Title: The Van Alen Legacy (Blue Bloods #4)
Author: Melissa de la Cruz
Genre: YA, Paranormal, Romance
Publication Date: 6th October 2009
Goodreads Summary: 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? Jack and Schuyler are over. Oliver’s brokenhearted. And only the cunning Mimi seems to be happily engaged.
Young, fanged, and fabulous, Melissa de la Cruz’s vampires unite in the fourth installment of the best-selling Blue Bloods series.
I was beginning to tire of the Blue Bloods series at the end of Revelations and with another four books on my shelf and two novellas I was dreading reading the rest of this series. This book was the one I was least looking forward because it’s the longest in the series and I assumed it was going to be just like the previous three books but with added waffle. However, I was pleasantly surprised and The Van Alen Legacy exceeded my expectations by far.
Yet again, I don’t think the book synopsis really gives you any indication of what this book is really about. The Van Alen Legacy is set an entire year after the dramatic show down at the end of Revelations. Oliver and Schuyler and on the run, moving from city to city, country to country, never staying anywhere for more than three days. They’re both exhausted and both want to go home but they can’t now that Schuyler is the main suspect in her grandfather Lawrence’s murder. It’s a little unclear as to whether they have been living as a couple for this year or just as friends because Schuyler mentions loving and being with Oliver and trying to forget about Jack quite a lot.
Before Lawrence died, he told Schuyler to find out about the Van Allen Legacy and to go to the European Conclave for refuge should they need and so they find themselves in Paris. At the same time, Mimi has been off with Kingsley Martin and two other Venators also travelling around the globe trying to find Sophia, formerly known as Jordan Llewellyn who they believe to have the answers that they seek. Mimi actually left Jack in order to go off on this conquest and although she’s trying to deny it, it’s evident that she’s started to fall for Kinglsey.
Whilst Oliver and Schuyler are attempting to contact the leader of the European Conclave, they run into Jack and Charles and it’s no accident. Jack tries to get Schuyler to return to New York, without success, but a little later in the novel Oliver convinces Schuyler it’s the right thing to do. Meanwhile, Bliss has been on her own, trying to deal with the new voice inside her head who controls her body. All the different parties eventually return to New York where all havoc breaks loose.
The disconnect between the characters that has bothered me in the past three books is still an issue in The Van Alen Legacy. I feel like there were three sub-plots in this novel that eventually all collided at the end, but for the most part there were three different plot threads: Oliver and Schuyler’s, Mimi’s and Bliss’. Although I still found this aspect annoying, it didn’t bother me as much in this particular novel because there was so much going on in each individual plot strand.
The majority of the things that annoyed me in the previous books were still present in this book, but I overlooked them because the plot was too damn awesome. This book is fast paced and doesn’t have quite as much meaningless waffle as the previous three. I think the main reason for this is probably because a lot of this book isn’t set in New York, so there are less extravagant parties and meaningless shopping trips and more about the hunt for the Silver Bloods which was much more exciting.
One of the things that struck me about The Van Alen Legacy was that Mimi Force’s character drastically changed. It wasn’t a very subtle change, in fact it was really sudden and ordinarily that would’ve bothered me, but then this book is set a whole year later and clear why these changes have occurred. Selfish Mimi suddenly has a heart.
Of course, she was always ‘in love’ with her twin brother Jack before but it never seemed very sincere. This new, and improved Mimi, cares about people other than herself, gives to the poor, fights for a cause and discovers real love, not the incestuous bond she shares with Jack. By the end of this book I actually quite liked her character, in fact, I even admired her.
Schuyler was probably the most likeable character before now though in my opinion she wasn’t anything that special. I think that Mimi understands the world a lot better than Schuyler does and even though she was a manipulative witch with a capital B before, you have to admit that by being that person she did manage to stay in control and at the top of the food chain.
Apart from Mimi, the only other character that I feel we got a real insight into was Bliss. Bliss’ mind has been taken over by her ‘father’, Lucifer, and we found out at the end of Revelations that Bliss is in fact the silver blood. I did feel really sorry for Bliss because she was trapped inside her own body, doing things against her will but she was still trying to fight back and I really liked that about her.
The relationships between Jack and Schuyler and Mimi and Kinglsey develop a lot more in this novel and I’d say it’s definitely the book with the most romance in it. That said, it’s also the book with the most action in it so basically this book is just all round awesome.
These relationships weren’t really developed but they were properly established so I hope they lead somewhere good in the subsequent books. There are even a few romantic moments between Bliss and Dylan (yes, Dylan’s still hanging around), which was nice, but at the same time I can’t help but feel that at the moment Dylan doesn’t really have a purpose to the plot.
All in all, I believe that The Van Alen Legacy is the best in the Blue Blood series so far. So much happens in this book and it is fast paced and to the point, unlike the previous three books. There are some unexpected character changes, unexpected romances and unexpected plot twists and I’m really excited to read the rest of the series now.
The action really starts in this book as there’s much more of a move to fighting the Silver Bloods and now that we’re a lot clearer as to who is who and who’s on whose side the plot is really starting to come together. For anyone who’s given up on this series because they got bored, I’d highly recommend that you continue until book four where all the good stuff happens!