Melissa De La Cruz
Published 2007 302 pages
Summary (from the book jacket)
Schuyler Van Alen has never fit in at Duchesne, her prestigious New York City private school. She prefers baggy, vintage clothes instead of the Prada and pearls worn by her classmates. But when she turns fifteen, Schuyler’s life changes dramatically. The death of a popular schoolmate haunts her in unexpected ways. And strangest off all, Jack Force, the most popular boy in school, is showing a sudden interest in her.
Once an outcast, Schuyler is thrust into Manhattan’s most exclusive social circle. Its members are the powerful, the wealthy, and – as Schuyler soon discovers – the unhuman.
They are Blue Bloods, an ancient group of vampires, and for centuries they’ve been invincible. Now something is preying on this elite group, and Schuyler wants to find out the truth. But is she the most vulnerable of them all?
Blue Bloods is the first novel in Melissa De La Cruz’s Blue Bloods vampire fantasy series for Young Adults. Melissa de La Cruz is the author of popular teen series The Ashleys and The Au Pairs but this is her first foray into the world of vampires.
Set in Manhattan, Blue Bloods follows the privileged lives of rich upper class teenagers who just happen to be turning into vampires. Written in third person from multiple points of view, I found it generally hard to engage with the characters. Their lives of under aged drinking, smoking and doing whatever the hell they liked just rang false. Yes, they might be rich and upper class but I’m sure that someone would say “No” to them at some point.
Schuyler, the story’s main protagonist, is possibly the most likeable character but there were times when I found it hard to believe in her character and emphasise with her. In particular there is a part of the story where is asked if she wants to be a model. She doesn’t. But she gets given a jeans modelling campaign anyway. Please, life just doesn’t work that way. I know this novel is fantasy but I couldn’t suspend my disbelief for that…
Once you put aside the lifestyles of mostly spoilt rich teenagers, the actual fantasy parts of the novel work very well. The vampire mythology is original. Rather than being undead, the Blue Blood vampires were originally angels that fell from heaven. These fallen angels decided to try and regain their former angelic status through good works (the Blue Bloods just love charity committees!) but regaining grace requires more than the span of a human life. They save a drop of their blood upon dying and this drop of blood is enough to hold all of that vampire’s memories of all its previous lives and it is then used to make a new blue blood baby. Some vampires choose not to follow the cycle of rebirth and effectively live forever but whether a re-cycled vampire or an immortal, all of these vampires drink blood.
Some factual elements have been mixed into the vampire mythology too - such as the voyage of the Mayflower and the story of the lost colony of Roanoke. Melissa De La Cruz comes up with an alternative explanation for the complete disappearance of the settlers’ colony in 1590 and a gives the word “Croatan” a new meaning. This is an inspired use of what is perhaps one of the greatest mysteries of early American history.
There is an air of dark mystery and untold secrets around the story and this intrigue is perhaps the main thing that keeps the story driving forward. The plot slowly unravels a threat to the Blue Bloods existence as well as a surprising secret about Schuyler - keeping readers interested and motivated to the end of the story.
Even though the characters in Blue Bloods are only barely engaging, the plot and vampire mythology carry the story well enough to make this a very readable book. There are also enough loose ends to make readers want to follow up this story with the next instalment (Masquerade) in this series.
Teen vampire fans who wish to vicariously enjoy the lifestyles of the rich and privileged should enjoy this…
LoveVampires Review Rating:
Melissa De La Cruz talks to LoveVampires about the Blue Bloods books and gives readers a hint of her future plans for the series. Read Melissa’s interview.
You can find out more about the Blue Bloods series and the other works of Melissa De La Cruz at the author’s website. Visit Melissa’s site.