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The Van Alen Legacy Cover Picture

The Van Alen Legacy

Melissa De La Cruz

Published 2009            369 pages

Summary (from the book jacket)

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.

The Review

The Van Alen Legacy is the fourth book in Melissa De La Cruz’s popular Blue Bloods series for young adults. Since there is a long-running story arc threaded through this series any reader new to the Blue Bloods world would do best to read the books in series order.

Aimed at teen readers the series follows the coming of age adventures of a group of highly sophisticated and privileged Blue Blood vampires who start to come into their vampire powers in their teenaged years. Although the age of the story’s protagonists means that they attend school, their lifestyles and huge life experience (gained from their past lives) makes them seem older and allows this series to successfully appeal to both teenagers and older adult readers.

If earlier books in the Blue Bloods series have been one long whirl of Gossip Girl-ish fashionable parties and designer clothes interspersed with a bit of supernatural intrigue, The Van Alen Legacy pulls the series towards an altogether more serious direction. With a nod to current events, namely the economic downturn, some Blue Bloods find themselves facing bankruptcy. This combined with the tragic events from the end of the previous book (Revelations) when the high ranking Blue Bloods from the New York conclave where wiped out by a surprise Silver Blood attack has led to an end of their decadent party lifestyle.

Most Blue Bloods know that something is very wrong yet the elders seem reluctant, or unable, to actually do something about it. It is left to teenaged protagonists Mimi, Jack, Schuyler and Oliver to fill the gap left by the deaths of some of the more evil-aware Blue Bloods.

The Van Alen Legacy starts over a year after the events in Revelations took place. Schuyler and Oliver chose to run away from New York after Schuyler was unjustly blamed for the death of her grandfather, Lawrence. The start of the story sees them hiding out in Paris, hoping to gain an audience with the head of the European conclave in order to ask for help.

Mimi has taken a job as a Venator, and is part of the team looking for Bliss’s missing little sister, Jordan. Jordan carries the powerful spirit of the Watcher and it is imperative to find her and retrieve her knowledge. Mimi’s character goes through the greatest metamorphosis in this story and her once fairly one dimensionally horrid personality is flashed out to show that she has hidden depths of passion and compassion that should engender empathy from even the most hard hearted of readers.

Jack too goes on a Venator mission to save Schuyler from the Silver Blood menace in Paris and once again the couple are thrown together. Jack may be promised to Mimi but he loves Schuyler. Their doomed forbidden romance would seem to have no future but it has been one of the main drivers for the series so far and this plotline shows no sign of running out of steam anytime soon.

Bliss Llewellyn undoubtedly has the largest role to play in The Van Alen Legacy. (If you haven't read Revelations look away from the screen now because there is a big plot-spoiler coming up!) Readers are now aware that she unwittingly harbours Lucifer’s spirit inside her body. Unfortunately none of the Blue Bloods have yet realised that the Llewellyn family are not what they seem. Bliss is little more than a prisoner within her own body. Her struggles to remember who she is, regain some control of herself, and thwart Lucifer’s evil plans make for truly compelling reading.

The Blue Bloods series just keeps getting better and better and The Van Alen Legacy is the most powerful book in the series so far. Mixing drama, romance and fantasy action with sacrifice and loss, this fast-paced story should keep readers turning pages into the early hours with its gripping storyline. The Van Alen Legacy raises the Blue Bloods series from strangely fascinating to addictive reading and is guaranteed to leave fans begging for more.

LoveVampires Review Rating:

Review Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

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