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. (Synopsis from Goodreads)
(Note - this review contains slight spoilers for things that are revealed in the first chapters of the book. As such, they are not really spoilery spoilers, but if you don't want any information about the plot before reading this, then perhaps stay away. I will sum up for you instead - this is a fantastic book and certainly a must-read if you enjoyed the first!)
I was a little worried about this book, though I’m not entirely sure why. I loved The Immortal Rules, but I suppose I thought this one would surely have trouble living up to it, or that it might start moving into predictable patterns. I really shouldn’t have worried, because Julie Kagawa knows exactly what she’s doing. This is a fantastic, well-paced and exciting story, with wonderful characters and just the right amounts of romance, horror, action, and slightly black humour. It’s even better than The Immortal Rules, and I couldn’t put it down!
The book begins with Allie trying to track down Kanin, and spends quite a lot of time recapping events from the first book. I actually find this kind of recapping a bit frustrating when it’s mixed in with new events, as it means that you can’t skip it if you still remember the first book clearly. Still, I know a lot of people prefer to have this, and it doesn’t take long to push through. Then we are straight in on the action, as Allie creeps into Washington DC and breaks into a vampire base in the Capitol building (I think... if I have my DC layout right in my head!). Then it’s to the subway tunnels which are seething with rabids, and I am absolutely convinced that Julie Kagawa is a Fallout 3 fan. After this, we go back to New Covington, for more sewer-crawling and a new kind of zombie menace.
Julie Kagawa is very good at writing action, and she doesn’t hold back on the scares and gore as far as vampires and zombies and zombie-vampires (and vampire-zombies?) are concerned. The first book had quite a unique genre-mixing feel to it, and this one continues that while adding even more to the mix. The story is fast-paced, only pausing now and again for a quick breath before diving into more chases and fights. It’s an intense book, the stakes (no pun intended) are ramped up from the first book, and I was really caught up in everything that was happening. This is definite edge-of-your-seat stuff.
The book has a fun story and great action, but it’s really the characters that make it so fantastic. Allie is as awesome as ever (though it’s a shame she appears to be in ‘lone girl position’ this book), Zeke continues to surprise me, Kanin was actually better than I remembered him, and the addition of Jackal back into the mix is unexpectedly perfect. Jackal adds a lovely note of black humour into the story, and it’s almost enough to make me forget that he killed some people Allie cared about in the first book. Almost. The dynamic between Jackal, Allie and Zeke is great, and I really liked how the various relationships between them developed. I’m curious to see what will happen with Jackal in the next book, as the ties between them all have become very complicated now. Sarren is also a wonderful villain; a little cheesy and larger than life, perhaps, but ideal for this kind of story. Plus, another video game reference? Or do I just see these everywhere now?
One thing that continued to delight me about the book was the way in which the author didn’t stick to clichéd or expected patterns in the romance. For instance, there is a moment where I was convinced that Allie was going to tell Zeke she doesn’t love him, in order to protect him. That’s something I find particularly annoying in stories, as it feels like a cheap and unrealistic way to create drama, another example being ‘inexplicable secret-keeping’. Refreshingly, this book never does either of those things, and the romance is both believable and touching. Characters always act honestly, and their relationships with each other, romantic and otherwise, feel completely real. The romance itself also doesn’t dominate the story but progresses naturally within it, which works very well.
The Eternity Cure is an exciting story with fantastic characters, elements of horror, fantasy and black humour, and a touching romance. It also has a particularly good end and one heck of a cliffhanger. I can’t wait for the third book!
Thank you to Harlequin and NetGalley for providing a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.