Blood of Eden series by Julie Kagawa
To survive in a ruined world, she must embrace the darkness…
Allison Sekemoto survives in the Fringe, the outermost circle of a walled-in city. By day, she and her crew scavenge for food. By night, any one of them could be eaten. Some days, all that drives Allie is her hatred of them—the vampires who keep humans as blood cattle. Until the night Allie herself dies and becomes one of the monsters
Forced to flee her city, Allie must pass for human as she joins a ragged group of pilgrims seeking a legend—a place that might have a cure for the disease that killed off most of civilization and created the rabids, the bloodthirsty creatures who threaten human and vampire alike. And soon Allie will have to decide what and who is worth dying for…again.
Enter Julie Kagawa’s dark and twisted world as an unforgettable journey begins.
So I’m the resident paranormal romance girl here at BT, and the vampire genre’ is my personal favorite. Has been for a long time, way before the “sparkly” ones came along. 🙂
I will say that it’s been awhile since I’ve read a vampire series that blew me away. This series has done just that. It’s not really a romance either, at least in the first book. This series is dark and violent, but honestly the traditional vampire story usually is, and I thoroughly enjoyed going back to the dark side of vampirism.
Like the summary implies, Allison does become a vampire, despite the fact that she hated them and what they stood for. In this dystopian society, Red Lung is a horrible disease that was killing off humans at an alarming rate, causing the vampires in the world to come out of hiding, because their food source was dying out. In an attempt to cure the humans, the rapids were mistakenly born, a threat to humans and vampires. Vampires gained power because of their promise to protect humans, if they gave themselves over to the vampires. Providing shelter and food in return for freely giving their blood.
When Alli was human, she lived in the Fringe, unregistered, hiding from the vampires, barely surviving day-to-day. The author is amazing at describing the surroundings and what Alli feels about her world.
Exert from Chapter 2:
The Fringe is a massive concrete jungle; canyons of broken glass and rusting steel, skeletal giants choked by vines, rot and corrosion. Save for the very center of the city, where the looming vampire towers gleam with dark radiance, the surrounding structures look diseased, hollow and perilously close to collapse. Below the jagged skyline, with few humans to keep it in check, the wilderness outside creeps closer. Rusted shells of what were once cars are scattered about the streets, their rotted frames wrapped in vegetation. Trees, roots and vines push up through sidewalks and even rooftops, splitting pavement and steel, as nature slowly claims the city for its own. In recent years, a few of the looming skyscrapers finally succumbed to time and decay, tumbling to the ground in a roar of dust and cement and breaking glass, killing everyone unlucky enough to be around it when it happened. It was a fact of life anymore. Enter any building nowadays, and you could hear it creaking and groaning above your head, maybe decades away from collapse, or maybe only seconds.
The city is falling apart. Everyone in the Fringe knows it, but you can’t think about that. No use in worrying about what you can’t change.
What I worried about, more than anything, was avoiding the vamps, not getting caught, and getting enough to eat to survive one more day.
Sometimes, like today, that called for drastic measures. What I was about to do was risky and dangerous as hell, but if I was worried about risk, I wouldn’t be Unregistered, would I?
The Fringe was divided into several sections, sectors as they called them, all neatly fenced off to control the flow of food and people. Another device built “for our protection.” Call it what you want; a cage is still a cage.
When a food run goes bad, Alli is viciously attacked by rabids, and a lone vampire named Kanin offers her a choice, die or be changed.
Exert from Chapter 4:
And I’d been so close, so close to changing something. To maybe making a difference in the stupid, screwed-up world. I’d wanted to know what it was like not to live under vampire rule, not to be starving all of the time, not having to shut everyone out because you were afraid they would die in front of you. Such a world had existed, once. If I could only make others realize that as well…but that choice was gone. My world would remain as it always was: dark, bloody, and hopeless. The vampires would always rule, and I couldn’t change anything.
I wished I could’ve said I would rather die than become a bloodsucker. I wished I had the courage, the strength, to stick with my convictions. But in reality, when faced with death and the great unknown that came after, my survival instinct snatched wildly at whatever lifeline was offered. I didn’t want to die. Even if it meant becoming something I loathed, my nature was, first and always, to survive.
Kanin is on his own, but doesn’t turn his back on Alli. He is willing to train her and explain to her the life of a vampire. Turns out he is public enemy number one to the prince of New Covington, where they live. When she is on the verge of being captured with him, she runs out of the city she has only ever known, into the wilderness.
