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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Masquerade, Book Two of the Blue Blood Series by Melissa De La Cruz

Publisher: Hyperion Paperbacks
Pages: 307

From the Cover: Schuyler Van Alen wants an explanation for the mysterious deaths of young vampires. With her best friend, Oliver, Schuyler travels to Italy in the hope of finding the one man who can help---her grandfather. Meanwhile, back in New York, preparations are feverishly under way for the Four Hundred Ball, an exclusive gala hosted by the city's wealthy, powerful, and unhuman---a true Blue Blood affair........

Schuyler Van Alen was introduced in Blue Bloods as a young blue blood, vampire, who has just started to show her true blue blood lines. She attends Duchesne, a prestigious high school for the rich and famous, as well as vampire, in New York City. There have been attacks from the legendary Silver Bloods that the committee no longer believes to exist. With the death of Schuyler's grandmother, Cordelia who has in reality entered her resting cycle to be reborn, Schuyler has been sent to Venice to locate her self-imposed exiled grandfather, Lawrence Van Alen. It must also be remember that these souls, all except Schuyler's, have been reborn many times, reincarnated or recycled, transplanted to America since the original Mayflower Crossing doomed to life on Earth for helping the fallen angel, Lucifer. All Blue Bloods have renounced any allegiance that they once had with Lucifer whose few remaining followers are the master of death, the Silver Bloods. Charles Force (The Angel Michael) and Allegra Van Alen (The Angel of White) were the only two angels who left on their own accord. Allegra because she couldn't bear to part from her parents, Lawrence and Cordelia, and Michael because he couldn't bear to part from Allegra.

Schuyler is reaching the point of depression, she has searched relentless for any sign of her grandfather without luck. Venice has been a disappointment with only one day remaining in Oliver's and her stay. As one last act of desperation, she visits Venice Biennale pavilions to wonder through the darken rooms and corridors where her grandfather may have once frequented. There she meets a young man who asks her why she is looking for the Professor, Lawrence Van Alen. Explaining that she's his grandfather and has a message from Cordelia in the ancient tongue. "Adiuvo Amicus Specialis. Nihilum cello. Meus victus est tui manus." I come to you for aid as a secret, special friend. I have nothing to hide. My life is in your hands. (page 48).

She is taken to a palace where she in fact does meet her grandfather, who is also the young man from the Biennale, able to shift shapes. She explains her dire predicament and that the Silver Bloods have returned. Lawrence either cannot or will not help her. She returns home more frustrated than before she left. Upon her return, it is the night of the Four Hundred Ball. Upon Schuyler's returned, she finds she must attend and Oliver, being a Red Blood, will not be allowed to attend.

Mimi Force (The Angel of Death - Azrael) has also been busy, not only with the Four Hundred Ball, but with planning an unsanctioned Masquerade party following the Ball. Only the best of the blue bloods will be invited which will not include Schuyler Van Alen who Mimi's brother Jack (The Angel of Destruction - Abbadon) seems to have an unreasonable attraction to. She knows that he, in his previous lives, has always been attracted to Allegra (Schuyler's comatose mother), The Angel of White, the light always calls to the dark. Mimi needs to device a way to get Schuyler out of the way if she hopes one day to have a life with Jack.

Jack and Mimi have been reborn many times, but this is the first time as twins, brother and sister. Maybe this is a sign that in this life, Schuyler will be his chosen one. He is incredibly attracted to her, and although, he realizes it may actually be an attraction to the light, he can't help himself when he stumbles upon her alone at the Masquerade. He does what he has been forbidden to do and steals a passionate kiss from the lips of Schuyler from behind his masquerade mask, with no one the wiser.

Kingsley is a new student at Duchesne and impossibly arrogant. Bliss Llewellyn is attracted as is Mimi Force. Kingsley seems to know the dark secrets that no one is allowed to talk about and he dabbles in the dark arts, spells that are not allowed. As he entices Bliss with how to ward off the Silver Bloods who seems to be drawn to her; he is, at the same time, trying to coax Mimi Force into performing the dark art spells. Only is he everything he appears to be?

With fear for Schuyler, Lawrence Van Alen does return to New York only to find Schuyler has become ill and may fall into a coma like her mother if she doesn't take a familiar to feed upon. Oliver, her conduit, is her only true friend, but when Schuyler asks him to also be her familiar, to feed from him, he cannot agree. Oliver is in love with Schuyler if she could only see. Fearing for Schuyler's death, he reluctantly agrees. But after the feeding is accomplished, Schuyler knows it was wrong; she has seen into his Red Blood soul and knows his secret and his love.

Kingsley tempts Mimi Force to try to call a Silver Blood to kill Schuyler Van Alen. Mimi is almost at the end of her rope with Jack's attraction to Schuyler and the only way to fix the problem is to remove it. She agrees to try to call the Silver Blood. What she doesn't know and apparently Kingsley does that this is an offense that has the highest punishment, death. Not just the death in this life, but never to exist again, blood drain and burned. Will Mimi be put to death? Who is Kingsley really? Who will figure out the truth? Can Schuyler save her one true enemy, Mimi Force? Does she even want to try?

Masquerade is the Second Book in the Blue Blood Series by Melissa De La Cruz. It continues the world of the Blue Blood Vampires as well as the story of the Silver Bloods. Schuyler Van Alen is a very alluring heroine. She's stronger than she thinks after living with Cordelia all of these years and never having a mother. She is strongly attracted to Jack, but knows he will always belong to Mimi as he as for centuries, Death and Destruction. But Jack is a hero that wants to find the light, who desperately wants to leave the darkness behind. I was drawn to Jack's sense of fairness, he appears to have grown and maybe he will find the light this time. It is because of Jack that Schuyler will attempt a blood reading that may lead to her death, not everyone can survive the blood reading. Oliver is the other hero in the story and sadly he is attracted to Schuyler, it is a very confusing time for our young heroes and heroine. Mimi Force is an anti-heroine, one who would take over the story if allowed, she will have to grow and change if she has any hope of keeping Jack by her side. I loved this second installment in the Blue Blood Series. It helped fill in some of the missing pieces and expands from the first book as well as bring the characters to life, showing some of their true personalities. This is excellent YA reading, and I'm looking forward to Revelations. For more information about all of the books in the Blue Blood Series as well as many others, please visit Melissa De La Cruz' site.


Gratuitous Video of Lily Allen ~ The Fear ~ What I'm Currently Listening To --
It just felt right for reading this book.

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