So, I finally got to read Julie Kagawa's The Immortal Rules. I know what you're thinking: "You just read it?! What took you so long?!" But please, bear with me. After reading 20% of Kagawa's The Iron King, with its childish fairy and fantasy premise and amateur-ish writing, I vowed to myself that I will avoid this author's future works. Even if raving reviews of her new series showed up on my feed every now and then. Even if friends left and right told me how omgawesomesauce this book was. I tried to resist. I had to resist. It was a promise to myself. I punished myself the first time, why torture myself more?
But I'm glad I finally relented and gave in. Because yes, if there's anything this book is, it's this:
Wow. Just, wow. This book, while not outstandingly perfect, blew me away. Aside from portraying Vampires as the menace and threat to society as they should be, the writing was a far cry from Kagawa's The Iron Fey, in which the first book felt like a bad fanfiction to me. The writing in this new series of hers was mature, scary, and absolutely chilling to the bones. I don't know about you, but I for one am glad that the author jumped ship from Faeries and Fantasy to the Dystopian genre, showing us that yes, she may have joined the Dystopian bandwagon, but at least she does it right!
These are the factors that make this book a gem:
* Strong, calculating heroine - Allison is definitely a kickass character. She is calculating, smart, and cautious. She is the type that thinks before she acts. This is such a breathe of fresh air from all the damsels in distress that have overflown this genre lately, senseless and brainless heroines that are either too stupid to make a good and sound decision, or too helpless that she needs the usual knight in shining armor to save her from the gasp! evil bad guys.
But what made me like her the most was her naïvety. It made her so real and so human. By naïve, I don't mind the annoying kind. Her thoughts and preconceived notions about human nature, brought about by betrayals and foolishness, made me think about life in general, realizing how true her words ring in the real world. Although later in the book she made some, um, cliché and questionable choices (sorry, most overused elements and tropes make me cringe), she proved to be highly likeable.
* Big, bad, menacing Vampires - I loved how Vampires were portrayed here. They're not the carebear, mild type that sparkle under the sun. No. They're completely in their element and are the predators, and they're not afraid to remind the people of that fact. Being in ther original elements and staying true to their original concept, these blood-sucking immortal peeps are scary and downright dangerous, and I LOVE IT!
* Mysterious Kanin - Kanin is seriously hot in my eyes. He is wise, mysterious, tough, and I dont't know, interesting? I want to know more about him and in his dark past, as well as his powers. I know for certain we haven't seen his full capabilities, and I am really looking forward to that. He reminds me a lot of that brooding Vampire from Vampire Knight by Hino Matsuri... forgot the name, though. And lasty...
* The writing - As I previously stated, Julie Kagawa's writing here has incredibly matured compared to The Iron King. Granted, I didn't read the rest of the instalments of that series, therefore it is possible that she may have gradually gotten better after a few books, so this is all I have for comparisons. Nevertheless, I was completely astounded by Kagawa's knack for writing an engaging and compelling storyline. I don't think I've been this engrossed in a book with vampires, not since Richard Matheson's I Am Legend. Sure, the world building is still a bit sketchy, but I thought a decent amount of info was given for the first novel.
There were a few things that bothered me, but they weren't that big of a deal. All in all, this was a compelling reaf and I can't wait to read the next book!