The Eternity Cure (Blood of Eden, #2) by Julie Kagawa
Published by Harlequin Teen on April 30, 2013
Genres: young adult fantasy, paranormal, vampire fiction, post-apocalyptic fiction, young adult romance
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It’s been such a long time since I read this book that I probably won’t be able to give you such a detailed review for it as I could have given if I’d reviewed this sooner after I read it. But I promise I will try.
While The Eternity Cure is definitely not a static sequel (no “Middle Book Syndrome” here!), I do not feel it lived up to its predecessor. The plot was always progressing, but I felt that some of the characters weren’t, and the romance took a wrong turn down Cheesy Street somewhere. While we received more of an explanation about some things, I felt several of the things that showed potential in The Immortal Rules didn’t live up to said potential: the characters and the romance, mainly. I’ll be focusing more on those here than the other components I focused on in my review of The Immortal Rules, just so you know.
Allie was a character I felt I could root for in the first book. There, we saw her transformation into a vampire and her struggle to figure out what that meant for her in regards to morals and human life. Here, she’s continuing to do that, and it’s interesting to see her try to balance her human side with her vampire side and try to prevent one from eclipsing the other completely. I also admired how she was determined to save Kanin, her creator, even though she didn’t owe him that and she went through a lot of trouble to try and find him.
Kanin gets developed more in this book, which was really cool to see. We witness him at some of his very lowest points–struggling with guilt, grief, and his bloodthirsty vampire nature–and he’s a more nuanced, more vivid character for it. He’s probably one of my favorite characters in this series, and my heart ached for him and his struggle.
In order to find Kanin, Allie also teams up with her sire-brother, Jackal, whom we met in the first book. In The Eternity Cure, we get to see more of what makes him tick and how he deals with life as a vampire. He brought some much-needed comic relief to the book, and made me laugh out loud several times. I always enjoyed reading his banter with Allie, especially when Kanin was around.
Zeke pops up in this book, too, but instead of growing as a character, I think he remained pretty stagnant and one-note. This was an issue for me in the last book, too, but I said in my review of Book One that having a nicer, gentler character helped even things out a little bit. And it did, but, when all of the other characters were being developed and he was not, it was easier to noticed how underdeveloped he was. He got moody several times, too, which seemed really immature and added some unnecessary drama to the novel. It’s a shame, too, because I think he would have been my favorite character otherwise.
As I said earlier, this is not a book where nothing happens. Allie’s journey to find Kanin is both eventful and exhilarating. Kagawa takes us deeper into her world via encounters with mole men, vampire hierarchs, and other dangers. And their encounters with vampires who have caught the new strain of Red Lung? Terrifying and gross. (I loved it. 😀 ) There is hardly ever a dull moment. This world is cutthroat and dangerous, and Kagawa further cements this fact in this novel.
That being said, there were a few predictable moments ((SPOILER)) like Zeke being the leader of the underground group and Stick being the vampire prince’s aide. But there were other moments that made me go “WHAT?!” ((SPOILER)) like that ending with Zeke. GAH. ((END SPOILERS)) But other than that teeny tiny complaint, I was almost always on the edge of my seat as Allie and company were kicking butt.
This is where things started to go downhill for me. In Immortal Rules, I said I thought Allie and Zeke made a good couple, with a good balance of gentle and tough, vampire and human, dark and light. Here, though, they started to get a little angsty, and Allie created a lot of drama over yo-yoing between wanting to be with him but not wanting to hurt him. I understand the situation was kind of impossible–How can a human and a vampire ever be together without the former being hurt?–but I felt they could have done something more useful than freak out.
And Zeke to me was just really corny in this novel. He had lines like
Only death will take me away from you, vampire girl. … And even then, I’ll watch over you from wherever I end up.
as well as
You have my promise, vampire girl. I don’t intend to give up. I’ll fight beside you for as long as I can.
I mean, maybe those quotes actually aren’t so cheesy, but…vampire girl? Really? That’s the best you could do? To me, that nickname takes words that could have had weight and just melts them into cheese. And when that’s the dynamic between the heroine and her love interest and most of their interactions happen this way, it starts to feel fake and not too genuine.
Also, one last note: While I’m not totally opposed to swearing in a book, I don’t like a lot of it, and the characters’ liberal use of it here made me really uncomfortable–enough to warrant a lower rating. So, know that’s one of the factors that resulted in this book having a lower rating than it’s predecessor.
Overall: still action-packed, still gritty and gripping, but the romance is lacking and a little bland, and the quality of the book suffers as a result.