March 4, 2013

REVIEW: The Eternity Cure (The Blood of Eden #2)

The Eternity Cure (The Blood of Eden #2), by Julie Kagawa
To Be Published April 24, 2013
Publisher:  Harlequin Teen
Format:  e-ARC - supplied by NetGalley
Genre:  YA Paranormal, dystopian

Rating:  5 STARS

(From Goodreads) Allison Sekemoto has vowed to rescue her creator, Kanin, who is being held hostage and tortured by the psychotic vampire Sarren. The call of blood leads her back to the beginning—New Covington and the Fringe, and a vampire prince who wants her dead yet may become her wary ally.

Even as Allie faces shocking revelations and heartbreak like she’s never known, a new strain of the Red Lung virus that decimated humanity is rising to threaten human and vampire alike.

I have no words.

Ok - that's not true. That's never true when it comes to books. But, this one blew my mind. 

I hate to say this, but I find myself comparing The Blood of Eden series to the Twilight series. Now, before you get all WTF on me, hear me out. The overarching theme in Twilight is how one self-proclaimed monster can hold on to his humanity or his soul in order to be worthy enough to earn the love of a human being. For those who've read The Immortal Rules, does this sound familiar?

The big difference here is that The Blood of Eden series does it RIGHT.

*There may be some mild spoilers from The Immortal Rules below. You've been warned!*

In The Eternity Cure, Allison is searching for Kanin, trying to save him from all the evil things that the psychotic Sarren is doing to him. She has left Zeke and her other human friends in Eden and, while she misses them (especially Zeke), she takes comfort in knowing that they are safe. Allison is forced to enter an uncomfortable and inconvenient partnership with her enemy, Jackal, as they find themselves heading back to her old stomping grounds to rescue Kanin.

Of course, along the way, Allison does meet up again with Zeke in the most interesting of ways, and he joins in the efforts to go after Kanin. Meanwhile, Sarren, who is the most evil of bad guys that I've seen in a long time, has unleashed a nasty new virus in New Covington that has affected both vampires and humans. So, now, not only do Allison, Zeke and Jackal have to find a way to save Kanin, but they must also save the rest of the city from Sarren's nasty disease.

Once again, Julie Kagawa's outstanding character development and world building take front and center stage. There is no such thing as "blah" or "meh" in this book. Even the supporting characters are painted with such a strong brush that you find yourself genuinely caring whether they live or die. But, Allison - she is the real star of the show.

Allison has been told by so many that the loss of her humanity is a foregone conclusion. And, that makes her even more determined to hold on to it as tightly as she can. Especially after making such a strong connection to Zeke and his group. Despite her immortal condition, she is compelled to try and save the humans around her, rather than simply use them as a food source. It's a hard road for her, and she knows that. But her continued view on the value of things like love, loyalty and loss make her the most reluctant of heroes.

And, Zeke - *sigh*. That is one remarkable boy. He's all you want and more than you expect. Allison has changed his entire outlook on the world. Rather than simply accepting the things he was taught or going the easy route and burying his head in the sand, Zeke faces his questions head-on and puts his life on the line in order to learn more. It makes him a better leader than Jeb ever would have been. He still has his convictions and his line in the sand, but Allison's presence in his life has opened up his eyes and made him see and accept far more than he ever imagined.

I never thought I'd say this, but Jackal was pretty awesome in The Eternity Cure. He was the much-needed comic relief. This book was amazing, but it was pretty dark and generally sad. Jackal added the right dose of humor in the right places. Although I wasn't at first, I became glad for his constant presence.

The ending KILLED me. It does end on a cliffhanger, and a really frustrating one, at that. The worst part about reading ARCs and e-galleys is that you have to wait SO LONG for the next one to come out. And when a book ends like this one does, it's the best kind of torture.

Honestly, even if vampire books aren't really your thing, I hope you will give The Blood of Eden series a try. It will make you think and question things. And really, isn't that the best part about reading??

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