The Blue Bloods series consist of 7 books and 2 accompanying books written by Melissa de la Cruz. Besides that, there are two spin-off series: Wolf Pact and The Beauchamp Family. This YA series about vampires in New York City saw the publication of its first book in 2007 and the last one in 2013. I discovered it through the Goodreads recommendations after I’d added The Vampire Diaries to my read-list (sidenote: don’t read that series expecting something similar to the TV show, it’s so very different but equally good).
The books are, in order:
- Blue Bloods
- The Van Alen Legacy
- Misguided Angel
- Lost in Time
- Gates of Paradise
I really liked the premise of the book: vampires cannot be made, you either are or you are not a vampire (they also cannot have children) and they are called Blue Bloods. Their existence dates back to the Fall from Paradise: they are the Angels who decided to follow Lucifer, the Fallen Angels. It’s not very clear whether they were turned into vampires as punishment, or if that’s just how angels are. They need human blood to sustain themselves, but most of the other myths about vampires are not true (no problems with daylight, garlic and crosses f.e.). They live longer than humans, but still die at the end of a lifespan. Only difference: they are then reborn (as humans) to start over again. In their teenage years, they slowly come into their powers (and memories of past lives). Around this time, they set out to find their true love, which is usually like their twin, their other half. The goal of it all? Live long enough to earn their way back into Paradise.
The main character Schuyler Van Alen is actually only half vampire (the child of vampire Alegra/Gabrielle and human Stephen Chase). Her mother has been in a coma since she was 3 years old, and she is being raised by her maternal grandmother Cordelia Van Alen. She finds out that she is a Blue Blood in the first book, together with some of her classmates from the fancy New York private school Duchesne. She talks about it with her best friend Oliver, who reveals himself to be her Conduit (a human that knows the inner workings of the vampire world who is assigned to a specific Blue Blood to help them out). He is clearly in love with her, but she is clueless to that fact. She develops a major crush on Jack Force, twin brother of Mimi Force. Jack is later revealed to be Abbadon, the Angel of Destruction, bound to his twin Mimi, or Azrael, the Angel of Death. The two of them were on the side of Lucifer but eventually won the war when they turned towards Gabrielle and Michaël.
This is where the classic YA love triangle starts. Though in this case it’s more like a double triangle: Schuyler loves Oliver and Jack while Jack loves Schuyler and Mimi. Of course, Mimi is a gorgeous blonde who rules the school and hates Schuyler for tempting Jack away from her. Throughout the books, these two triangles keep on playing a major role. Eventually Oliver finds love with Schuyler’s (completely human) half-sister, Mimi chooses Kingsley Martin (another vampire/fallen angel) and Schuyler and Jack end up together.
The problem with the Blue Blood world is that there is also such a thing as Silver Bloods. These Blue Bloods turned bad drink only Blue Blood blood to sustain themselves. They follow Lucifer and are out to kill Blue Bloods. In the first books, many Blue Bloods still believe that all the Silver Bloods were killed in the first war. Later on it becomes clear that the Silver Bloods are looking for one specific Blue Blood to open a gate that will lead both to Hell and to Paradise. They want to free all of the Silver Bloods from Hell, take over Earth and destroy the passage to Paradise.
Throughout the books, Schuyler and her friends look for ways to fight the Silver Bloods and stop them from taking over and killing the Blue Bloods. Eventually, it turns out that she is actually the Key and she is forced to sacrifice her one true love Jack in order to stop Lucifer from destroying the gate to Paradise. She succeeds in doing this (together with the help of another half-sister who used to be a Blue Blood but has been turned into a Wolf), chooses to let Jack die and save the world. The Blue Bloods who want to, can return to Paradise, others stay on earth and all the Silver Bloods are sent to Hell where they belong. In the final chapter, all major characters are shown to be happy and in relationships. The end.
Like I said before, I loved the world-building. The idea that vampires are actually Fallen Angels and are only existing to earn their place back in Paradise is amazing. I loved the Schuyler character, she is your typical YA heroine: beautiful though she doesn’t realise it herself, with best friends and a few love interests, a great destiny that only she can fulfil and a happy ending. However, I also had a few problems with the series.
