Melissa de la Cruz has been holding out on us! The Van Alen Legacy is by far the best in series. As a reader, I got everything I wanted, plus many amazing things I never would have thought to ask for. This series is basically a vampire soap opera, but man, what a well done soap opera it is.
It has been over a year since Rio and Schuyler and Oliver have been on the run nearly as long. It would seem as though she has made her choice, but just as she makes a daring move to secure her and Oliver's safety, she is thrown into the very thing she fears the most and into the arms of the one she can hardly bare to live without. Being her mother's unncorrupted daughter has made Schuyler the Blue Bloods last hope, but despite the fact that she has embraced her task, she has managed to run from the biggest similarity that she and her mother share, until now. Is her mother right? Are there some loves worth dying for?
Bliss has been in a lost state, struggling just to remember her name. She can't account for over a year of her life, and there is a Visitor living inside her, taking over whenever he pleases. As Bliss fights to regain control of her mind, body and future, she uncovers the truth of who she is and in the process uncovers a scheme that could undo everyone and everything she has left but how do you fight something that lives in you? Will she be strong enough to stop the Visitor, before its too late?
Mimi has trapsed acrossed the globe, searching for the watcher with her venator team, lead by the very one who nearly caused her death, Kingsley Martin. But everytime they think they've finally caught up, they are left wanting. Is it the year of adventure and near death experiences that has caused Mimi to reevaluated her life, or has she only just found someone that allows her to be as she truly is? Is it just meaningless nothing, and impulse of this life, of this time, or has Kingsley been there, every cycle, pushing her and possibly loving her and worse, her loving him back?
I'm not going to reveal anymore, it would spoil the fun. Once again I was swept away in this complex world, with it's vibrant characters, spot on dialog, and nerve wracking plot. I can't wait to for the next installment as I am sure Cruz will manage to shock me yet again, many times. Loved it!
P.S. Allegra is a tart! ;)
on October 6, 2009
The Van Alen Legacy is by far the best book of the series! The book is packed with action, secrets, and adventure. The story is told through the three main girl character's point of view, Mimi, Bliss, and Schuyler. Reading Melissa's books always take me away into a fantasy world, but this one had me begging for more. There was a resolve between the love triangle between Sky, Mimi, Jack, and Ollie. And a new love triangle put in place, but I'll let readers find that out on their own. The book truly helps characters evolve and is an easy read. I am now anxiously waiting for the fifth installment as I'm sure other readers will be as well.
on October 31, 2009
The fourth book in the Blue Bloods series was an excellent book. Book 5 is supposed to be titled "Misguided Angel" and will be out in the Fall of 2010. This book was an excellent addition to the series. I am liking this series more and more with every book I read in it.
The third book in the series really left us hanging. At the beginning of this book Schuyler and Oliver have been on the run for over a year, Mimi has joined the hunt for Jordan, and Bliss has been taken over by the Visitor and left to hide in a dark corner of her own body. Schuyler risks everything trying to contact the European Blue Bloods for support; her and Oliver can't stay on the run forever. Mimi concludes her hunt for Jordan and is struggling with whether or not she should bond with Jack. Bliss is trying to fight for the right to possess her own body as the Visitor (Morningstar) pushes her out. A number of the Blue Bloods assume their eternal angels persona's as the battle for Blue Blood survival escalates. Jack and Mimi's bonding is back on, but Mimi is finding herself curiously drawn to a traitor Silver Blood. Will they go through with the bonding? Are Schuyler and Jack really through; or will Jack change millennia of past by not bonding with Mimi? What about Oliver, is he destined to be a third wheel? The fight for survival is taken to yet a higher level as the Blue Bloods try to destroy all the Silver Bloods in their midst.
This was a great book. Action packed and fast-paced; the plot moved at a nice clip with some great twists thrown into the plot. You really love and empathize with all of the characters. I love that the plot is getting so much broader and that the whole of human civilization now rests on the Blue Bloods ability to fight both Morningstar and the Silver Bloods. This series is growing to epic proportions and I am loving all the detail and intricacy.
I have also been enjoying the past memories that come back to the characters and how their personalities change as they take on the persona of the immortal angel's soul that they represent. All in all I really don't have any complaints about this addition to the series and I am eagerly awaiting the next book! This is kind of surprising to me since I thought the first book in this series was just barely okay; the first book was all about fashion and high-living in Manhattan. Somehow though De La Cruz has taken this series to the point of actually being an epic story that matters; it is surprising to me and very satisfying. I have always liked Cruz's writing style, it is very readable but not at all dumbed down, she balances action and description well too.
