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.

The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa is what I would define as a vampire, post-apocalyptic, survival-horror. Set in a world where the human population has been decimated by a plague and the attempts of a cure. Human beings have been reduced to becoming bottom links on a food chain that leads up to soulless vampires and the devolved rapids. There is no democracy, no human Government, and no civil society; what once was has now become a country filled with ghost towns and walled up cities where vampires rule the streets and rapids roam the outer wilderness.

Allison Sekemoto is an unregistered inhabitant of the vampire city New Covington. She, like almost every one of her generation, is an orphan and the only family she has are the boys in her group of invisibles who survive by stealing and foraging for anything that aids in their survival. And however hard life was for Allison and her group before it’s getting harder as food becomes scarcer, winter approaches, and rumors spread of the vampires locking down the city. A problem Allison had miraculously found a solution to, but one that quickly leads to tragedy and Allison dead.

The Immortal Rules is a story starkly different from Julie Kagawa’s The Iron Fey series in both plot and format. Where the protagonist of The Iron King (the first novel in the Iron Fey series) had a clear set objective from the very beginning – save her kidnapped brother, Allison’s story does not have a clear narrative path for the reader to follow, at least not until midway through the book. I had no problem with this for the majority of the novel because I prefer character-centric stories and the story of The Immortal Rules was mainly about Allison – her struggles of balancing what she is with who she was.

“The shadows lengthened like grasping fingers, sliding over the ground.”

Julie Kagawa’s writing style, constantly filled with vivid descriptions, always did a great job with unfolding the mood for a scene or setting, especially when it came to tense moments or action scenes and trust me this is a book brimming with action.

Unfortunately, in spite of all of these highlights I can’t give The Immortal Rules a perfect rating because despite me loving Allison’s character and being intrigued by her vampire mentor Kanin I couldn’t connect or care about the other characters in the story. To me they were all mainly just there to fill a role so when it came to moments that should have gained reactions out of me I was just reading quickly to move onto the next scene despite how engrossing the current one should be.

So overall, if you want an action-packed novel about a strong, kick-ass heroine then pick up The Immortal Rules but don’t except to fall in love with the ensemble of characters or to shed a tear over them.