- Nobody ever talks about the angels who stayed, nor do they ever really explain the role of God in all this.
- For some unknown reason, after book 4, werewolves are brought into the mix. Bliss (Schuyler’s half-sister who is the daughter of Lucifer, born a vampire but then turned human) goes into the Underworld to look for the wolves because they will be needed to win the war. She disappears from the books until right at the end, when she comes back to Earth, now a Wolf herself apparently, and goes to kill Lucifer and the Silver Bloods.
I hate the fact that almost all Vampire books have to include Werewolves, and especially in this case it does not work. The vampires are Fallen Angels, so what does that make the Wolves? I guess it is explained in the spin-off book series Wolf Pact, but I didn’t feel like reading since it’s mostly about Bliss, and she was one of my least favourite characters.
- The ending felt way too rushed for me. The author takes 6 books to build up to this big all-out war between the Blue Bloods led by Schuyler and the Silver Bloods led by Lucifer. But when they actually meet, it takes like an hour and the whole thing is over. Schuyler decides to let Jack die in order to kill Lucifer and then the Wolves come in to kill the remaining bad guys. The end. It all went way too fast in my opinion and Schuyler took almost no time in deciding she was going to fulfil her destiny and kill Lucifer.
- The epilogue: yes it’s a YA novel and yes I am a sucker for happy endings. But the way this was handled didn’t sit right with me. After the big fight, one quick chapter is all we get to tie up everything. Schuyler takes the Blue Bloods who want to back to Paradise and then goes to college far away. We see all of her friends who have ended up in happy relationships and then there is a boy and it is revealed to be Jack: he has come back to life as a reward for Schuyler choosing the right thing. There was so much possibility here to give the series and interesting and worthy ending. The author probably could have gotten an entire book out of it, in my opinion. But no, just one chapter to end everything.
- I did not like the Mimi character. She is of course portrayed as your classic high school queen bee who lashes out when she feels threatened. But even towards the end, when she shows what is supposed to be redeeming qualities, I didn’t believe in them. She hates Jack for wanting to be with Schuyler but never questions herself wanting to be with Kingsley in the same manner. Also, she freely admits having no reason to hate Schuyler in the beginning, but doing it anyway because she rubs her the wrong way.
- In general, the entire relationship between Mimi and Jack creeped me out. So Mimi knew that she and Jack were destined to be together since she was very young. Jack however, only finds out later – yet they always act as lovers towards each other, even before Jack finds out.
- The concept of the Blue Bloods being twins and then at the same time lovers didn’t sit well with me. And this for two main reasons in fact.
Either everyone has a twin that is their true love, or nobody does. However in Blue Bloods they are not always twins, and their true love can be both Blue Blood, human or other.
Either your true love is forever and destined, or it isn’t. When Jack and Mimi split up, it becomes clear that their Bond was forged by Lucifer. So yes they are bonded, but only because Lucifer made them so. It does not mean they can’t fall in love with others, and it also doesn’t mean they can only love one another. This is further confirmed when both Jack and Mimi Bond with others who turn out to be their true love.
I can get behind both concepts either together or separately, but then you need to stick with it. I felt like the author wanted the Bond to be mysterious and complicated, but for the sake of her story she needs to change it up all the town. Because of that, it is never completely clear what the rules are, how the Bond works. And this makes the series even more confusing.
Of course, I won’t talk about the fact that nobody believes Schuyler at first, that she needs to hide her love, that she is a teenager who needs to save the entire world and the fact that she seems all-powerful – because that is just what the YA genre is about. And this also didn’t really bother me, I’m used to books like this.
Now don’t get me wrong, overall I liked the series. The world-building was just so good and the idea so original, it really made up a lot for me. Also, Schuyler is shown making mistakes, doubting herself and in general sometimes acting like a normal teenager. And I also loved the relationship between Schuyler and Jack which feels both like puppy love and a serious, committed relationship at times. I also appreciated the writing style and the fact that every chapter switches between different character’s point of views.
There, that is my review of the Blue Bloods series. If you have the time to invest in reading these 6 books, I suggest you do it. Have you read it already? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!
As always, happy reading,