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Saturday, May 2, 2020

Book Review: Blue Bloods Series

These quarantined times has given me the opportunity to do some reading and I found myself going back to some old favorites, one of them being the YA vampire series Blue Bloods by Filipino American author Melissa de la Cruz. Writing a book that involves fantasy, action and adventure is something I have wanted to do for some time so I knew that the author’s success in writing this series is something I can learn from.  

Here is a little review of the series: 

Set in Manhattan, the series of books follows Schuyler Van Alen, who tries to navigate around her newly discovered identity as a Blue Blood, otherwise known as a vampire. She discovers that she lives in a world where humans are unaware that vampires exist and live among them. These vampires, it is revealed, are actually fallen angels. They live on earth following cycles of life and death via a form of reincarnation until they are forgiven and given an opportunity to return to heaven. On earth, they are led by the incarnation of the Angel Michael. He is supposed to be joined by his partner the Angel Gabriel but in the book she is introduced as being in a coma, a result of not wanting to be bonded with Michael in this incarnation after falling in love with a human. I think this is an interesting theory about the origins of vampires and that new idea was remarkably interesting to me and I wanted to learn more through all the books.

Fallen Angel
Fallen Angel Image by Sergei Tokmakov from Pixabay

The series has a total of seven books, along with a couple of companion books and some spin-offs. Blue Bloods, the title of the first book, introduces the reader to the world of the vampires, their origins and their lifestyle. There are also mysterious vampire deaths that are occurring that lead to the death of Schuyler’s grandmother. This becomes the start of Schuyler’s journey to try to answer the questions she has about her origins and the deaths that are happening around her, meeting and involving a few friends along the way. 

The first book would make the reader think that the series is centered around Schuyler alone but once I got through the other books, I discovered that the author also gave attention to the other characters. This made rooting for just that one person hard to do while reading this series.  

As with most teen books, there is a love story involved. It’s not just about the love triangle that involved Michael, Gabriel and her human partner but also a love square (if there is such a term) that involves Schuyler: she is in love with Jack, who is bonded (since their time in heaven) with Mimi. To make things more complicated, she also has feelings for her best friend Oliver, who also feels the same way. I will not spoil how it all works out in case anyone wants to read the series, but I would like to think that it was resolved well, and that the series ended on a good note. 

I think the series was a good mix of adventure, love, action, fantasy…I was reading this as an adult and even if this is supposed to be teen fiction, I found myself entertained every step of the way. One of the books even had this adventure in hell that reminded me a bit of Dante’s Inferno because of how they described the journey to get to a certain character, who was a demon (of sorts). 

The only comment I can give about the series is more of a generalized question on most fantasy fiction books that involve teenagers: why do they all act and speak like adults? I often forget how young most of them are when I was reading the series. I always seem to picture them as older because of how they behave. It is something that is not unique to this series alone, because there are a lot of other books where the leads are teens that are the same way. Is it an American thing? Or are we Filipinos a bit on the conservative side? Or is it just me? 

When I first read this series, I immediately thought that these books would make good movies, or a TV series at least. With how Shadowhunters had their chance as a movie and TV series, I hope that this series could have the same opportunity. I read somewhere that Walt Disney Pictures has the rights to the books, I hope that they will make use of it and actually make a movie (or movies — franchise, anyone?) or series, especially now that they have their own streaming service. 

If you like vampire stories, or if you are interested in stories about angels and demons, you might like the Blue Bloods series. I liked it then, I still like it now all these years later.  
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