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Friday, April 27, 2012

Not just another vampire book...

Hi there!
Welcome back to the Friday edition of Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers…the place to visit, stay, and play any day of the week when books are on your mind.

Today’s post features a title I finished reading on Monday, just in time for its official release on Tuesday.  (WHEW!)  From an author many know and love (though I had yet to sample her work…BIG MISTAKE…on my part!), comes a new trilogy that’s sure to garner attention from her current fan base as well as those just entering the fold (*raises hand*).  The last go round featured the fey; this time….vampires.  Now don’t go moaning and groaning about the fast amount of vampire literature now available in the Young Adult world….each has its place and this one MAKES one for itself.  Ready for the big reveal?  Here goes.  Today’s book of choice is…

Blood of Eden, book 1:

From the back cover of my ARC…
In a future world, vampires reign.
Humans are blood cattle.
And one girl will search for the key to save humanity.

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.


Sounds good, right?  Oh but it WAS!  If book two was out right now, I’d be racing to grab a copy hot off the presses…despite my ever loved and ever growing TBR Mountain (yes, mountain….no measly piles here…hehe).  As I previously stated, I have yet to indulge in Ms. Kagawa’s infamous ‘Iron Fey’ series (a blunder I shall remedy as soon as possible), though I’ve heard MUCH buzz about its greatness…but this one I can totally vouch for.  It features those creatures of the night we know and sometimes love but in a different light (no pun intended).

In the city of New Covington, there is a hierarchy.  The vampires sit squarely at the top; their pets (favored humans…of use) and minions just below. Next we have the Registereds….those humans somewhat protected by the vampire lords and also those “blood cattle” referred to in the opening up there (yeah, animal blood just doesn’t work for these vampires).  The Rabids sit firmly at the bottom of it all as they are an abomination of the vampire kingdom created due to the false hopes of one vampire master of old with somewhat good intentions and human scientists. Just above them, are the Unregistereds…the likes and ranks of which include our leading lady, Allison Sekemoto. 

Allison along with her ragtag group of fellow teens, forge an existence in the Fringe…a place just inside the Outer Wall with no protection from other “gangs” nor those bloodsuckers that still seek a little “challenge” in obtaining their meal.  It’s a one for…well, one situation so many years after the Red Lung plague decimated human life as we know it.  One day when scavenging for food, Allison hits the mother load…a hidden haven of enough goods to last her crew for several months; the only problem is how to get it back. This trove is beyond the questionable protection of the Outer Wall landing it smack dab in Rabid-ville (okay, so there’s no “ville” but it is the place the Rabids for the most part call home)…a place no human wants to be caught ESPECIALLY after dark; at least not unless you enjoy BEING dinner in lieu of eating it.  *gulp*  Without the stash, her and her crew will be on the losing end of starvation….but in getting it, will she pay the ultimate price?  *dun dun dunnnn….*

Okay, so needless to say, she DOES pay the ultimate price as far as becoming a vampire (no spoilers there, it’s right in the synopsis pretty much) but there is so much more to it than that both before she is Turned AND after.  Her Turning is a choice, albeit the lesser of an already grim future, thanks to the outcome of several scenes of violence in which she pretty much loses everything she has already, assumedly making her decision easier.  Notice I said assumedly.  Her faith in humanity may not run deep but her own humanity does and choosing to die or “live” as one of them is not an easy pill to swallow.  The struggles she faces afterward both emotionally, physically, and Hunger wise are very telling of her character, her ingrained personality.   Many would simply let go and enjoy their new freedoms; Allison partially of her own accord and partially due to the guiding hand of the Master who sired her, chooses another road.

I love the never ending balance she strives to have in her life.  She puts herself in situations that most would avoid out of necessity (or intelligence…hey, I’m not saying I disagree with her choices, but they’re not always the brightest option) or self preservation, and ironically comes up just as dirty on the other side.  There’s a big issue with prejudice shown here, surprisingly so when you consider this is predominantly a paranormal tale.  One wouldn’t expect a larger issue to be discussed let along dealt with but it is done so with grace, showing both the ugly (mostly ugly) and not-so-ugly faces of the “beast”.  Though Allison’s character is a hoot to discuss as she kicks butt frequently in the story, let’s move along to a few others that are certainly worthy of mention.

