There are two types of families, one we are born to, and one we choose. We can't choose the former, the latter forms almost inadvertently sometimes, but they're just as important. My friend told me that once, and that quote leaped to my mind as I read this book. I love the twisted dynamics of the family that poor Allison has got herself into in The Eternity Cure. I didn't really like the concept of this series when I reluctantly started reading it, but The Immortal Rules turned out to be better than anything I could have imagined, and I had been waiting with bated breath for the sequel. I was not the least bit disappointed; this has been more than worth the wait.Allison has left Zeke behind in her quest to find her creator, Kanin. It's not like Allie was ever truly helpless and innocent, growing up scrounging to survive and looking out mostly for herself, but she is harder in this book. She's learned through experience, she's tough, she's a survivor with the accompanied scars.Allie has been wandering around by herself for four months, following the gut instincts that tell her where her sire is being kept and tortured. She is more accepting of her vampire nature now, she takes blood when she needs to; she doesn't like it, but she is not completely mired in self-loathing when she does it. It's survival now.Against her will, Allie joins forces with her "brother," the twisted Jackal. Together, the two return to New Covington to try and free Kanin. They encounter some old characters, and are betrayed by someone Allie never thought she'd see again. I can't even mention his name, I am so incomprehensively angry at that stupid asshole, after everything Allison did for him...ok, deep breath. Not a real person. No need to lose my temper over a fictional character. Whew.The only flaw I found in this book was with Zeke. Ugh. Zeke actually plays a role in the previous one, and he should have stayed there in the good, but distant past where he belonged. His presence in this book, I felt, did more harm than good. He and Jackal spent more time at each other's throat than actually contributing anything to help find/free Kanin. I'm amazed that they got anything done with Zeke around. And yeah, getting a human inside New Covington...not the easiest thing to do.They should have left him in the fringe, especially when Zeke’s main contributing role in this book seem to be his ability to add more pages to the book in terms of whining and crying and creating conflict. Some characters are inserted solely for verbal flufferage. Zeke becomes one of them in this book. I wish he had been turned into a vampire in the first book. At least then he wouldn't be a waste of air.OK FINE I KNOW HE PLAYS A CRITICAL PART IN THE BOOK BUT I STILL DON'T LIKE HIM.I am impressed with Allie's behavior in this book. She's rational. She hates Jackal and his previous actions. She knows he is capable of horrible things, but she works with him anyway without being a screeching, whining, and contrary harpy. She does what she needs to in order to get shit done. That, my friend, is the type of heroine I can get behind. Together, she, Kanin, and Jackal are an odd family, but they work well together and they are connected through a similar goal. Dysfunctional though they are, I love how they work together...and yet they get along better than some families I know.Did I mention that Julie Kagawa is a kick-ass writer? The ability to create characters that arouse such strong emotions (not that of the "I'm severely annoyed by you" kind. Any writer can create an annoying character, sometimes an unwittingly annoying character. *cough*Luce*cough*Bella*cough*Calder*cough*) It takes true talent to create a character with...actual character, that with which we can sympathize and hate and grow angry.Jackal is by far the best character in this book. I think I like him even more than Allie here. He is a lot more authentic. He doesn't try to hide his true nature, or who he is. It's refreshing, especially when everyone is so lacking in confidence. He's certainly a better match for Allie. Blood siblings, not real siblings, right? Anyone with me? There's always book 3! Not really, but one can hope.