The Immortal Rules caught my attention because of the intriguing cover art.
I was expecting the usual vampire/supernatural romance, but the novel is so much more. This is a story about choices, loyalty, family, and judgment. The book made me think about my beliefs - why I believe what I do and how that impacts the way I see the world. What would I do if I found out everything I believed was wrong? How would that change my life?
The main character in the story is an Asian teenage girl named Allison. She lives on the fringes of New Covington - a Vampire owned city. The novel is set after the Red Lung Virus kills many humans. The planet is now inhabited by humans, Vampires, Rabids (mutations caused by the Red Lung Virus that are vampire/zombie/monster hybrids), and other mutated animal monsters. Some cities are Vampire owned and some are not. Allison survives as an unregistered (one that does not serve the Vampires) by stealing food and foraging in the dangerous ruins outside the Wall. The Wall protects all those inside from the Rabids who will kill anything with a pulse. Allison is in a gang of three other unregistereds that live and work together to survive. She risks her life by venturing into the Ruins to find food for herself and the gang. Her life changes dramatically when she takes her gang out to the Ruins to help gather food. How Allison deals with those changes, the adventures, trials, and people she meets afterwards make up the rest of the novel.
The story unfolds in four parts - human, vampire, monster, and wanderer. Since the novel is told from Allison's point of view, we see her struggle to survive, struggle with her choices, struggle to understand choices, and then learn to understand and accept her choices. Allison is not perfect, but she does what she thinks is best. She cares for others and shows love, loyalty, and forgiveness even when she is not shown the same in return.
This book is not what I expected and I like that. The secondary characters are well developed and interesting. At 342 pages, the book does have complexity and depth, but there are areas where the action and plot seem to drag. During a few of the side adventures, I found myself wondering why we were on the adventure and what it added to the plot.
I would recommend the book to my high school students. Allison is a character many will relate to and enjoy watching her struggle with and learn about her new life.
Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa receives 3 of 5 stars.