Final verdict: 2.5/5 but rounded up to 3
Disclaimer: Lots of swearing ahead. I am so sorry. I don't usually curse a lot, but this book disappointed me too much. I deserve some space to vent these feelings out.
God knows how much I detest books whose paranormal elements center around Vampires. This biased feeling of mine wasn't influenced by Twilight in any way, although that saga definitely made it worse, but I guess it's just something that stemmed from reading books that portray such creatures in a carebear manner, which is totally not cool, dude. They're supposed to be predators! They're supposed to be Rambo with sharp fangs! They're supposed to be blood-sucking, human-killing machines!
And that is what Julie Kagawa did. She one day decided to join the Dystopian bandwagon with an all-new series and incorporated big, bad, menacing Vampires in it. And she fucking aced it in The Immortal Rules. I totally became a fan of her after that. She created a heroine whose voice was so refreshing and riveting, a world so creepy and thrilling, and a cast of Vampires who were Rambos personified. She wrote one of the best Vampire fiction out there.
So, that brings me this question...
Why, Julie? Why? How could you do this to your darling series?! I was expecting a book that would blow my mind away and turn my brain contents inside out, but when I turned the last page, it left only the bitter taste of disappointment and dismay in my mouth. I know; I know - I may be one of the minority here, given the number of glowing and raving reviews for this book left and right pre-publication, but... I can't. I can't lie to myself. This book bored me and infuriated me most of the time.
Trust me. That three stars? That's my being generous already.
Truth be told (truth accdg. to my eyes, anyway), I must say this now: this book falls short of its predecessor. Things pretty much went the wrong way for me after 20-30 or so pages... I'm not sure, but it definitely started when Allison kept on talking about how she still has humanity left inside her, that Jackal is a jerk and is a sadist for embracing who he is and not denying the fact that he IS a vampire, how she'll not be a monster society expects her to become, yada yada yada... —_— All I can say is this:
SHUT UP, WOMAN!!!!
God forbid, that was my biggest issue with this book - Allison's whines, her never-ending monologues, her being SO judgemental of other people who don't share her beliefs. It breaks my heart to see her transform from a butt-kicking, feisty individual into an angsty, whiny, annoying, stupid heroine. There are just no other words to describe her otherwise. I mean, I get it, Allison. Seriously, I do. How could I not know about your GASP! dilemmas when you keep on shoving and rubbing them on my face every 5 pages?! And it really gets old, honestly.
I mean, how can I not be tired of reading your endless monologues of how you'll never be like cruel and blood-thirsty Jackal, that you'll always hold on to the last shreds of your humanity, that you'll never give in to your instincts, blah blah blah... FINE. I GOT IT THE FIRST TIME. It's useless to repeat it ten times over like a fucking broken record... And also, you don't want to become the monster the other Vampires are? Fine. But nobody's forcing you to become one, so how *dare* you judge others for embracing who they are, for embracing their instincts? That's like watching a lion prey on a deer and shriek how that lion was so cold-hearted because it pounced on that poor, vulnerable deer! They should love each other and make rainbows and butterflies instead!
Oh, fucking please. Spare me the bullshitry. You're fooling no one, Allison.
It doesn't help that the book (at least my ebook copy anyway) was a fricking 446 pages... That's a pretty big number, don't you think? Can you imagine *ME* enduring 446 pages of... of... of this?!
It felt as if half the time Allison was going pseudo-philosophical about this bullshit, which means half the time I was either a.) bored to tears "please wake me up once the nth monologue is over, or; b.) infuriated beyond reason "whadafuck Allison fuck you die alreaddyyyy *pulls hair* *combusts*".
The horror.Aside from the dragging narration and the relentless whining, another problem I encountered was the sheer predictability.
Who the fearless leader was, the very same person who appeared in Fringe and saved the day... who the Prince's aide was... even the ending... I could see those coming a hundred miles away. I don't even need binoculars for that - it was already in my mind! All that while, I was hoping - sincerely, genuinely hoping - that Kagawa was better than those clichés I was already envisioning in my head, so just imagine my dismay when I was right on the money for each and every one of them! Each "explosive" twist, I just rolled my eyes and went, "Of course it had to be HIM... OF-FUCKING-COURSE."
I don't know about you, but those cliché and predictable scenes? Nuh-uh, not for me, no siree!And, oh, did I mention the romance?
Please do not remind of it. Before we get to how bad it was, can someone please recommend me a novel where it doesn't focus on a Vampire/Human (although we all know how that ends up in the end) relationship? I'm so tired of all the pseudo-philosophical consequences to this and the angst it carries. Anyway, the romance felt very superficial to me. It was like Zeke and Allison were competing with each other, having an invisible battle on who between them loves the other more. No, I love you too much so I must distance myself from you! I'm a bad, dangerous Vamp! Who knows what I could do to you if I give in to the Hunger!
What are you talking about? *I* love you that I'm willing to risk my life for you and immerse myself in an environment full of cruel, blood-sucking abominations that I sorely hate!
Back and forth, back and forth... please excuse me while I yawn my heart out.
There were other things that annoyed the hell out of me, but check out my STATUS UPDATES of this book HERE
to see my suffering step-by-step.
Of course, there were cool stuff in this book, too... and these are *badum-tss!* Jackal and Kanin
. These two saved the book for me. Jackal, the realistic and practical dude who's also witty, snarky, and amazingly intellectual. Kanin, the mysterious, wise mentor who is also a realist. These two made the reading experience so much more fulfilling, and if it weren't for them, I'd have rated this book a measly 1 star. *shakes head*
Despite my complaints and this rather lengthy rant, I still believe that Blood of Eden is one of the best Vampire fiction out there. Totally. Hands down. I merely think that The Eternity Cure suffers from the "Middle Book Syndrome", and I am hoping that the third book will promise us (or ME!) that feeling of awesomeness that seemed to have missed me in here. Also, readers of my review, all of these arguments are subjective. If what I said do not bother you in the slightest, then you'll maybe find yourself enjoying this installment, as others have. I just have a small level of tolerance for whiny, annoying heroines and holier-than-thou attitudes. Fuck that up, you might as well have fucked up the others.
That is all.
*BOW*An ARC was sent by the Publisher via NetGalley for reviewing purposes. No money or any form of transaction was exchanged.