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Haruki Murakami, Philip Gabriel
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The Immortal Rules (Blood of Eden Series #1)

The Immortal Rules (Blood of Eden Series #1) - Time for a moment of honesty. When I read the synopsis of THE IMMORTAL RULES, I thought of one thing – the plot of the 2009 vampire dystopian movie “Daybreakers”, starring Sam Neill and Ethan Hawke and the creeptastic Willem Dafoe. Humans have become the blood cattle to vampires in a dystopian city, with humans an endangered species and vampires running out of the blood they need to live. Oh, but Willem Dafoe apparently knows the cure.Okay, back to THE IMMORTAL RULES. So I was skeptical. Especially when I read three more synopses for coming books that sounded exactly alike, but that’s beside the point for now. But I was surprised. After the first 50% of the book went by slowly, I found myself enjoying this book despite the fact it didn’t really bring anything new to the table (except in the YA world, in which case it brought so much). The last half of this book was pretty darn epic, with action, adventure, the beginnings of romance, and some very interesting twists.THE IMMORTAL RULES follows Allison Sekemoto, a girl living by the skin of her teeth in New Covington, a vampire city. Her registered mother died giving blood to feed their vampire overlords, and since then Allie has sworn not to give herself to the bloodsuckers – she’s half-starved and desperate. But when a plan goes awry and she is given the choice between dying and becoming the thing she hates the most, she chooses to become a vampire. Because if she died there would obviously be no story here.I want to split this review into two parts since, for me, this book was really two sided. Starting with the first part…Our introduction to Allie’s world on the streets of New Covington and her bonds with the street rats around her – and eventually the vampire world – was kind of a letdown. It took me about 10 days to read the first 50% of the book. I found myself bored by her slow progression through the plot, even though I found myself quite loving her character. It was just that everything happened so slowly. On the streets, outside the walls, an attack, a rebirth, some training, some vampire movie tropes, more tropes, some True Blood-style crying…Okay, so basically I didn’t really like the first half. Almost gave up. But thankfully, I didn’t.The second half pretty much turned on the awesome. I won’t tell you much because it would spoil the book, but once we get to Allie’s adventures outside the walls – meeting humans struggling to survive, farmers struggling to survive, bikers not so struggling to survive – the book really picks up. This book is about 500 pages long, so you’re going to take a little while to plow through it, but once you get into it, you’re going to be pretty much hooked.This book isn’t perfect, but it’s a perfectly serviceable vampire/post-apocalyptic hybrid. I won’t call it dystopian because there is nothing seemingly perfect in this society. I wish we had gotten to know more in book one about vampire politics and how these cities really came to be – a lot of it was glossed over and pushed aside in favor of more action. Being a politics junkie, though, this might have just been me. The writing isn’t anything special, and there was the problem of a lot of convenient moments that happened, giving the characters an easy out instead of a challenge.And there is the problem of the cover… Sekemoto is a Japanese name. Allie is described as being exotic. I (and a bunch of other authors) got the impression that she was Japanese, but why was the girl on the cover Caucasian? I know many a Japanese-Caucasian person, but they rarely look passably white. But this dead horse has been beaten until it’s a fine powder. I’ll let you make up your own opinions and decide for yourself.If you are looking for an action-packed story that makes vampires pretty much scary instead of sexy and if you like your young adult fiction bloody, you might want to give this one a look. It isn’t without its issues, especially a rather bland first half, but the finale of this entry into the BLOOD OF EDEN series is stunning. I can’t wait to read book two!VERDICT: Plodding first half aside, THE IMMORTAL RULES is an action movie-turned-novel bringing together the best of vampires and post-apocalyptic stories. Action fans shouldn’t miss this one.