Nan's Reviews > The Van Alen Legacy

The Van Alen Legacy by Melissa de la Cruz
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's review
Oct 21, 09

liked it
bookshelves: borrowed, young-adult, never-again, urban-fantasy, vampires
Recommended for: blue bloods fans
Read in October, 2009, read count: 1

** spoiler alert ** Every time I finish a book in the Blue Bloods series, I can't decide if I like it or not. Typically, I borrow it and read it in hardcover, and if I liked the new one well enough, I'll buy last year's in paperback. (Odd, I know, but my feelings about this series are so ambivalent, that I can't even decide to buy a single book without more input . . .)

I think this will be my last Blue Bloods book. My reasons are below:

As you can see from my rating, I did like it. Some fantastic things happened in this story. Mimi actually became more than a cardboard villain. Bliss learned to stand on her own feet. And that's it. Everything else to me felt like so many pages of non action. While I didn't mind the narrative switching (each chapter has its own narrator, but they follow in order: Schuyler, Mimi, and Bliss), I was annoyed that there was not more difference in the narration. The chapters are written in third person voice, and the narrative voice is roughly the same for each one. Occasionally, de la Cruz will delve into free indirect discourse (where the third person narrator actually speaks in the voice of the character while maintaining a third person voice), but even these sounded the same. Except for the events going on in each girl's life, they're practically the same girl.

I'm irritated that the series is not over. These long-running series make me ache for the age of Dracula, where the monster dies and there are no sequels, where the narrative ends with just one book. (No matter how many people have tried to write a sequel, they just don't work.)

The worst part, for me, was the end. Oliver gives Schuyler to Jack and tells her: "I know you would never leave me. I know that. I know you would never be able to make a decision, so I decided for you. You have to go with him . . . You cannot choose between us. So I chose for you."

OK. Where to start? In the context of the story, Schuyler still loves Jack but pledged herself to Oliver. When he "gives" her to Jack, Oliver is acknowledging Schuyler's feelings. However, she'd already made her choice--preventing Oliver's pain was more important than her own happiness, so she had decided to stay with Oliver. He knows that Jack can protect her in ways that he cannot, so Oliver "gives" her away. Keeping her safe is more important to him than his own happiness. (Gah! All this self-sacrificing angst gags me!) I hate that Oliver can't respect Schuyler's right to decide her own fate, and I hate even more that when he relinquishes his claim on her heart, Schuyler is happy. Having been given to Jack, she feels like Oliver has given her a gift . . . once again, gag me.

I'm too much of a feminist to enjoy either the tortured gender roles or angst in this series. I'm done.
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Comments (showing 1-5 of 5) (5 new)

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Julie *lol* This is just how I feel about this series. I bought the first two but have since gotten rid of them... the more of the books I read, the less I am enjoying the series, unfortunately. I agree that all three of the girls sound the same - although, yes, I finally started to like Mimi in this volume.

I'm also really frustrated to find out, after thinking this was the final volume, that she has something like TEN books plotted out according to her website, plus some side trilogies! Boy, I hope her sales support this.... ack. I just don't know if I want to push myself to keep reading them knowing there are still sooooo many coming! Bleh.

Oh, and pathetically, there is now a sequel to Dracula as well, written by Dacre Stoker. I'm sure you've seen it around. *sigh*


message 2: by Nan (new) - rated it 3 stars

Nan Julie Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ wrote: "*lol* This is just how I feel about this series. I bought the first two but have since gotten rid of them... the more of the books I read, the less I am enjoying the series, unfortunately. I agree ..."

I'm glad we agree. When I read your review, before I started the book, it made me rather nervous. This series has (or is it had?) some real potential. The mythology is great--although I do find it confusing at times. I think making this a long series is a mistake. The story is here, but in de la Cruz's execution of it, ten books is going to be like beating a dead horse.

A note on the trilogies: having read de la Cruz's comment, I took it to mean that she sees the larger series as composed of trilogies. Basically, major events will happen every three books. (Does that mean books 4, 5, 7, & 8 are skippable, I wonder? Would that explain the lack of action in thing?)

Yes, I did see the "authorized" sequel to Dracula. Considering that the man is dead, and his book is out of copyright, I don't think "authorized" is the right word for it all. Basically, his surviving family said "have at it."




Julie Yes, I think you're right about the trilogies. I think I read it that way originally and then confused it in my head!

To me, the new Dracula sequel is in the same category as most of the Pride & Prejudice sequels, etc.


Rosanne So well reviewed-you have captured the good and bad that is this series perfectly. Apparently this is going to go one for a total of 10 books. I don't think I can hang in that long!


message 5: by Nan (new) - rated it 3 stars

Nan Pens wrote: "So well reviewed-you have captured the good and bad that is this series perfectly. Apparently this is going to go one for a total of 10 books. I don't think I can hang in that long!"

Thank you, Pens!


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