Alli comes across a group of humans that seem to be able to survive out on their own. She admires their tenacity and strength, especially Ezekiel Crosse. He is special. My personal favorite. This group is looking for a city called Eden, that apparently is vampire and rabid free.
Because the story is told through Allison’s point of view, we get to experience her struggle to keep sane and her urges for blood under control. She likes the people she has met, and wants to help them in their search. Her sire’s thoughts are still running in her head though.
Exert from Chapter 18:
“You are a monster.” Kanin’s deep voice droned in my head again, as I forced myself to move, to walk away. “You will always be a monster–There is no turning back from it. But what type of monster you become is up to you.”
A relationship does develop between Zeke and Allison that builds slowly over time. Mainly because Alli doesn’t trust herself with him, or his reaction to what she really is. He has hated vampires all of his life, just like she did before she became one. The difference is he is trained to kill them without hesitation.
Exert from Chapter 21:
“Say something,” he murmured at last, cupping my cheek like he couldn’t bear to pull back. “I can’t see you, so…I don’t know what you’re thinking. Talk to me.”
“And say what?” I whispered.
“I don’t know. Just…” Zeke bowed his head, his voice quietly desperate. “Just…tell me I’m not crazy,” he whispered. “That this…isn’t insane as I think it is.”
His heartbeat stuttered, racing in my ears. The Hunger stirred curiously, always eager, but I could ignore it this time. I wasn’t thinking of his blood, rushing just below the skin. I wasn’t thinking of his heartbeat or his touch or the pulse at his throat. Right now, all I was thinking of was Zeke.
“I don’t know,” I told him softly as he shifted closer, radiating warmth even through his wet clothes. I knew I should pull away, but what was the point? I was tired of fighting. In this absolute darkness, with no one else to see or judge, our secret seems safe. “Maybe we’re both a little crazy.”
“I can live with that,” Zeke murmured and finally did what I’d been fearing and hoping and dreaming he’d do from the very start. His other hand reached up, framing my face, as he leaned in and kissed me.
The first books ends with Alli searching for her Master Kanin, because he is being tortured in her dreams. Leaving me wanting more.
I would give this book 4 stars.
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 second book is definitely my favorite. In this book, we are so much more attached to the characters, even the irritating ones, like Jackal, Alli’s blood brother. Their verbal sparring gives the story some comic relief.
One of the many things I fell in love with about this story is the author’s ability to describe Alli’s reactions to the places and things that we take for granted. It is outstanding. I loved trying to figure out where she was in the United States or what she was seeing for the first time, before the author spelled it out for us. I was going to pull an exert of my personal favorite, but I think I just want you to read it for yourself.
We also get to go back to New Covington, where Alli lived as a human, things are definitely worse since she left. She finds out that the “friend” who she thought was dead is not, but is willing to betray her to the Prince.
The romance between Alli and Zeke moves forward, but it is baby steps. There is a lot to deal with between them, because Alli was determined to leave Zeke behind, where she knew he would be safe. His feelings towards her surprise her at every turn.
Exert from Chapter 14:
“Allie, ” Zeke said quietly, stepped forward. And suddenly, the price of holding on to my humanity, my determination not to be like all of the other monsters, was almost too much. In that moment, I’d never wanted to be human more, just so I could be with Ezekiel Crosse. Zeke, who was brave and loyal and selfless, who hated vampires, but was still here, surrounded by them, because of me…Who traveled across country, to New Covington, because he wanted to bring me home. And I could never go with him.
Zeke was a brilliant light that cut through the evil and darkness and bloodlust, down to that tiny part struggling to stay alive.
I know that the struggle between a vampire and a human seems typical, but Julie really made me feel all of those feelings that I wanted to feel. The chemistry and UST is done well in this story.
I do feel that I need to remind you guys though, that the violence is taken up a notch in the second book. Every fight scene is written well, but it’s bloody and dark at times. Mainly because there are a lot more vampires, than humans in this book.
There are some great twists and turns. The line between good and evil is definitely blurred. Some hard choices are made, which made me tear up at the end. I was left holding my breath, and hope to hear something soon about the next book.
I would give this book 5 stars. Outstanding read for sure.
The Immortal Rules is available now at Amazon, and The Eternity Cure will be available on April 30th, but can be preordered. I provided the link above, at each title. There is also a prequel available, called Till the World Ends, that I’ve not read yet. Though I do plan to, probably closer to when the next book comes out.
**I was given ARCs of both books from Net Galley and Harlequin Teen for review. That did not influence my review in anyway.**
I put both books on my “top shelf fantastic reads” and The Eternity Cure went on my “books that own me” shelf on Goodreads.