Did Not Finish Explanation
Received: ARC from publisher, via NetGalley
Read pages: 154 of 485
I didn't dislike this book, I just didn't like it enough to read 485 pages on my computer. I also didn't like it enough to rush out and get a hard copy ASAP. I probably will finish it at some point, but it will be through the library and whenever I eventually get around to it.
Allie is NOT welcome in my post-apocalyptic survival posse
Oh, Allie. She just doesn't make sense to me. I don't see how a person like her would develop from the world and situation the author created for her.
Allie is very much a girl from our world. She is sensitive. She's a defender of the weak, even if her actions endanger the strong. You know that meme "First world problems" where frustrations and complaints experienced by people who only experience the luxuries of first world countries are highlighted? Allie is like that. She's a "First world emotional reactions" kinda girl, but she's been raised in a post-apocalyptic wasteland. It doesn't make sense, and I couldn't get over that logical clash.
She's also impulsive, stubborn, and, in my opinion, has a knack for making dumb decisions. I didn't hate her, though. She's definitely not getting an invite to any kind of sleepover party, but I don't think I'd kick her out at my lunch table.
I wanted to baste him and serve him up at a vampire buffet
Maybe I'm heartless. The thing is, if I were raised in a post-apocalyptic vampire dystopia where my entire species is treated as little more than cattle and I had been living on the outskirts trying to eke out an existence, I don't think I'd have much sympathy for a useless deadweight character. As unsettling as it was to see Gene from Andrew Fukuda's The Hunt, easily sacrifice heper children, it was a heck of a lot more believable.
And that character! His name is Stick and HE is who I really can't stand and why, through her sympathy, I ended up totally disgusted with Allie. He's like an overgrown child—completely incapable of taking care of himself in even the most basic ways. Curling up in a fetal position and freezing in terror like a dumb deer in the headlights are his two main modes of operation. He is useless and had zero qualities that redeemed himself in my eyes.
Even worse, his uselessness was a gigantic liability for Allie and her group. Occasionally she would snap at him to get his butt in gear, but she doted far too much for her minor slips of the tongue to really count.
To put it bluntly, he needed to die. Not just because I didn't like him, but because it made no logical sense that a person that weak would have ever survived in the brutal world Julie Kagawa was trying so hard to make me believe in. You can't tell me the world is super deadly and scary and then toss in a character like that and expect me to still quake in my boots. Sorry, but the existence of that character and his continued survival automatically reduces the danger of the world to Sesame Street levels.
I closed my computer in disgust and finally decided to DNF when I found out that character had unbelievably managed to survive yet another situation he should have died in AND Allie decided to do something incredibly stupid because she missed her stupid friend. That was the end of the road for me.
Why I might actually pick it up again
The world-building suffered from the same problems as the world-building in Julie Kagawa's Iron Fey series, that is, it was basically a mash up of a bits and pieces from a bunch of other books and movies. At first I was delighted at the apparent uniqueness of a vampire post-apocalyptic dystopia, but then I realized it was pretty much Amelia Atwater-Rhodes combined with I am Legend and a few other similar books.
That's ok though, because even if it's not totally original, it still makes for a darn good premise. Julie Kagawa included a backstory that was pretty interesting and I am curious to find out more of the details. I like how she made the vampire society almost like a fantasy kingdom with various courts, nobles, and factions.
This is my main reason for wanting to get a copy from the library at some point. I want to dig deep into the history, culture, and current in-fighting amongst the vampires, as well as the plague history that decimated the human population, and I have a feeling Julie Kagawa will deliver on this.
Hi Ash, thanks for stopping by!
Maybe I didn't read far enough into the book, but where were the scary vampires? I kept hearing praises about how they were "Yay! No sparkling vampires!" but, um, they so were.
Ok, so they didn't actually sparkle, but they were totally the "insanely beautiful, graceful, sure-drain-all-my-blood-'cause-it's-better-than-sex" kind of vampire. Allie even gets mistaken as a human on multiple occasions and last I left her she was trying hard (and mostly succeeding) at controlling her blood lust so she could be besties with humans. And I hear her eventual love interest is a human? That is NOT what I consider a no-sparkle dangerous vampire.
But I can be cool with that (hello Damon and Stefan Salvatore!). And I was pretty cool with the Tall, Dark, and Handsome mysterious vampire mentor Allie picks up with. Though he was a little *too* "Ice Boy" ala Ash from Julie Kagawa's other series, but a touch blander.
But, I think that's mostly because he's all tortured and mysterious and I'm hoping as the story goes on he'll grow a personality beyond the Keanu Reeves emotional development level he was sporting thus far. The mental image of him IS nice. Though I hear he pulls a London and disappears for a good part of the book? That's disappointing if true.
Ok, ok, to be fair, some vampires were zombies
So, fine, some of the vampires were mutated, mindless, rotting feeding machines and those were pretty scary. The scenes I read with them were tense, exciting, and everything I was hoping this book would be. Julie Kagawa really wrote these scenes with punch and verve. These vampires were a lot like the Freaks in Ann Aguirre's Enclave, which were pretty much like hoarding zombies. If there are more scenes about fighting these vampires, then I definitely want to read them.
Eh, there's a lot I liked, a few things I really liked, and a few things I hated so much I don't know if I can get beyond. I'm going to try though, because I am intrigued. The whole book reads in a really easy breezy way that does make the 485 pages seem a lot more manageable (just not on a computer).
I did order a copy for my library though, because if you don't get hung up on the same things I did, then I think The Immortal Rules will be a hit among fans of Julie Kagawa's Iron Fey series and fans of Amelia Atwater-Rhodes.