Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Eternity Cure (Blood of Eden #2)

Title: The Eternity Cure (Blood of Eden #2)
Author: Julie Kagawa
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Pages: 448
Rating: 5/5 Stars

I was incredibly excited to get an ARC of The Eternity Cure and I’d resolved to read/review it before it was released.

Nothing like waiting until the last minute, huh?

My procrastination had nothing to do with the book, however, because as soon as I got around to firing up my Kindle and started reading, I didn’t stop. As with The Immortal Rules, Kagawa crafted a story that was unique and engaging and really kept me turning pages.

Er, pushing the arrow button.

After leaving Eden at the end of book #1, Allie sets off to find her sire, Kanin. She’s drawn to him because of their shared bloodline and even sees through his eyes in the night as she sleeps. She knows that he’s in trouble – captured by Psycho Vamp Sarren – and she’s determined to find him.

She feels she owes him that much.

Truth be told, I think Allie’s just looking for a new family. As much as she tried to be a detached Fringer during the first seventeen years of her life, and then a detached vampire, Allison can’t help but want people, family, a connection. She had a facsimile of that with Zeke and the group of humans that she helped get to Eden in the first book, but that was always a pipe dream, tarnished by the fact that she constantly had to choke down her Hunger and keep her true self secret.

Perhaps Kanin is a second chance at a family that she’ll never have to give up.

Having read two of Kagawa’s books, I feel I can say with some authority that she really likes to take her time with her plots. In any other book, finding Kanin would have been the introduction and the real plot would have started when she did exactly that. Under Kagawa’s guidance, however, The Eternity Cure stays focused on what it’s really about – Allison’s journey. Despite the fact that she’s constantly moving, Allison is not at the whim of her plot, her plot unfolds around her as she goes. As such, the book is half over when Allison and Jackal (what an unexpected and surprisingly enjoyable development) are reunited with their sire.

Zeke also makes another appearance and I found that I enjoyed him much more in The Eternity Cure than I did in The Immortal Rules. He seems more adult in this book and the connection that he and Allie share feels more genuine and organic. By the time I got to the end, I found that I really cared about Zeke and wanted him to stay around.

As much as Allie drives the plot of The Eternity Cure, it moves a lot faster than The Immortal Rules. I was immensely glad of that as I really didn’t need to have a play-by-play of Allie and Jackal’s trek from DC to New Covington.

There were a couple of plot contrivances that I would have liked to see handled differently. Zeke’s miraculous healing abilities could have been set up better – or at all. I don’t think it would have given away anything if Kagawa had mentioned the medical experiments that he’d volunteered for in Eden prior to his Lazarus-like return near the end. The fact that Sarren stayed in New Covington after his desperate escape from the Vampire Towers was…convenient.

Also, I really hate that Allison refers to Sarren as Psycho Vamp. There’s something really pedestrian about that.

Those are minor, but in light of how much I loved this book and how skilled Kagawa is as an author, that’s the best I can do.

Speaking of those skills, like The Immortal Rules, The Eternity Cure just feels solid. There’s this intangible difference between a green author’s debut and an author who has really honed her craft and Kagawa’s definitely honed. I love that and it deserves to be addressed.  Details are richer, plot unfolds more smoothly and the world is vibrant and alive. Awesome.

Now, I have to wait for the next book and after the plot twist at the end, I feel that it’s going to be a very, very long wait.


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