From her human life, we have her former friends (and that is applied in a few senses of the word which you’ll discover when reading).  Lucas was their leader and a potential love interest for Allison (considering the slim pickings, she chose wisely), while Rat was well, a rat though not literally.  His methods were often shady and he was always out for himself while stirring up as much trouble as possible…hence the name was fitting.  Then we have Stick, Allison’s dependent friend…and someone you may feel sorry for, but trust me….several chapters into the book, you won’t.  He’s needy and whiny and afraid of everyone and everything.  He won’t stand up for himself nor anything that is his and so it’s amazing he’s survived this long in the Fringe….oh wait, that’s probably because Allison was helping him.  Despite her tough exterior, her heart of hearts has a few soft spots and Stick fit firmly into one of them.  Moving on to after she is Turned…

We have Kanin.  He’s her sire but there is much MUCH more to him than you may at first guess; I shan’t spoil it for you but just keep an eye on this “moral” vampire as he shows her the ropes and so much more.  On the other end of the vampiric spectrum, we have Sarren.  ~shudders~  Just saying his name will creep you out especially after Allison’s first odd encounter of this psycho vamp…and definitely after we see his true colors later on.  *-*  There's a cast and crew of other nasties that she encounters, but I'll let you meet them for the first (and maybe last) time as you read. 

Out of the land of the undead and into the human world, we have Jebbidiah Crosse’s group on their quest to find Eden.  Who or what it is will be explained as the story continues but it’s best said that even though this man (part religious zealot) is an odd cookie in the eternal cookie jar of life, he’s a needed one for the strength he wields and the faith he inspires.  Zeke (aka Ezekiel) Crosse on the other hand is equal parts believer and doubter. Taken in by Jeb as a lad after his family was killed, he was raised with his teachings of absolute right and absolute wrong…but his heart feels and believes in a gray area, one he can’t openly admit.  Their paths crisscross so many times over that it’s easy to lose track of the strands, but hang on….it’ll make all the difference.  Along with the GRAND must come the not-so-much, but here it’s fairly self contained and not an issue I share.

In this case, the not-so-grand falls to matters of the big guy upstairs.  I can definitely see some religious groups or strongly religious readers having an issue with a bit of the content.  There is some talk of God; His existence or lack thereof, His compassion for His creations, and whether or not His arrival is forthcoming.  I myself am one of those readers that for the most part can suspend my own belief system whilst delving into an author’s created world…it IS fiction after all; no one said it’s to be the new basis for life as we know it.  I understand some may feel too strongly against this sort of thing (and those probably are the same folks that avoid books with vampires altogether) and that is their right to exercise, but if you’re like me and simply enjoy a good story…this is DEFINITELY one to put on your wish list.

In the end, this is not just another vampire story.  This a tale of a girl that happens to now be a vampire trying to do right by herself and those humans that surround her seeking a better tomorrow while keeping a tight grip on the demon inside.  It’s a story about prejudice and belief, faith in humankind and giving others a chance…but still being ready to grab that katana and do some damage if necessary.  A GREAT start to a promising trilogy, you best be certain that I’ll be watching for the next installment.

ARC for review courtesy of Karen at Media Masters Publicity.  (THANKS!)  For more information on their services, feel free to visit them online.  This title was released April 24th,2012 from Harlequin Teen so be on the lookout for it on a bookstore shelf near you.  Need to order RIGHT THIS SECOND?  Here are a few online options to check out…AmazonBarnes & Noble….Harlequin…and Indiebound.  For more information on the publisher as well as their complete catalog, be sure to check out their website, like them on Facebook, or follow along on Twitter.  Now for some more exciting news…


How would you like a chance to WIN A COPY all your own?

The prize…

(1) hardback edition of Blood of Eden, book 1:  The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa

How to enter….
Fill out THIS FORM.
For those who like multiple entry options, don’t worry…we’ve got you covered.

The rules…
Open to residents of the U.S. and Canada.
No P.O. Boxes please.
Open for entries from Friday, April 27th, 2012 through Friday, May 4th, 2012 at midnight CST.


Until next time…GOOD LUCK....happy reading!


kimba88 said...

Wahoo! Woot! Woot! I read and reviewed this book and thought it was glad you enjoyed it. Excellent review..and i might have knocked ya over trying to grab a copy of book 2 if it were out

GMR said...

Kimba88: oh I don't know...them are fighting words. LOL! ^_^ it was a great read.

....Petty Witter said...

I've been reading a lot of good things about this. A bit tired of vampire books at the present, I will doubtlessly end up reading this at a later date.

fredamans said...

Here is my tweet;!/fredalicious/status/195892733909540866

I really, really, really hope i get a copy of this one. I've entered nearly every giveaway I can find for it... lol.... Thanks to Julie, Harlequin Teen and GMR for the giveaway!

Christina said...

I was not a fan of the Iron Fey books actually, but I was still completely blown away by The Immortal Rules. So, for those who were not Kagawa fans, you might want to give her another chance!

Jessy said...

Julie is totally awesome and I can't wait to fall in love with her second series.

GMR said...

Petty Witter: is inevitable. ^_^

fredmans: The more the better your chances! Good luck!

Christina: Interesting....curious as to why? Haven't read them yet myself, so no judgement either way. ^_^ Thanks for sharing your view!

Jessy: No doubt you will.... ^_^

Melissa (My words and pages) said...

I'm waiting for my copy to arrive. :) I won one. But I LOVE the sounds of this world and story. Thank you for the review!

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