I was a huge fan of Julie Kagawa’s The Immortal Rules, even though I was a little hesitant at first. Vampire dystopian? Really? Haven’t both those genres been beaten to death with the redundancy stick, resurrected into genre zombies, and then been decapitated with a sword dipped in the blood of a dead horse?
But then I read it, and I loved it. Julie Kagawa’s fluid prose, her complete willingness to dive into the nitty gritty elements of her world, and her unique spin on both the vampire and dystopian genres won me over almost immediately. So when I saw the sequel, The Eternity Cure, was up for review on NetGalley, I requested the heck out of it.
Okay, so you can really only request one way, and there is no way to make an emphatic request, but if there was, I would have done it. I would have strenuously requested.
(NetGalley: “Oh, you strenuously request? Then we’ll take some time and reconsider.”)
I’m getting away from myself here. LET’S TALK ABOUT THE BOOK.
The Plot (from Goodreads):
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.
The Eternity Cure picks up a few months after The Immortal Rules leaves off, after Allie has left behind her human friends – including Zeke, the human boy she had grown to love – at Eden, the last remaining vampire-free city. Now she’s using her sire bond – a psychic link with the vampire who created her – to track Kanin, and it leads her to her former home, where she encounters a new, deadly plague, as well as some faces from her past she thought were gone forever.
Just like in The Immortal Rules, Julie Kagawa does not shy away from the ugliness of her world. These vampires are not glamorous (even the glamorous ones have an ick-factor), and the world they rule is beyond grim. This is a series where I never feel complacent and I never assume that a character is safe simply because they’re important. She keeps the tension high and the action intense from the beginning through to the end, and just when I thought I might get a break — she’d raise the stakes again.
Some of the secondary characters in The Immortal Rules come front and center in The Eternity Cure, which was awesome. We get to spend a good chunk of time with Jackal, the vampire prince who we last saw staking Allie and throwing her out a window. He returns, dark and snarky as ever, and walks an impressively fine line between villain and reluctant hero. Like all the best villains, he is layered and complex, and is true to himself above all else.
Kanin is also back, and I love him just as much as I did in the first book. I am a sucker for the strong, noble, self-sacrificing type – provided they are not sappy and patronizing – and Kanin fills this role perfectly. He is unwavering in his morals and convictions, and they drive every action he makes, but he is also a man who has made many mistakes, and realizes they come with a price. I cannot say enough good things about his character. There should be more Kanins, both in books and in life.
Zeke and Allie both come into their own a bit in this book. In The Immortal Rules, so much of their relationship was hindered by secrecy. Now, they each know up front who the other is, and have to decide whether or not to come to terms with that. I enjoyed both of them, and appreciated their increased honesty, and the closeness that came from it. I also liked seeing Allie embrace her humanity a bit more, and seeing Zeke really examine his beliefs, instead of just accepting what his father believed. There was good growth from both of them.
As far as the plot, I think I’m becoming a bit immune to plot twists, because I watched everyone freak out about the twists in this book when it was released, and none of them really surprised me. BUT! That didn’t lessen my enjoyment of the book in the least – just because I suspect something is coming doesn’t mean I enjoy watching it unfold any less. So I can’t comment on how surprising or satisfying the twists are. What I can say is that the plotting is tight, the action is prevalent, and once you get to the twisty parts – she pulls no punches. NONE. AT ALL. I begin to wonder if she’s even heard of pulling punches.
The Eternity Cure is a solid follow-up to The Immortal Rules, filled with intense action, thoughtfully developed and varied characters, and break-neck pacing that will keep you turning pages well into the night. Just make sure to keep the light on, because here, there be monsters.