I wouldn't say I was disappointed, that's far too strong a word, but I think I was slightly mislead by everything I'd previously read about the book and how awesome it supposedly was. I'd probably say that for the first half of the book I was right up there with the gushing masses but then Zeke and the gang came into it and it lost me.
If you've read the book you'll obviously know what I'm talking about so for those of you who haven't, let me start from the beginning. Allison/Allie is a 'street rat' living on the outskirts of a city run by vampires that offer humans a relatively peaceful life in exchange for a blood donation every now and then. (They really, really hate vampires). Out on a food run one night Allie and her gang are attacked and killed by Rabids (wild vampire type creatures). Allie is on the verge of death when a good vamp steps in and offers her immortality, she accepts on the basis that she's been a fighter all of her life and refuses to give up now.
Now, that's the very basic premise, and is also where my issue with the story begins. Allie hates vampires, and I mean, she really hates them, and as such chooses to live a life of poverty and squalor as to avoid having to give a blood donation every month. However, despite being in a situation where all of her friends are dead and she has nothing but starvation to return to, she quickly decides she'd rather be a bloodsucker than take the quick death on offer. Alright...
But I got over that when we started learning more about Kanin and also started the 'how to be a vampire 101' classes with Allie. I began thinking "Alright, this is going to be an old-school, kick-ass vampires type thing" and I was happy. The best part of the book for me was the relationship with Allie and Kanin. Kanin is very much the dark and brooding character who has little patience for Allies reluctance to sever ties with her human life. Kagawa presented a real sense of detachment between the two that you'd expect from people with Allie and Kanin's withdrawn characteristics, but at the same time you could still feel a connection there that made you wonder where the story would take them.
Then we started learning a lot more about who Kanin really was (won't give away any spoilers) and his past and I got even happier, thinking this was going to be an epic vampire free-for-all with some great battle scenes (because we know Kagawa is a pro at those), maybe a bit of romance, who knows?
But instead, Kanin was quickly removed from the story and replaced with Zeke, Jebbadiah, and the rest of the human gang who did nothing but irritate me for the rest of the book. Allie began irritating me too at this point, which I was pretty upset about because I love a no-nonsense heroin, and up until this point, she'd been pretty kick-ass.
Allie had spent the majority of her life detaching herself from her emotions to help her survive psychologically but as soon as she's a vamp, she meets a human boy and a few kids and her life principles suddenly change? I just don't understand it. When Stick rejected her she was heartbroken for all of 5 minutes but something about Zeke is enough to change her mind? I don't buy it.
The actual build up of their relationship wasn't enough for me either. There's an attempt to describe Zeke's uncertainty about his feelings for a vampire, and the same with Allie and her feelings for a human, but there's no depth to it. It was all very Twilight - I shouldn't like him, but maybe I do like him, and now it's been 2 weeks and I'm irrevocably in love with him and want to risk my life trying to help him? Not for me. (Don't get me wrong, I love Twilight, vampires AND werewolves? Score. But the instantaneous love is a downer for me.)
I really, really wanted to love The Immortal Rules, and for the first half I did, but as soon as Zeke came into it and that switch got flipped, it just went downhill really quickly. The whole 'lets find Eden' thing got annoying (28 Days Later, anyone?), Zeke's unquestioning following of Jeb got boring, and characters like Ruth always just piss me off.
For the sake of Kanin and kick-ass Allie I'm going to give it a 3/5. I'll probably read the rest of the series because I think the storyline has strong potential to be something pretty good, and also to make sure Kanin comes back in to it and Zeke stays out of it. Oh, and also because Kagawa's writing style is awesome and no-one can touch her descriptive narratives.
So yeah, overall, it was an interesting book up until the 50% mark, then it turned into a typical YA/vampire type thing. There's gonna have to be something more to book 2 to turn this around for me.