So do you still get some of the high life in this book? Well, of course! Bliss attends some fashion shows and Mimi has to prepare for her bonding; so there is some high fashion and high living. I am just thrilled that Cruz was able to mix those things with some actual solid storytelling and a wonderful far-reaching plot; so creative and so entertaining. Now I have to wait a year for the next one!
on August 5, 2015
The Van Alen Legacy is book 4 in the Blue Blood series. I have loved the other books that came before this one, so of course this one was going to be good.
There are 3 distinct voices in this book; Schuyler, Mimi, and Bliss. I love the fact that we get to hear from these 3. With Sky, the protagonist and Mimi her rival, readers get to see the different sides to the same coin. One is searching for adventure, or something to keep her mind off of things, while the other is in hiding and trying to stay safe. Both want Jack, one has been with him forever and the other is a new love that seems like it is as old as time. This book has help me see Mimi in a better light, I sort of just saw her as a bitch, but she is more and I like that I get a better sense of who she is. I can actually say that I kinda sort of, like her now.
Bliss is in a world all her own. She is trying to stop a super-villain all by herself, she is piecing together clues and trying to come up with a plan. I would have never considered Bliss as a strong person before this book, but now I know better. She was all alone battling this out and to fight against this evil was a really strong thing to do.
There is two things that really kind of pissed me off with this book (that's because I care so much). One is the fact that everyone had only bits and pieces of everything and no one saw the full plan or knew all of the past. Still at this point, some of them are still in the dark. The second thing that pissed me off is this love triangle between Sky, Jack and Oliver. I usually don't have a problem with love triangles, I actually know right off who should be with who, however with this situation it is difficult for me. I love both Jack and Oliver, I have pros and cons for being with both and neither of them I want to see hurt. A decision has been sort of made, and I don't believe for a second that this is where this cramp ends. My heart was joyful for one and broken for the other. UGH!!!
Now that things have come together and they have a plan; can't wait to see what happens next.
on November 2, 2009
This is the 4th book in the Blue Bloods series and I am thoroughly disappointed that de la Cruz didn't just wrap up the story and make this the final book. I was never particularly passionate about the previous books but they had an interesting enough plot so I have read them all, but I was really hoping this would be the last.
This book was bad! To the point of almost having a patronizing feel. By page 19, I was sick of the cliffhanger chapter endings. Each chapter rotated between the point-of-view of 3 people and each left me saying, dun dun dun...
The entire time I felt like I was reading Dan Brown's version of YA. Maybe it was the fact that I had just read on her website that she thinks cliffhangers are key to a good story, but they were just so overdone. I wasn't able to connect with the story because the chapters averaged 5 pages long so anytime I started to immerse myself in a scene the characters were switched on me. This not only switched the perspective but also the scene (often jumping continents) and the sides of good vs. evil. I read quickly in order to get to the end of the story, hoping that I could wrap it up and put it behind me once and for all. Alas, the story continues.
I also found the writing to fall flat throughout many of the chapters, which I don't remember in her previous books. The last few chapters were the easiest to read because the story was finally coming together and the characters were all in the same room, which helped immensely when she quickly flipped between people.
I doubt I will read the next book which is saying a lot because part of my hoarding obsession means that I have to have the complete set in a series, but I just don't think I could make it through another one.
After the debacle in South America, Schuyler's grandfather was killed by Leviathan, Lucifer's brother, and Leviathan killed Lawrence. The conclave doesn't believe Leviathan killed Lawrence, so Schuyler and her best friend Oliver have to go on the run to escape punishment for a murder she didn't commit. Back home, the Conclave is in complete disarray, and Bliss is being overcome by the demon inside her- Lucifer. Mimi has joined Kingsley Martin and the other Venators trying to locate the Watcher (formerly hidden as Bliss's sister Jordan) to help them locate Lucifer. The Van Alan Legacy, by Melissa De La Cruz, is the darkest and most mature story in the series so far, and it will keep you wanting more.
Schuyler and Oliver barely stay in one place for longer than a day or two. After a year of hiding, they are worn out and seek the help of the European coven- the same coven that has been estranged from the New York coven for generations. In doing so, they are almost captured by Leviathan. When Jack Force comes to their rescue, it brings up more than concerns about the Conclave wanting to punish them- it brings back all the feelings Schuyler has for Jack- feelings she can't have since he is to be bonded to Mimi.
