Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Immortal Rules, by Julie Kagawa- Review and Giveaway!

INA FUTURE WORLD,
VAMPIRES REIGN

HUMANS ARE
BLOOD CATTLE.

AND ONE GIRL 
WILL SEARCH 
FOR THE KEY 
TO SAVE 
HUMANITY.

My vampire creator told me this:
"Sometime in your life, Allison Sekemoto,
you will kill a human being.
 The question is not if it will happen, but when.
Do you understand?"
I didn't then,  not really.
I DO NOW

Post-apocalyptic vampires people.  Need I say more?  Because honestly, she had me there.  Well, that and human blood cattle, I really liked that too.  

Much is always said when it comes to vampire tales, about the vast quantities of them out there.  And nowadays there's always the inevitable Twilight reference, usually with a good scoff at sparkly vampires.  But I have to say, although it's a huge genre that ebbs and flows over time, I've always had a soft spot for a good vampire story.  It's a classic genre for a reason, what other monstrous characters can be simultaneously so human?  

It's that inevitable dichotomy that makes Allison's story so good.  A street rat who's spent her life refusing to submit to the vampires, it's a cruel joke that as she lays dying she's offered the chance to continue living- as a vampire.  What other choice would a fighter make? Even if it means becoming the enemy.  Her struggle living within the confines of her new predatory self, and still being as human as possible, is what makes Allison a fascinating and endearing main character.  Even if there's a decided side of monster to her.

However, I fell in love with Allison because she's such a stellar kick-ass heroine.  Street rat or vampire, she's a fierce force to be reckoned with.  I have three ultimate favorite story elements: great epic battle scenes, underdog moments, and tough/powerful girls, but kick-ass girls are probably my top pick of those three.  Sadly it's one of the least used story elements going, especially with the popular romantic element in literature (YA or otherwise), I suppose it always seems more romantic to be rescued then to be the one doing the rescuing.  Julie tosses that theory on its head with Allison, and I loved every minute of it.  I was absolutely cackling with glee when Allie discovers motorbikes and guns off into the sunset with Zeke cringing behind her. 

Which brings me to Zeke.  I loved Julie's version of the star-crossed lovers in The Immortal Rules.  The often difficult and complicated relationship between Zeke and Allie was riveting. All the tables were turned, she's the powerful, dangerous element and he's overwhelmed but constantly surprised by her humanity.  It's addictive in a way that worries me, how am I ever going to read another boy meets girl, boy protects girl, run of the mill YA romance?

Also concerning, how am I going to sit on the mystery of this story until book two, presumably sometime next spring?  Because I'm already dying for more.

If you've been a fan of Kagawa's Iron Fey series then you're in for a surprise.  The Immortal Rules is very different, but delicious in it's own right.  I adored it, and I think, chances are you will too.  Which would be why you probably want to fill in the form below for your chance to win a finished copy!  Shipped to your door, as soon as it releases April 24th.  What are you waiting for?  Trust me, you want to read it.

The Immortal Rules, Book 1 of the Blood of Eden, by Julie Kagawa
Published by HarlequinTeen, April 24th 2012
My copy kindly provided by the HarlequinTeen
Buy The Immortal Rules on Amazon
Check out Julie's Facebook page
Check out Julie's always entertaining Twitter Feed
Follow Julie's blog, there's baby chick pictures!
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Or on Twitter



Finally, did you miss the EW interview with Julie I linked to a couple of weeks ago?  Well HarlequinTeen has kindly sent it along.  It's full of great tidbits about the forthcoming new Iron Fey books and why Julie decided to go with vampires for her new endeavor.

A Q&A with

New York Times Best Selling Author Julie Kagawa

After writing the Iron Fey series for so many years, how difficult was it to immerse yourself in a futuristic world filled with vampires, rabids and an enslaved human race?

It was...very different. I think the hardest thing for me was the fact that this story does take place in the real world -- a futuristic, vampire-infested world, but the real world nonetheless. Things had to make sense, for example: how far can a large group walk in a single day if there were no roads, they were going through thick woods, and there were children in the group? I had to have logical reasons for everything; I couldn't just make something work "because of faery magic," lol.

