Saturday, October 3, 2009

The Van Alen Legacy (ARC)

*This review may contain spoilers from the first three Blue Bloods books, but not the Van Alen Legacy*

Another bit from the Box-O'-Gold that was sent to me by Molly Thomas of Disney Hyperion: Melissa De La Cruz's, THE VAN ALEN LEGACY, which will be released this Tuesday, hot off of the press. Thank you Molly!!! I am a huge Blue Bloods Fan!!
Melissa De La Cruz has crafted an edgy series where fiction becomes fact and the facts terrify you. In these fabulous fantasy novels, you are welcomed into the lives of the social elite where the beautiful are successful and the successful are vampires. Enter Schuyler Van Alen, the stunning and timid girl who's about to find out who exactly she is and where she came from. Having grown up with her Grandmother, Cordelia Van Alen, with her father dead and her mother stuck in a coma, Schuyler enters the age of her vampire transformation and will have to reexamine her entire childhood now that so many things can be explained by the Blue Blood Society she was born into. But she doesn't have much time to adjust to this new knowledge before she is thrown into a deadly battle with the Croatan, or the vampires that drink the blood other vampires. Love, mystery, friendship, history and just general teenage angst are all apart of what makes these stories thrilling.

Melissa weaves a very complicated web of relationships and vampire-lore, so if you have not read the first three books, there is absolutely no way you are going to be able to understand what the helk is going on in THE VAN ALEN LEGACY. Therefore, instead of trying to explain the first three books, I am going to do 10 things I love about the Blue Bloods Series, especially THE VAN ALEN LEGACY.

  1. The history involved. Melissa takes facts from American history, such as the lost colony of Roanoke, and fits her story around it, making it seem incredibly realistic. Roanoke was completely forsaken, with only a sign that said Croatan as explanation. Hence, the antagonist group is called the Croatan and becomes the explaination for the desolate colony. In fact, it was so realistic that after I finished the first book, I locked myself in my room and watched Glee because I was too scared to go get another book from my shelf. Also, it helps you in history class (or at least it helped me).

  2. The characters have past lives. The thing I like most about this aspect of the book is that even though the characters pull interesting pieces of their past lives into the story, the books still maintain a level of teenaged angst. Just because they have lived some of these problems before doesn't make them any less probematic.

  3. Dynamic antagonists. The way this book is written allows for you to see inside of most of the main character's (Jack, Schuyler, Mimi, and Bliss) minds whether they are considered the "good guy" (Schuyler), the "bad guy" (Mimi) or "the guy where you just aren't sure whether he is good or bad or not (Bliss.. kinda)." Mimi wasn't exactly the nicest person but you can't help but agree with her on some levels. You feel her pain and that allows for dynamic antagonists. She was not the nicest person but sometimes you just can't help but root for her (especially with a specific love interest of hers....). This style of narration also allowed you to know things that other characters didn't.

  4. Jack Force. Do I need to say more? Also, Oliver Hazard-Perry. You can be on Team Jack, like I am, and still love Oliver. He is a great friend to Schuyler.

  5. Bliss. I just can't help but love her!! She's a nice person that gets stuck with some serious problems, especially in The Van Alen Legacy. I really felt sorry for her in this fourth book and it almost broke my heart when she made that choice (You must read the book to find out what I am talking about!). Also, Dylan. Even though he may be gone, I still felt he was apart of The Van Alen Legacy as he is still in Bliss's thoughts and heart throughout her portion of the narration. I loved Dylan and wish that he wasn't just in VAL when Bliss thought about him!!

  6. A new take on the love triangle. I get so sick of reading about love triangles all of the time. But in The Van Alen Legacy, Schuyler isn't constantly complaining about her choices and hurting everyone in the process, like another very well known vampire novel I have read. Yeah, she whines a little, (it is teen aged angst! She is suppose to!) but once she makes her decision, she is committed to keeping it, no matter how much pain she might be in. But as she learns, sometimes it isn't her choice to make... (No I will not explain cryptic message. You must read THE VAN ALEN LEGACY).

  7. A new take on vampires. I didn't feel like I was reading the same old, same old about Vampires in the Blue Bloods books. Even though these books do have the "good vampires" and "bad vampires" thing going on, it is a completely different idea than a lot of vampire books I have read. Reincarnation and being apart of the world of the social elite are two defining characteristics of vampires in these books. Melissa also plans to do a spin off series about werewolves, the foundation for which is layed in the last few pages of VAL.

  8. Traveling. These books take you all over the world instead of keeping you stuck in NYC. In fact, the majority of The Van Alen Legacy does not take place in New York.

  9. Just being in the lives of the social elite. I may live near a city, but my life is no where near as glamorous as the people in these books. One of my favorite parts of the series was the fact that Bliss and Schuyler are both hired to be models. It was just another layer to the book, but I found it an incredibly fun one. Like the classes at Hogwarts in the Harry Potter books, it wasn't that the modeling was significant to the plot, it was just fun being submerged into that lifestyle, if only for a chapter or two.

  10. Romance. When you love someone in this book, often times it is against the rules. It's not just your happiness you are giving up if you one person over another. You can get in a huge amount of trouble if you break a bond.

Here is a synopsis from the back of THE VAN ALEN LEGACY:

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? Schuyler has made her choice. She has forsaken Jack for Oliver, choosing human over vampire. But old loves die hard...And even cold hearted Mimi seems to suffer from the ties that bind.
Young vampires unite in this highly anticipated fourth installment of the New York Times best-selling series.

Also, you can click here to view the trailer for THE VAN ALEN LEGACY! Be careful though! If you haven't finished the first three books, it will give stuff away!!

******Thursday of this week, I will be heading to Skokie to go to Melissa's signing! Also, I will be having an in person interview with her!! If you have any questions for her, please comment bellow or email me at officiallymrs (at) gmail (dot) com! I am super excited to meet you, Melissa!!!******

To learn more about Melissa and her books, you can go to her official website or follow her on twitter.


Anonymous said...

Great review! Thank you!!

Mechelle Fogelsong said...

I'm with Anonymous 5:37.

Dang, girl, you're really GOOD AT THIS! I had no desire to read these books (never heard of them before this), but your review has turned me. Looks like the Bluebloods will be next on my list of "must reads".

Jenn said...

Wow, nice points there. It's been a while since I've read this series, and I was orginally not sure if I should read the fourth one, but I guess I sort of have to now. And I loved Dylan too. :)
I'm glad you liked the book and have fun at the signing!

Persian said...

I totally agree with your list. This book was so good. It was really great to meet you at the book signing. I was the one in the pink saree.

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