The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa
In the dark days since the insidious Red Lung virus decimated the human population, vampires have risen to rule the crumbling cities and suburbs. Uncontested Princes hold sway over diminished ranks of humans: their “pets.” In exchange for their labor, loyalty and of course, their blood, these pets are registered, given food and shelter, permitted to survive.
Unregistered humans cling to fringes, scavenging for survival. Allison Sekemoto and her fellow Unregistereds are hunted, not only by vampires, but by rabids, the unholy result of Red Lung-infected vampires feeding on unwary humans. One night, Allie is attacked by a pack of rabids, saved by an unlikely hero…and turned vampire.
Uncomfortable in her undead skin, Allie falls in with a ragtag crew of humans seeking a cure, or cures: for Rabidism and for Vampirism. She’s passing for human…for now. But the hunger is growing and will not be denied. Not for friendship – not even for love. (Goodreads)
One of the things that I found so interesting about this story was the zombie twist. There is the usual horrible outbreak, but instead of turning people into zombies, it turns them into rabids. Rabids sound like zombies, but they’re more like feral vampires. Instead of wanting to eat your brains, they just want to eat you. Might just be me, but I found this both amusing and original.
Unlike other books where humans are hunted to almost extinction, in this world the vampires realize that they have to take care of their food supply. In exchange for providing blood, registered humans receive food rations and some protection. Allie is an Unregistered who has to struggle to survive, but at least has her freedom. Banding together with other unregistered kids, they cling to existence.
Allie and her friends run out of luck one night and she is rescued by an unlikely source, and becomes the very thing she most despises. Coming to terms with her new incarnation, Allie learns what she can before being forced to set off on her own. She meets up with a band of humans searching for a rumored safe city, and travels with them for awhile.
Really liked Allie, and admired her determination to survive despite the odds. She is a strong person that still retains some of her old humanity, and does her best to avoid turning into the kind of monster she always despised.
Gave this a 5/5 as it kept me up much too late to finish reading. Couldn’t wait to see what happened next, as Julie kept a great pace and there was something new around every corner! Loved Julie’s Iron Fey series, but think she may have outdone herself and I think the Blood of Eden series will be even better!