Just like Meghan Chase in the Iron Fey series, the main character in The Immortal Rules, Allison Sekemoto, is a “take charge and kick butt” kind of girl. Is this intentional? What woman – real or fictional, alive or deceased – do you look up to or admire?

Yes, Allison comes from a very different world than Meghan Chase. Meghan's upbringing was pretty normal; Allison grew up among vampires and monsters, where every day was a fight to live, so she couldn't afford to be weak. While Meghan had to learn to "take charge and kick butt," Allison's first impulse is stab first, talk later.

As for female role models, the first that comes to mind--when it comes to kicking vampire butt, anyway -- is Buffy Summers. Thank you, Joss Whedon, for making me love feisty, snarky, heroines who can dust all sorts of nasties but who also look good in a cheerleading outfit. ;)

You mention in your acknowledgements in The Immortal Rules that at the beginning of your writing career you promised yourself you wouldn’t write a vampire book. What changed your mind?

Well, there were already so many really good books about our favorite bloodsuckers, so many stories and ideas, I thought I didn't have anything new to add to the masses. I was actually toying with a post-apocalyptic YA novel when my agent mentioned I might want to try writing a vampire series. I wasn't intrigued with the idea at first, but then I thought about combining vampires with the post-apocalyptic novel and then rest sort of fell into place.


Allison claims she hates vampires and believes they are monsters yet when faced with a choice of die or become one, she becomes a vampire. Would you have made that same decision?


Me personally? No. I'm like Zeke in the belief that there is something better waiting for me beyond this life, and I just have to do my best until it’s time for me to go. Besides, I love pizza and Mountain Dew too much to give it up.


Who do you think the most complex character is in The Immortal Rules?

Probably Kanin, Allie's sire. He's a vampire who has made his peace about being a monster, yet chooses to live by his own set of moral rules. He warns Allison about getting too close to humans, yet he does not kill unless he absolutely has to. He is tormented about something in his past that he refuses to share with anyone. He is certainly the most mysterious of all the characters, if not the most complex.

How many books will be in the Blood of Eden series? When will the next book be coming out?

At the moment, there are three books planned, with the second coming out sometime next spring, after the release of the new Iron Fey series this fall.

Before you starting writing full time you were a professional dog trainer. Do the professions share any similarities?

Lol, well you have to think on your feet a lot. And some of the small dogs could be compared to tiny snapping goblins, but writing requires less dodging skills, though perhaps the same amount of creativity and problem solving.

When starting a new series, like Blood of Eden, do you have the entire series mapped out in detail or do you let the story develop book by book?

I have a high point that I write toward in each story; I know this and this has to happen, but getting from point A to point B usually develops as I go along.

And for the speed round:
What book have you read and re-read, and read yet again?
Any of the Harry Potter books.

Favorite song to play when writing a fight scene?
My "favorites" change daily. Right now its "Awake and Alive" by Skillet.

Worst job?
Working a kiosk in the mall during Christmas. It sold glass figurines, and the maneuvering space around the hundreds of very breakable merchandise was quite small. I was like a bull in a china shop.

Best vacation spot?
Walt Disney World

Sweets or salty?
Sweet.

One thing most people don’t know about you – and would never guess!
I used to play the flute when I was a kid. I was really good at it too, but my instructor stopped teaching to have a family, and I never went back to it.

7 comments:

  1. Hmm the form wouldn't let me select multiple extra entries but I follow Julie's blog, follow Julie on Twitter, follow Harlequin Teen on FB, and follow Harlequin Teen on Twitter. Thanks for the giveaway!

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  2. I had the same problem as the person above me. I follow all of them also.

    Thanks for this giveaway!

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  3. Thanks for pointing that out ladies! It is corrected and I'll add to your entries manually.
    Good Luck!

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  4. Thanks so much for this!

    Julie's awesome (and I love her chick pix)

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    1. I concur, on both counts! She commented on one of my posts and I nearly died of excitement.

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