Release Date: April 30, 2013 (Pushed back one week)
(Thank you to the publisher & Netgalley!)
Published by: Harlequin Teen
BEWARE OF SPOILERS IN THE SUMMARY, if you haven't read The Immortal Rules yet!
The Eternity Cure (The Blood of Eden #2) by Julie Kagawa
In Allison Sekemoto's world, there is one rule left: Blood calls to blood.
She has done the unthinkable: died so that she might continue to live. Cast out of Eden and separated from the boy she dared to love, Allie will follow the call of blood to save her creator, Kanin, from the psychotic vampire Sarren. But when the trail leads to Allie's birthplace in New Covington, what Allie finds there will change the world forever-and possibly end human and vampire existence.
[spoiler-y paragraph removed]
Allison thought that immortality was forever. But now, with eternity itself hanging in the balance, the lines between human and monster will blur even further, and Allie must face another choice she could never have imagined having to make.
*Note: I used the UK GR description, since the US one was so short.
1. (+) Allie, the protagonist - Allie is so cynical and jaded, but so determined and badass that you can't help but root for her. As a vampire, she's got strength and speed on her side and this shows when she preys on the other humans (i.e. drunk guys in a bar, one of which starts to feel her up). She tries to keep her Hunger in check and she's got her katana ready as she travels to and from a lot of places before she finds Kanin. And even in a cruel world, which discourages bonds between others, you have to admire her loyalty to her Creator for seeking him out despite all the difficulties she endures.
2. (+) World-building - The level of detail that Ms. Kagawa puts into her narrative of the post-apocalyptic setting is truly awe-inspiring. This is a cinematic portrayal of what a vampire v. human world with limited food supply would look like. And even better than that is the level of world building in her society and the diseases that are infecting both humans and vampires. Whereas the first book was much more clearly focused on Allie struggling to stay human and hold onto human things and their perspective in this post-apocalyptic world, this book focuses on the vampiric perspective. How did the world come to be this way? What would happen if you took away the vampires? What would happen if you took away the humans? How do these vampire cities function, and who rules them? How does Allie being a vampire change the way she interacts with the death and decay around her? Read this book to find out the answers.
3. (+) Romance - Honestly, after the last book, I didn't expect there to be much romance in this one, but Ms. Kagawa throws in another twist to the story, and I loved it. I loved how the characters have changed -- both have been developed -- and how it's clear that they both now have different motivations and perspectives on their relationship but are coming to it with the same hope in mind. (I'm trying really hard not to spoil it for the rest of you.)
4. (+) Side characters - There aren't a lot of side characters, and because of that, they get fleshed out well. Of course that also means that if you dislike them, there aren't many others to suit you, but worry not. Readers will be pleased with how developed and how clear each character's motivations are. A character who I wasn't a huge fan of in the first book I actually kind of admire now.
5. (+) Action - Action packed and bloody and if you were a fan of the first book, you won't be disappointed now. Truly, if you get squeamish, well, maybe this isn't for you. If you want greater stakes and more violence (and creative ways to include that), then you'll enjoy The Eternity Cure.
6. (+/-) Plot - Things and people you forget about from the first book are reintroduced in really creative ways, and the amount of twists will keep you reading till the last page. However, sometimes it's kind of slow for a bloody, action packed post-apocalyptic/dystopian novel, so the plot and the pacing get bogged down as a result. (At least it seemed like the plot twists had less bite to them... excluding the ending. Gah.)
7. (+) Character Struggle - In this, I refer to Allyson's struggle to stay the monster she wants to be. In the Eternity Cure, it is much more obvious that Allie is a vampire/"monster" and that she will never be anything else so she has to accept herself and follow Kanin's advice on becoming the kind of monster she can live with. And reading about her struggle as she becomes more vampiric, crueler and more hardened to the life around her, was, again, one hell of a ride.
8. (+/-) Writing - Ever since Cait from the Cait Files pointed out how often Ms. Kagawa used "smirking" for Puck in The Iron Fey series, I haven't been able to stop myself from noticing this. One character continues to smirk a lot in this series too. The descriptions are also overly long in some places, and I found myself skimming a great deal. This book weighs in at around 450 pages. At least 50 of that could have been cut. At the same time, I really enjoy Ms. Kagawa's talent for enhancing the post-apocalyptic setting with all the careful details she does include.
9. (--) Pacing - Similar issues to what I said above. It was really, really slow in the beginning, then picked up toward the end, when everything really seemed to come together. (Same pacing issues I had with The Immortal Rules.)
10. (--) The Cover - Can't really tell if that's supposed to be tree or veins or what. I do like the idea behind the new covers, but this one isn't as good at representing the books as the one in The Immortal Rules. (Why such a bright blue for a dark book too?)
In short, fans of The Immortal Rules will love this sequel. Ms. Kagawa does not disappoint. She delivers on the promised brutality and action-packed scenes that a cruel vampire-ruled world demands, and balancing that is the unexpectedly sweet romance and the friendship which Allie forms despite her best intentions.
P.S. - You don't need to reread and/or have read The Immortal Rules to understand The Eternity Cure. A lot of the beginning is spent on catching the readers up on what happened.