Book Review: Julie Kagawa’s The Immortal Rules

Posted June 11, 2012 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews, Young Adult readers

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Julie Kagawa’s The Immortal Rules

The Immortal Rules


Julie Kagawa

urban fantasy that was published by Harlequin Teen on April 24, 2012 and has 485 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

Other books by this author which I have reviewed include The Iron Knight

First in the Blood of Eden urban fantasy series for young adults revolving around Allison Sekemoto, a newly turned vampire in this dystopian world.

In 2012, The Immortal Rules was nominated for the Goodreads Choice Award for Best Young Adult Fantasy & Science Fiction.

My Take

There’s a bit of Rachel Caine’s Morganville Vampires in this with the registrations required of humans who are then under a vampire’s protection with the biweekly tax of blood. Only Caine’s humans can escape to a normal world outside Morganville. Kagawa’s humans will only die if they escape into the countryside where the rabids roam.

The start of the story provides a human background for Allison as well as a convenient reason for her to have to leave the city. Kagawa deftly includes the various backstories for its primary characters and for how the world ended up this way with a nice touch, very smooth. You have to read a bit to get to all of ’em.

It’s somewhat annoying that Allie goes hunting for Stick. Only somewhat, because it is perfectly normal for her to try and contact him when she knows he’s survived, but it’s just too convenient for the story. For such a canny girl, Allie can be pretty stupid about survival.

Yeah, it follows the typical apocalyptic trail of the loner striking out and rescuing others, the violent, seething landscape, and the doomed romance, but Kagawa writes a compelling story with slight twists on the typical

The Story

A plague has spread throughout the land endangering the lives of humans and vampires. Desperation has led the vampires to create enclaves in which they protect the humans, their food source. Humans who themselves only receive food if they are Registered and pay their blood tax. To be Unregistered means to live in the Fringe, vulnerable to any vampire, scavenging to survive.

It’s their desperate bid for food that finds Allie, Lucas, Stick, and Rat outside the city where they plan to retrieve a treasure in food. Only, the sight of all that food, slows ’em down too much. It’s Kanin who rescues and saves Allie. Trains her. Teaches her. Sends her into an exile.

It’s a lonely time for Allie until she finds Caleb and then his “family”. One that takes her in and holds her to her humanity. One that is tested frequently when the Hunger rises.

The Characters

Allison Sekemoto is tenacious. She is a survivor and she intends to do everything she can to ensure her “family’s” survival including teaching them to read the forbidden books. Stick is a whiner and latches onto Allie for pretty much everything, Lucas is the leader with an interest in Allie, and Rat is just that; they are the only Fringers left in their gang.

Kanin is a vampire with a huge secret to hide. A vamp on the run desperately searching for information and a need to set things right. Sarren is a psychopathic vampire…yeah, seems a bit redundant, but wait’ll ya meet him!

Zeke is Jeb’s “son” and is being groomed for leadership; Ruth is rabidly jealous of the attention Zeke pays Allie and works at stirring up trouble; Caleb is Ruth’s brother and rescued by Allie; Jebbadiah Crosse is their leader with a zeal for his mission, to find Eden, and he hates vampires and rabids with a major passion; Darren is one of their recent adoptions and defends Allie to all; Dorothy is not all there; Jake; Silas; Bethany; Teresa; and, Matthew make up the rest of this band of wanderers.

Joe is the human they rescue from the boar who takes them home to his small enclave where Patricia Archer leads their large family of brothers, sisters, cousins, in-laws, grandparents, and aunts and uncles.

The Prince leads in the city of New Covington. Below him are the Type-2s, vampires sired by a Master. The Type-3s are the mongrels, the lowest of the low in the vampire hierarchy capable only of siring more mongrels. Jackal leads in another vampire city and he has been diligently sending his motorcycle raiders out searching for Jeb. Anyone with him can be…useful.

The Cover and Title

The cover is black with a scratchiness of gray, black, and Prussian blue lines around Allison’s face. A pretty girl, she has red eyes and is crying a blood tear.

The title can be read three ways with The Immortal Rules referring to the vampires who rule this new world, the new rules which Allison must comprehend in order to survive, or the primitive rules of survival for mankind.