By Julie Kagawa
Published on April 30th 2013
Published by Harlequin Teen
Published by Harlequin Teen
Allison Sekemoto has vowed to rescue her creator, Kanin, who is being held hostage and tortured by the psychotic vampire Sarren. The call of blood leads her back to the beginning—New Covington and the Fringe, and a vampire prince who wants her dead yet may become her wary ally.
Even as Allie faces shocking revelations and heartbreak like she’s never known, a new strain of the Red Lung virus that decimated humanity is rising to threaten human and vampire alike.
Move over, Sarah Rees Brennan; there's a new queen of ripping my heart out and stomping on it, and that someone is Julie Kagawa.
I usually wait a little while to write a review after I finish a book, but this time, well, I just pulled my laptop out in the middle of the airport to start writing this.
THIS BOOK, YOU GUYS. I feel like the only way I can accurately convey my love for it is via keymash.
As a technical, side note of sorts, while it would be helpful to reread The Immortal Rules, or at least skim the last chapter or so, the first few chapters do a great job of reminding you what happened last, and additional information/reminders are dropped throughout the book. It can get a bit repetitive/info-dump-like after a while -- yes, we already know, Zeke is related to the researcher who helped create the Rabids; yes, Allie knows she's never supposed to get attached to humans, etc. etc. -- but if you've got a terrible memory like me, you won't mind that much, and the background details are easy enough to skim, in case you don't need the reminders.
We left Allie, our lead and good-guy vampire as she walked away from her budding romance with Zeke, leaving him safe at the compound known as Eden, where no vampires are allowed. We pick up on her trail as she sets out to find Kanin, the vampire who sired her. Some familiar faces from the first book pop up -- I wasn't particularly surprised by any of them, but I'm not sure if it was because they were really obvious twists, or if because maybe I read a little too much information on Goodreads.
Regardless, Allie doesn't have to track down Kanin on her own, thanks to the recurring characters who join her over the course of the journey, all for their own reasons. One of the returning characters serves as quite a bit of comic relief, in his own crude way, which is welcome given how serious Allie's situation is. The quest takes them to a ruined, yet vividly described Washington, DC. I complained about the first book not being very well-rooted, place wise, but this time around, Kagawa nails it with her description of a post-apocalyptic DC. Allie's not there for long, though, as her trip takes her back to where everything began: New Covington, where there are plenty of surprises in store.
The action in this book is intense, with plenty of frantically paced fight scenes, foreboding trips through the dark, etc. And the romance, well! I've got another book couple I can get behind in this story. Allie has to make some hard choices in this book, choices which challenge both her human and vampire instincts. I will be interested to see how she continues to develop in the next book in the series.
And, okay, the ending. I saw it coming a mile away -- the twist is pretty heavily foreshadowed -- and it still had me gasping and doing the WHAT, NO WAY, YOU'RE HORRIBLE dance. I wish the ending hadn't been so strongly telegraphed through the rest of the story, I feel like it would have packed more of a punch if it had been out of left field, but still. I'll take it. It's one hell of a cliffhanger, and I can't wait to see how Kagawa resolves this in the next installment. (WHEN IS IT COMING HOW LONG DO I HAVE TO WAIT.)
There are some stronger curse words in this book, a lot of kissing, and some sexually suggestive scenes. Due to a lot (A LOT) of gore, I'd probably recommend this for more mature readers. If you loved The Immortal Rules, then you'll definitely want to pick this one up.