by Julie Kagawa
April 24, 2012: Harlequin Teen
eARC copy thru NetGalley
"In a future world, Vampires reign. Humans are blood cattle. And one girl will search for the key to save humanity.
Allison Sekemoto survives in the Fringe, the outermost circle of a vampire 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 is attacked—and given the ultimate choice. Die… or become one of the monsters.
Faced with her own mortality, Allie becomes what she despises most. To survive, she must learn the rules of being immortal, including the most important: go long enough without human blood, and you will go mad.
Then Allie is forced to flee into the unknown, outside her city walls. There she joins a ragged band of humans who are seeking a legend—a possible cure to the disease that killed off most of humankind and created the rabids, the mindless creatures who threaten humans and vampires alike.
But it isn't easy to pass for human. Especially not around Zeke, who might see past the monster inside her. And Allie soon must decide what—and who—is worth dying for."
"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."
In this first book in Julie Kagawa's new series, Blood of Eden, we are introduced to a futuristic world where vampires rule and humans are nothing but food to them.
The first part of the story tells us the life of Allison as human - how she and others live life in the Fringe, and she sees vampires and the world. That and until the event that led to her transformation into vampire.
The next part we learn more about the vampires as Allison herself is turned into one. At the same time the mystery of how vampires came to power unravels, and more secrets are starting to surface.
After an event that leads Allison out of the city, she meets a small group of humans who are out seeking a place where the cure for rabidism, and there are no vampires, might be possible. But being a vampire among the human group posed a challenge for Allison, but she can't seem to run away. So against all odds, she travels with the group - dealing with dangers (inside and outside the group), and struggling to stave off her hunger and the growing feeling she has for the group's second-in-command, Zeke.
Ok, Iron Fey fans, I do not need to tell you how different this is from the Iron Fey books. But even if vampires rule, Julie Kagawa still rocks in the start of her new series.
Set in a dark, gritty, and seemingly hopeless world, the character of Allison Sekemoto tries to remain human in a vampire world, where people either fear or adore them. When she herself is turned into one, she struggles to not lose that sight while coming to grips of being the monster that she truly has become.
This struggle becomes more prominent in her journey with Zeke's group. Around the group, it seems that Allison feels human though she constantly reminds herself that she is a danger to them. She is more extra careful around Zeke who seems to stir more than hunger in her. And around their leader, Jeb, who is like a disillusioned pastor that hates vampires above all else. She knows that sooner or later she has to leave the group, before they find out that she is one of the things they hate. She can only pretend for as long as she can keep herself in check. But things turn out differently when it is not only the rabids that hunts them.
What are rabids? Have you seen the movie Priest? I see the rabids as the vampires in that movie. Also reminds me of zombies. Nasty creatures. I wouldn't want to live in a world where they exist. Julie really made vampires back as creatures of darkness here. And she introduced other noteworthy characters like Kanin, who hopefully will be in the next book; then Jackal and Sarren, and of course Zeke.
Zeke appears to be irritatingly good, an angel like one of the characters once said. I'm looking forward to how his character will develop as well as whatever future he has with Allison. The romance in this story takes the backseat because it is mostly about survival. Also imbued with a few religious themes, of faith and disillusionment, and the hope that humanity will prevail against the threat of rabids and the rule of immortals.
Truly, this series has a lot of potential that will make you look forward to the next book. I'm just glad the ending is not the type that is left you hanging, but just enough to leave you haunted and hopeful for what is to come.