Saturday, 14 September 2013

Review: The Van Alen Legacy (Blue Bloods series #4) by Melissa de la Cruz

Book cover of The Van Alen Legacy, Book Four in the Blue Bloods series
So I'm still here, tippy-tapping away on a Microsoft Surface that I barely know how to use. On the bright side, I've whipped through three reviews today, just because I love playing with the damn thing this much. I'm still only  caught up to the end of May, but every little helps, right?

Oh Van Alen Legacy. You make the whole series worth it.

Plot summary: With the stunning revelation surrounding Bliss's true identity comes the growing threat of the sinister Silver Bloods. Once left to live the glamorous life in New York City, the Blue Bloods now find themselves in an epic battle for survival. 

Not to worry, love is still in the air for the young vampires of the Upper East Side. Or is it? Jack and Schuyler are over. Oliver's brokenhearted. And only the cunning Mimi seems to be happily engaged.

So during my previous reviews of the Blue Bloods series (Blue Bloods, Masquerade and Revelations) the basic summary is that I love these books an awful, awful lot, but somewhat sheepishly and with a bucketful of excuses. The writing is pretty terrible, but the concept is great. The dialogue is horrible, but the characters are unique. It's horrendous, but also amazing. You get the idea.

Van Alen Legacy, however, is where that all changes. All of Melissa de la Cruz' teething issues with prose have vanished and we're left with the unique concept and glamorous style. This is why this series exists and it's easily the best book of the set. I remember having to stop reading after this book last time because the next book wasn't out yet and it nearly killing me.

The reincarnation theme is in full swing now and I love it. Angels usually aren't my thing at all, but here it's less about God and more about Christian mythology, if that's the right word. I'm not completely 'up' on my Bible, so I might be missing a few nods here and there but the parts I can recognise are very, very clever. Everybody has an angelic identity and yet somehow it's not religious. The historical figures that feature are also neatly tied in - not too in your face or over the top.

The actual plot really kicks off in this book too. Previously, we learnt about where the story was heading, but now it's actually moving towards that destination. It's very dark, especially regarding Bliss' sub-plot. I'm not actually a fan of where Bliss ends up, but I admit that it's not your useful YA vampire line. I enjoyed her journey, if not the conclusion.

I do wish that this book had begun a little closer to the end of Revelations, time-wise. Too much has happened in the large gap for the reader to be quickly brought up to speed in a paragraph or two, and I was left floundering for a little while. It results in an extra POV just to explain what happened, which seems a little lazy. It could have been done well, but the perspective isn't from a character as such and so it reads just like an explanatory note shoved in there. It really should have been an extra chapter at the end of the last book.

Ah, Mimi *flails violently* I've never liked her, it's true, but you weren't meant to like her during the earlier books -spoilt, bitchy Princess and all that. Now though, she's Changed. Apparently. I'm all for character development, but not that fast and not that much. If she didn't grow up at the end of Masquerade when That happened, she's certainly not going to do so now. It's the only thing about this book that 'clunks' really, but it's a biggie.

Still, if you're still umming and ahhing about whether to pick up this series, keep this post in mind. Van Alen Legacy is where it all comes together and the flaws are minimised, if not completely removed. I finished it with the Happy Book Fuzz in my stomach and I can't wait to see where the story is going to go next. I'm about to move onto the installments that I haven't read before and I can't even explain how excited I am.

New to the series? Read my review of the first book, Blue Bloods.

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