I read the first two parts of the Blood of Eden saga together, so I’m going to review them both together too! I’m not sure how I hadn’t read The Immortal Rules when it first came out, as I love vampire stories, but somehow I missed it. I managed to catch up just in time for the release of the second part, The Eternity Cure, which has just been published.
Allison Sekemoto lives in the Fringe of New Covington, an Unregistered living hand to mouth. In a world decimated by Red Lung disease and controlled by vampires, Allison is pretty much at the bottom of the pile. She’s exempted herself from regular trips to the bloodbank, but if you don’t contribute to the vamps running the town then you get no food, no shelter, no nothing. Allie’s resourcefulness keeps her just about fed, scavenging outside the city walls and running the gauntlet of the other gangs and the rabids. Until her luck runs out that is, and she faces a choice between dying for good and becoming undead.
Allie’s lust for life is too great to pass up the opportunity she is offered. She is Turned by Kanin, a powerful old vamp searching for answers and redemption. He offers Allie a form of salvation but also leaves her vulnerable to terrible danger. Kanin is being hunted by a psychotic vampire called Sarren, who has an agenda all of his own. Before long, Allie is alone and on the run.
I was totally gripped by the first part of The Immortal Rules. The world of the street rats and the dangers they face set the scene for what followed really well. I took to Allie straight away. Kanin is an intriguing character, with so much not being said. Their lessons together show both personalities off brilliantly. The middle section of the story didn’t grip me as much though. Once Allie has teamed up with the group of humans, including love interest Zeke, I found it moved a bit slowly. She spends a lot of time wondering whether they’ll figure out she is a vampire and whether she can control her vampire urges adequately. I thought it got a little repetitive on these issues, but it picks up again and the last part is high tempo and all action.
The Eternity Cureis probably the stronger book of the two. There’s a much clearer sense of the quest, and Allie has to make some very difficult alliances to pursue her aims. No part of it dragged, and the reintroduction of one of the human characters from the first book gave it some extra intrigue and another level of machinations! Sarren is quite clearly insane; his behaviour, speech, and aims are all monstrous. There are lots of extra twists that ratchet up the tension right to the very end. The end itself is a massive cliffhanger, in a different order of magnitude altogether than the end of The Immortal Rules.
The things I like about these books are Allie’s strength, both physical and mental. Her desire to live as a vampire but by her own set of rules is an interesting work in progress. I also love the medical details about Red Lung, and the old hospitals. Occasionally I think the romance element intrudes on the rest of the plot; I’m just not convinced that at the point of greatest peril your thoughts stray to getting it on with your beau, but maybe I can’t quite remember my teenage years as well as I think! It’ll be interesting to see where the next book takes the story, another quest beckons…
My thanks to the publisher for allowing me to read both these books via NetGalley. The books are available now.