Review: The Eternity Cure by Julie Kagawa

Wednesday, June 12, 2013
Title: The Eternity Cure
Author: Julie Kagawa
Genre: young adult, supernatural, post-apocalyptic, dystopia
Series: Blood of Eden #2
Pages: 448 (hardcover edition)
Published: April 30 2013
Source: publishers via NetGalley
Rating: 3/5

In Allison Sekemoto's world, there is one rule left: Blood calls to blood

She has done the unthinkable: died so that she might continue to live. Cast out of Eden and separated from the boy she dared to love, Allie will follow the call of blood to save her creator, Kanin, from the psychotic vampire Sarren. But when the trail leads to Allie's birthplace in New Covington, what Allie finds there will change the world forever-and possibly end human and vampire existence.

There's a new plague on the rise, a strain of the Red Lung virus that wiped out most of humanity generations ago-and this strain is deadly to humans and vampires alike. The only hope for a cure lies in the secrets Kanin carries, if Allie can get to him in time.

Allison thought that immortality was forever. But now, with eternity itself hanging in the balance, the lines between human and monster will blur even further, and Allie must face another choice she could never have imagined having to make.

I like Julie Kagawa. I like her books. I like that she doesn't conform and does her own thing, tries out new ideas, writes unlikeable or complicated characters. While I have had fun with and been entertained by almost all of her novels, I've rarely loved one (the only exception: The Iron Knight) . Unlike most of my friends, I was pretty underwhelmed by the second Blood of Eden novel. It's time for an unpopular opinion alert: I thought this was a weaker, bloated sequel to The Immortal Rules. Most friends are "ooh"ing and "aah"ing and I am over here with the "meh" sign.  Some things in the story worked well enough, others didn't, but in the end I never really cared enough to invest.

The actual book is 450 pages (and every edition of the novel, kindle, hardcover, etc. are all over 430 pages), and my ARC only has 350 and yet that felt waaaay too long and drawn out. It wasn't horrible, it wasn't great, but it definitely didn't live up to expectations. The plot takes a lot of twists and turns, there are betrayals and reunions and betrayed reunions, but it all takes too much time to develop. And, a lot of The Eternity Cure feels rehashed, like I read it before.. in book one. Allie wrestles with her "humanity", Kanin wants to fix old wrongs, Sarren wants to kill everyone, there's a threat the human "food supply", etc. There are varaitions upon the theme, but this is very much a second novel; a bridge book. The only new aspect is Jackal's inclusion to the central plot. Out of everything, he is the only truly unpredictable element in the story.

The uneasy and temporary alliance between Jackal and his younger blood sister Allie makes for the most entertainment that The Eternity Cure has to offer. As I am not a fan of this romance (Zeke bores me, sorry ladies), the only conflict that genuinely intrigued me was the one between Allie and her struggle to trust and rely on the unpredictable raider king. His known-only-to-him agenda makes him a free agent with uncertain motives and hard to gauge motivations. Allie is still a decent protagonist, but so much of her own conflict feels repetitive from The Immortal Rules. She faces some new obstacles and old enemies but mainly, she fights to resolve her humanity with her monstrosity, her attraction to a human with her need to feed on his species.

This is where it gets SPOILERY so stay away unless you've read it/don't care/are a spoiler whore.

The twist with Zeke - the whole he's dead-wait-no-he's-alive is pure cheap storytelling and blatant emotional manipulation. It's lame. The lamest of the lame. I wish Kagawa had actually gone through with it and offed a main character. She'll kill side pieces and bit parts easily enough as book one showed, but never a narrator or a love interest. As Renae puts it, Zeke is a huge Mary Sue. By dying, he does much more for both the story and Allison's personal development than he ever would alive. I would've liked the book more if it had been real, rather than a lame plot device used to manipulate both Allie and the reader. Ugh.

Other readers seem to love Sarren's menace and presence. I found both... lacking, to say the least. His whole attitude seems so laughable, with all the "sing a pretty song" and "little bird" nonsense constantly going on. Kagawa tells me repeatedly that he is insane, but she doesn't really go to any lengths to show it. Sure he kills people and is violent and vicious, but that's what the majority of vampires do in this new world. It's only his endgame that really sets him apart and shows his madness... but that comes into play way too late in the game to make much of an impact or reinforce his insanity. And oh boy, I thought I had read villains with Syndrome Syndrome before, but oh boy does Sarren believe in the power of the Antagonist Monologuing Everyone to Death. Stop talking about what you plan to do and actually do it, for cripes sake.


That said, The Eternity Cure is alright. It suffers from a few missteps with plotting, pacing and characterization but what Kagawa does well, she does really well. The action scenes are tight and written believably. The post-apocalyptic world is thought-out down to small details and has an evocative atmosphere. All in all, this is a mixed bad of good, medium, and not-so-good. I mean, it's worth reading for the lack of love triangle alone. I will still read the sequel that is sure to be out, but I won't work myself into a frenzy of anticipation.


  1. Lol. Great review! I love Julie Kagawa too(:


  2. Jessie, thank god for your realistic reviews. Seriously. I am so tired of seeing this series hyped up like there's no tomorrow and then people always tell me to give it another shot when I don't want to. Kagawa's style doesn't work for me and while I'm glad this one did have it's positive points, the negatives seem to outweigh it. Although, I will admit, I kind of want to read more about Kanin...I loved him! Anyway, fantastic review! :)

  3. I agree with you (spoiler)....

    regarding just simply killing Zeke and being done with it. I was in the oooh and aaahh category though and did like this. I actually wasn't even planning on reading this one since I didn't care for the first one. This one redeemed the series and I'm definitely looking forward to the last(?) installment... definitely looking for a non-HEA though. I like my dystopian with more than a dash of realism. :) Great review.

  4. MARY SUEEE. Gah. I tend to feel like Kagawa's books are very theatric and film-like. Which is fine, really—makes for a super engaging and enjoyable read, but tends to add stupid twists.

    Gah. I freaking hate Zeke. What a pansy.


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