampire story without far too much angst and the obligatory hunk! (Though Kanin seems attractive enough, as does Zeke (Ezekiel)).
Prompt of the Week:
Your protagonist is forced to become a modern YA trope character, such as a werewolf, witch, vampire or ghost. How does this make it almost impossible to achieve their goal, except by using one aspect of their new life to their advantage?