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Radiant Shadows

The Immortal Rules (Blood of Eden Series #1)

The Immortal Rules (Blood of Eden Series #1) - The Immortal Rules is an unapologetically dark and unflinching story about survival where everyone is fighting for some semblance of an existence. The characters are constantly living within a cloud of despair, but for those strong enough, the despair isn't enough to vanquish their hope for something better then merely existing. The world-building is outstandingly original and compelling, and the characters are surprising in both their resilience and fragility.The world Julie has created is dark and twisted, with danger lurking behind every corner. The death or disappearance of a loved one is a mere fact of life, and at the end of the day, it's every person for themselves. If that means leaving someone behind, to risk the few in order to save the whole, then so be it. With the complete hopelessness of their situation, it was surprising to see such resilient characters; characters who were not just looking to make it another day, but hopeful for something better. The history of the Red Lung disease, and how it mutated with the introduction of vampire blood to become the disease which caused the Rabids was fascinating. The rise of vampire cities was so logical, the overwhelming presence of Rabids forcing vampires to protect their food source from extinction, that I didn't once doubt it. And after seeing how frail humans are when faced with a Rabid, I also didn't doubt why humans would choose to live within the relative safety of a vampire city, even with the knowledge that they would be used as blood banks for their whole lives.I absolutely adored Allison. Her life as a Fringer has made her strong, but not unemotional; betrayal still hurts, cutting deep like a knife. Her compassion for others, especially considering how she grew up, is admirable, as is her internal struggle to come to terms with her new-found monster within. She doesn't give herself more credit then she's due, she tries to be as honest with herself as possible, so she's always aware of her limits and when she was becoming a threat to the group she was quickly beginning to see as friends. She knows that she is a monster, but she doesn't let that define what kind of monster she has to be.The thought of hunting sent a thrill through me, but I was also scared that I would turn into that snarling, hungry creature from the night with the Blood Angels. I was afraid I wouldn't be able to control myself, and I would end up killing someone. And, deep down, a part of me didn't care. That was the scariest thing of all.Her strength in overcoming her bloodlust and her inner demon's innate response to see humans as mere food, was fascinating and added an almost-constant element of suspense - would this be the time when she lost all control?The secondary characters were all really well done as well. I appreciated that Kanin, an assumingly hundreds of years old vampire, had little patience for Allison's tantrums or questions that didn't concern her. His dedication to teaching her about life as a vampire, and his insistence that she embrace her inner monster rather then pretend she could continue to treat humans as anything other then food, was exactly the kind of cold, calculating logic I would expect from a vampire of his status. I couldn't stand Ruth, mostly because she never warmed up to Allison, and I was constantly hoping that Allison would just act on her vampire instincts to remove the smug smile off of Ruth's face. I loved Caleb and his innocence that only comes with childhood. And as much as I knew it would never work, I wanted Zeke to find a way to overcome his prejudices about vampires and accept Allison for who she is. I wanted him to be the person who proved her wrong, who showed her that her actions were worth more then whether she had a beating heart or not. I wanted them to overcome the odds and find a way to be together. Which surprised me, because Allison was constantly reminding herself to keep him at a distance, for fear of what might happen if she let him get close.Crawling into my tent, I pulled the blanket over my head and tried to sleep, to forget Ezekiel Crosse. His touch. His warmth. And how badly I wanted to sink my fangs into his throat and truly make him mine.For being an almost five-hundred page book, the pacing was brilliant. I was constantly on the edge of my seat in fear of a Rabid attack or that Allison's secret would be revealed. I loved the twist at the end involving Jackal, and I'm excited to see how that effects events in the next two books. I did find that the fact that the group only travelled at night to be a little too convenient - and Zeke's explanation as to why didn't make too much sense to me. I also found Allison's complete change of thinking to be a little unrealistic. As a Fringer, if someone fell behind, she took the loss and kept going in order to keep herself safe. As soon as she met the group of humans however, she was constantly sticking out her neck to keep them safe, regardless of her own life. It just went against her desire to live, considering she chose to live as a vampire then die as a human, even though she despises everything vampires stand for.The Immortal Rules kept me fully engrossed from page one. I became attached to almost all of the characters, and desperately hoped that their search for Eden wasn't an act of futility. I loved watching Allison grow and learn to accept her new life as a vampire, and I'm excited to see what happens in the next instalment!Find this review, and more, on my blog: Radiant Shadows