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Sunday, December 5, 2010

Book Review: Misguided Angel (Blue Bloods #5) by Melissa de la Cruz

Reading level: Young Adult 
Hardcover: 272 pages 
Publisher: Hyperion Book (October 26, 2010)
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound

After inheriting the dark Van Alen Legacy, Schuyler fled to Florence with her forbidden love, Jack. Now the two of them must embark on the mission Schuyler was destined to complete: to find and protect the five remaining gates that guard the earth from Lucifer, lord of the Silver Bloods.

Back in New York, Mimi has been elected Regent of a crumbling coven. Struggling with her heartache over the loss of Kingsley and with her overwhelming desire to destroy Jack, she must focus all of her energy on a perilous new threat. Vampires are being abducted and their captors are planning to burn them alive online…for all the world to see. Help arrives in the form of Deming Chen, a Venator from Shanghai, who must untangle the web of deceptions before the killers strike again.

As the young vampires struggle for the survival of the coven, they uncover a deadly secret, a truth first discovered by Schuyler’s mother during the Renaissance but kept buried for centuries. And as the Blue Blood enclave weakens yet further, fate leads Schuyler to a terrible choice that will ultimately map the destiny of her heart.

Opening Scene:
"Schuyler Van Allen walked as quickly as she could up the polished brass spiral stairs leading to the upper deck. Jack Force was standing at the edge of the bow when she caught his eye. She nodded to him, shielding her eyes from the hot Mediterranean sun. It's done."
Misguided Angel (Blue Bloods, Book 5) 
Notable Quote: 
"Love," Mimi hissed. "You familiars know nothing about love. Delusional human, you never felt love; you only felt what the kiss required you to feel. It's not real. It never was." – Page 93

MISGUIDED ANGEL, the fifth installment in The Blue Bloods saga, was something of a let-down for me.  THE VAN ALEN LEGACY, its predecessor, had marked a turning point for me in the series. It left me gasping in shock- the romantic drama, testing of friendships, the violence and the loss--I loved it all.  So when it came time to read MISGUIDED ANGEL, I was beyond excited. I'm sorry to say I ended up closing the book feeling more than a little bereft.  My biggest concern was that it was just too darn short. I think it should've been published as a novella or combined with the next book in the series. Most Blue Bloods books are 400 pages or more and this one barely reached 300. But the length wasn't the only problem.  I found myself having a hard time not drifting away. More than once I actually put it aside to read another book instead- something that has never happened with this series before.

Van Alen Legacy, The (A Blue Bloods Novel)One thing I have always loved about Blue Bloods is Melissa de La Cruz's method of alternating viewpoints through various key players- Mimi, Skye and Bliss. I love jumping from character to character and MISGUIDED ANGEL did not disappoint in that aspect. Divided into three sections, the reader gets inside the heads this time of love-on-the-run refugee Schuyler, an angry Mimi and new Venator vampire Deming. The scenes with Mimi were the strongest in my opinion.   

I used to loathe Mimi, but ever since THE VAN ALEN LEGACY (my absolute favorite Blue Bloods book to date), my whole perception of her has changed. In the last book, Mimi showed depth in regards to her feelings for Kingsley and the shocking compassion for the poverty-stricken people of Brazil. She quickly turned into my favorite anti-heroine. In MISGUIDED ANGEL, I loved how even though she was hurting and furious with Jack, she nonetheless took her position in the conclave seriously. She was still way too bossy, mean-spirited and downright rude, but I appreciated how her character always remained loyal to her duty. She always will do what is right even knowing it will break her heart in the process. Mimi was also soulful when you least expect it- for instance, the way she felt regret over tossing away former familiars surprised me. I never quite know what will move her and I enjoy that volatility in her character's personality.

In my opinion, the weakest sections of the book were with Shuyler and Jack.  It seemed like very little plot advancement occurred at all with the two of them and I found it difficult to stay focused when reading Shuyler's chapters. Also, it was really hard to imagine Skye and Jack referring to one another as "my love". In prior books, neither of them ever spoke like that.  It seemed too swoon-y to me and I found many of their conversations to be somewhat out of character. It was disappointing because their relationship was what I looked forward to reading about the most with this book. I ended up being more interested in Mimi and Oliver's unlikely friendship instead. In the past Oliver's mainly followed around Schuyler like a love-sick puppy.  So it was a refreshing to see a different side of his personality and watch him interact with other people, especially someone like Mimi, who couldn't be anymore different than Skye.

Another point of contention I have to bring up is Bliss-she is my favorite character and noticeably absent in MISGUIDED ANGEL. What's a Blue Bloods installment without a large chunk devoted to Bliss? As interesting as Deming was, I would've preferred to keep the focus back on the characters I have vested myself in with the past four books. I expect when I pick up a Blue Bloods for certain people to be featured, and it bothered me that Bliss wasn't.
Bloody Valentine (A Blue Bloods Book) (Blue Bloods Novel)MISGUIDED ANGEL picks up a month or so after the events which culminated in THE VAN ALEN LEGACY. The struggle to keep Lucifer from escaping through the five gates was the primary concern of all the major players.  New  information was brought to light about the Silver Bloods and die-hard fans of the series may happily gobble up all that they can. The ending of the book was interesting and fueled my interest to find out where this series will go next.  Though the book was something of a disappointment to me, I am still vested in this series and looking forward to LOST IN TIME as well as the novella BLOODY VALENTINE due out in February.  

Books in The Blue Bloods Series 

Blue Bloods (Blue Bloods, Book 1)Masquerade (Blue Bloods, Book 2)Revelations (Blue Blood, Book 3) (Blue Bloods Novel)The Van Alen Legacy (Blue Bloods, Book 4)Misguided Angel (Blue Bloods, Book 5)Keys to the RepositoryBloody Valentine (A Blue Bloods Book) (Blue Bloods Novel) 

Melissa de la Cruz is the New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of many critically acclaimed and award-winning novels for teens including The Au Pairs series, the Blue Bloods series, the Ashleys series, the Angels on Sunset Boulevard series and the semi-autobiographical novel Fresh off the Boat.

Her books for adults include the novel Cat’s Meow, the anthology Girls Who Like Boys Who Like Boys and the tongue-in-chic handbooks How to Become Famous in Two Weeks or Less and The Fashionista Files: Adventures in Four-inch heels and Faux-Pas.


Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

Thanks for your honest review :) I've never tried this series.

Books for Company said...

l so badly want to read this series! Thanks for the review

Maria said...

I think Bliss died didn't she?