As promised, I'm back with remarks about the second novel in Melissa de la Cruz's Blue Bloods Series - Masquerade. It picks up soon after where the previous book ended with Schuyler and her human conduit and best friend, Oliver, in Venice, seeking out her reclusive grandfather. She feels as though, if she's going to fight back and win against the Silver Bloods, she's going to need her grandfather - Lawrence Van Alen's - guidance and knowledge. Formerly influential and still extremely intellectual... or so she has been led to believe by her recently cycled grandmother, Lawrence has left the tight-knit circle of the Blue Bloods, banished and ostracized. However, a lack of society's favor has never intimidated Schuyler before.
She finds her grandfather, using her vampire skills and talents, only to be told that he will not accompany her back to New York. So, disillusioned and lost for how else she will be able to fight back against those who seek her demise, she returns, with Ollie, alone. Luckily, the deaths have stopped, but that does not mean that the danger has passed. Tied up intricately with the drama and pageantry of the Blue Blood's annual 400 Ball - the height of their exclusive New York society season, Bliss starts to believe that Dylan's still alive; a new, powerful, cocky vampire arrives to threaten Jack's position; Schuyler discovers that her body needs for her to take a human familiar sooner than expected unless she wants to end up in a coma like her mother, and Mimi is determined to bond - yes, bond - with her brother. And that's all before Lawrence, without notice, changes his mind and returns to New York.
Immediately, upon his homecoming, things start to change for Schuyler. First off, her grandfather reveals that, though nowhere near as wealthy as they once were, they're not nearly as destitute as Cordelia had led her granddaughter to believe. He also begins training Schuyler to use and understand her vampire skills so that she is prepared when next she is forced to fight a silver blood. Plus, more is revealed about the Van Alen's history, history that is important not only for Schuyler but also Charles Van Alen Force, Mimi and Jack Force, and Bliss Llewellyn. Needless to say, these five immortals are more intricately tied together than some of them previously believed. Add to this Schuyler and Jack's continuing and growing feelings for each other, several other romantic entanglements, the deadly reappearance of the Silver Bloods, and a traitor in their midst, and Masquerade just might be even more tense, suspenseful, and intriguing than its predecessor.
Once more, though, the only drawback is the character of Mimi. Though I have nothing against villains - in fact, I know just how necessary they are, for me, two books into this series, she still does not have a redeeming quality; she still does not have any rooting value whatsoever. And, yes, I realize she is Schuyler's opposite, her rival, her arch-nemesis, but, to make the interaction between them more interesting, I personally think it would be better if one wasn't so clearly the heroine and the other the unlikeable bitch. But that's me.
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