Meanwhile, Bliss has lost a year of her life to Lucifer, who she acknowledges as The Visitor. Finally, after losing a full year, she learns to suppress the Visitor, and she can even control him or see through him when he is controlling her. It is this control that gives her an idea of what Lucifer has planned- using Schuyler to break open the gates of hell. Now the Blue Bloods teens must come together to stop Lucifer, but can they do it in time? Will the Conclave and the rest of the 400 finally believe them that Lucifer and the Silver Bloods are stronger than they thought?
This story is growing up with each installment, which I really like to see. I struggle with a series that stays at one level or meaning and understanding. It seems to keep the readers in a stationary spot for a while, especially students like mine who only read 2-3 books a year. Therefore, a series that grows with the reader is a big hit in my eyes- both for the reading ability and the maturation of the reader.This story does get a lot darker than the rest of the series. The clothes, shoes, and designer handbags fall to the wayside as plots, plans, murders, and Lucifer himself take the foreground. In a way, I like this progression. This is the fourth book, so it wasn't sudden, but it wasn't too slow, either. My only problem with this series is that each installment ends on a cliffhanger.
on November 23, 2009
Melissa de la Cruz is back with THE VAN ALEN LEGACY, her fourth Blue Bloods novel. Taking place under a New York City backdrop, the series delves into the subjects of teenage angst and growing up in a world of very old, very powerful vampires. While on the surface the story may seem derivative of something like Harry Potter crossed with Twilight, de la Cruz's use of biting wit and deep characterizations truly set it apart from anything that has come before it.
As the novel opens, a year has passed since the horrors of Brazil for the Blue Bloods, the aforementioned extremely old collection of vampires. Schuyler and Oliver (a vampire and her human conduit, respectively) have been on the run the entire time, crossing the globe while avoiding Venators, who think that she killed her grandfather. Their last hope is in Paris (the European Conclave), and they crash a party to ask for protection. But Schuyler is astonished to find Jack, a former love interest, instead. Or rather, he is there to find her. In THE VAN ALEN LEGACY, all the secrets and passions come out full force as the Blue Bloods find the Devil in their midst and try to forge the future with their past.
Furthermore, Bliss's mother is dead, and her sister Jordan has been kidnapped. Mimi is one of the Venators trying to find Jordan, who holds the clues to what is happening. They follow a maddening trail of near misses in their search. But meanwhile, Bliss is taken over by an evil spirit who may be tied in with her father. When she is allowed control of her mind and body, she tries to warn people and summon help. In doing so, she uncovers secrets about her mother.
Jack tries to forget Schuyler, who left him with no word and ran with Oliver. Now both of them are realizing they need each other. They know they must return to New York and face the results of what is happening to all the families. Also in New York is Schuyler's mother, Allegra, who only previously was seen to her in dreams as she lay in a coma. Allegra is ready to make herself known to her family in this volume.
Suddenly, the vampires want Mimi and Jack to have their bonding. They must decide if they can set aside their feelings for others and follow their predestined path. The Elders are pushing the younger vampires to finish high school at the same time they push Mimi and Jack to their bonding. Mimi is trying to find out what is behind their messages.
The Blue Bloods series is gothic and twisty, and vampire fans will enjoy it. Teens will want to read all four novels so they can follow the history of each character, though many bring surprises to the table in THE VAN ALEN LEGACY. Melissa de la Cruz continues a winning formula, and I'm already looking forward to a fifth installment.
--- Reviewed by Amy Alessio
on March 29, 2014
I felt the same with this book as I did the other books. Love the idea, love the premise, love the tie-ins with religion, the ideas of reincarnation, etcetera. But every once in a while, some little detail comes in that annoys me.
(For example, in one of the previous books, it is explained to us that the public wouldn't question Mimi marrying Jack, nor would she have to change her name, people would just assume she was Mimi "Force" by marriage, not by birth. That was the gist of it, and it was "explained" in one sentence. It left me feeling doubtful. Like, um, no. This is a young celebrity from a powerful family, she's a model, she's on billboards, etcetera. I doubt ANYONE in the public is going to just be like "oh, okay, that's cool." They know that they're siblings, they even look alike. I just didn't buy that.)
This book left me feeling a similar way a few times. Particularly, at the end. (spoiler alert) Schuyler had to step in and donate her blood to Jack to save him because he required human blood. And it was written that it HAD to be her, there was no time for Mimi to go grab anyone else from outside, or whatever. But...what about Oliver? He was at the bonding ceremony? His whole family was. Im sure other "red-bloods" were there as well. Other young vampires bringing human-familiars as dates? I get that it's better for the story if Schuyler steps in and does it, but...I didn't like it rationalized that it HAD to be her, when it really didn't.
