Zombie, post-apocalyptic and dystopian books are like shoes - you can never have enough.
The Immortal Rules was one of my most surprising books of 2012, and I instantly became a fan of Julie Kagawa. The world-building, the way that the dark, gritty feel of the world came through in the writing, the characters, the plot - everything won me over completely and even had me admitting that perhaps I can enjoy vampires far more than I ever imagined.
In The Eternity Cure I was hoping for more of the same, and it almost completely met all of my expectations.
The characters are just as I remembered them - Allie is fierce, strong and fearless, but not arrogant - she pushes herself to the limits, but she also has a soft side, which instantly makes her a likable character.
But, surprisingly, my favourite character was actually Jackal. Remember him from The Immortal Rules? Yes, Julie Kagawa has managed to evolve him into a character that while not exactly likable, brings that sarcastic, smart-arse attitude that is tremendous fun to hate, and I actually missed him when he wasn't in scene.
The world is even darker in The Eternity Cure, and the writing really shines - it feels dark without being expressly said, simply in the tone and the words that are used, and that is a real talent. The new strain of the Red Lung virus is particularly chilling, and the fight scenes are intense, gory and action-packed.
There are a lot of things that happen within the book that I can't talk about for fear of spoiling it for people that haven't read it yet, but as fair warning there is a heart-stopping, book-gripping cliffhanger that I can see may frustrate some readers as there's a whole year to go until the next book is released.
The only issue I had with the whole book was the pacing. There are times that I felt like the story was in danger of stagnating and that's one of the reasons it took me so long to read The Eternity Cure - when a book is nearly 450 pages long constant pacing is what keeps me reading, and at a couple of occasions it slowed down a little too much.
The Eternity Cure is a good second book - apart from the pacing issues, it's darker, grittier and the characters grow and evolve, there's tension and great action-scenes, and some deliciously detestable characters just to round things out. I'll be eagerly awaiting the next books' release in 2014.
Read more of my reviews at The Aussie Zombie