Allie lives on the fringe in a vampire city. Disease has wiped out millions of human lives and people have been forced under the so-called protection of the vampires. Outside city walls lurk the terrifying rabids, who will tear you apart just because you breathe. Allie doesn’t want to be controlled by the soulless beings she holds responsible for her mother’s death, so she lives as part of a gang on the edge, where each day is a struggle to find food and stay safe.
When food is at an all time low, Allie goes scavenging in the ruins outside the city. It’s risky but the rabids don’t come out during the day and she finds something that makes her go back for her gang. Yet when tragedy strikes she is forced to make a decision that changes everything. She can die or become the very thing she hates: a vampire.
At over 500 pages it’s quite an epic and descriptive read yet thoroughly absorbing. It manages to combines two very popular sub-genres, vamps and dystopia without become cliched or silly. I love the world that Allie lives in. The city made me think of the world in Dark Angel. Nothing is pretty or easy, instead it is dark and savage and doesn’t become predictable. The rabids are genuinely scary creatures and it’s not one to read whilst eating!
The central concept is whether or not Allie has to give in to her desires or if she can choose the being she wants to be and overcome her nature. Her life has always been lonely but everything becomes harder for her and she needs to face up to reality. There’s no silly, swooning romance and relationships are incredibly difficult things for her to cope with now that she sees humans as food.
I fear the generic cover design will put some readers off. It is not another teen vampire book, if it hadn’t been published by a young adult imprint, I’d have filed it away as adult urban fantasy. Yes the protagonist is young, but she has been in a situation where she has been forced to grow up. I suppose her coming to terms with her new state could be considered a YA theme but still, I urge those of you about to judge this book by its cover to think again. If anything, fans of vamp love stories might be more disappointed in the end.
Julie also knows how to finish an instalment of a trilogy properly. The ending at least concludes one story but there are enough threads to keep you wanting the next one. I really wanted to know what was going on in the city that Allie left behind. I feel assured that it will be covered in book two which I will definitely be reading.
The Immortal Rules will be published by Harlequin Teen in the US tomorrow in hardback. The UK edition is published by MIRA Ink and the paperback will be available on 4th May 2012. However it looks like the UK Kindle edition will be available tomorrow too. Thanks go to Harlequin for providing me with a copy for review via NetGalley.