As for the structure of the book (which lots of reviewers seem to be commenting on), I didn't mind it. I'm an English student in college, hoping to be a writer some day, and I always learn something new with each one of the Blue Bloods novels. Mrs. De La Cruz likes to experiment a bit from book to book, and I find that each different layout doesn't bother me. The chapters were a bit short, but that's always been a trick amongst writers to keep readers reading. She also ends almost every chapter with a cliffhanger, another trick that has been proven to work. Also (I may be digging too deep here, but I'm really into story-structure) this book reads like a roller coaster ride in a way. You have three different rotating point-of-view Leads: Schuyler, Mimi, and Bliss. Each is very different (Mrs. De La Cruz is very talented in creating unique characters as well), and each has a very different central conflict. But if you look closely, each of those three characters' conflict carries a different level of dramatic weight. In the beginning, it's most clear. At the top of the chain is Schuyler and her story. Venators are chasing her and Oliver (I love Ollie), their lives are at risk, they're running from country to country. That's REALLY dramatic. Next down the chain is Mimi, who's also traveling around searching for Jordan (A.K.A Sophia, A.K.A The Watcher). They're running around, but she doesn't have that constant fear of her life being at risk over her head. She runs into more highly dramatized moments from time to time (like her face-off with Warden Cutler, how awesome was that?), but her situation is not AS dramatic as Schuyler's and Oliver's. Then, all the way at the bottom of the drama-chain is Bliss. Her struggle exists mostly within herself, as she struggles for dominance in her own body. Of course, that conflict is still REAL, but in literary terms, inner conflicts are less dramatic than say "Schuyler and Oliver against 99% of the Vampire world". I loved that each character's story held a different conflict-weight, and with the switching of point-of-view, it was like going up and down the chain like a ride. Three different characters with three very different issues and stories. Each has their own mini-climax at the end (Schuyler with her mom waking up, Bliss with her visitor's new order to kill Schuyler, and Mimi with her bonding finally "happening"), then they all meet at the end for the story to resolve during the bonding scene climax. Then after that, each character's story is set up for the next installment.
It was a really good book, but it was probably my least favorite thus far. I didn't really care about Mimi's story in the beginning. I get it, Sophia (Jordan) is supposed to be important, but I just felt that her importance wasn't made as impressive as I think it was intended to be. The venators are putting so much effort into finding her when so many other vampires have died. I get it, she's different, but then they eventually figure she just jumped into one of the birds, and they leave. And she doesn't pop back in until the end? I just didn't feel that she was supposed to be so important. But I have a feeling I look at books "too closely" and I think the story was really good, despite those few little things. The series's premise and Mrs. De La Cruz's knack for structure, literary tricks, and characterization outshine any little "problems" by far.
on August 14, 2011
This book is my favorite in the series, so far. I'm late to the game when it comes to the Blue Bloods, but I'm enjoying the series nonetheless. This book, to me, was a huge improvement over the first three, though. I felt that I really got to know the characters better, and it was much more emotional than the other books. I hope the rest of the series is more like this book!
The Van Alen Legacy was perhaps the scariest, fastest, life changing ride of the Blue Blood books. The reader is immediately thrown into the plot (so FYI go re-read Revelations, at least the ending). Sky and Oliver are on the run from the Conclave, Mimi is off in South America with the reformed Silver Blood, Jack and Charles are trying to secure a Gate, and nothing is what it should be.
Bliss can barely remember anything, Lucifer has fully taken her over, and Allegra keeps giving Sky cryptic remarks in her dreams. It seems like the Blue Bloods world is falling to ash around them. I can't say more for fear of giving away the plot, but this book is fast paced, some of Sky's problems and story in general is given a back seat to an inner look into Bliss and Mimi's mind. I loved that Mimi became something more than the Prada wearing lipstick jungle princess. I also loved that Bliss had to fight every day just to remember who she was and what has happened. All these pieces fall and you know Ms. De La Cruz is up there sprinkling just enough interesting pieces of the puzzle to keep us hooked, while only she can begin to make out the outline of the bigger picture.
If you haven't already go pick up Blue Bloods, it's now paperback priced, actually I believe the first three are all paper back. This is the series that other authors try to emulate, but fall short. Each book gets deeper and darker until you're sure that it's over, then wham! You get hit upside the head with hope like the Van Alen Legacy and the fact that everyone is given a chance... you just have to see it.