Friday, February 1, 2013

Review: Gates of Paradise by Melissa de la Cruz

Gates of Paradise (Blue Bloods, #7)
Gates of Paradise by Melissa de la Cruz
Steph’s Rating: 4 ½  stars
Overall Rating: 4 ½  stars

Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Publication Date: January 15th, 2013
Pages: 368
Goodreads Synopsis:
Schuyler Van Alen is running out of time. The Dark Prince of Hell is storming the Gates of Paradise, intent on winning the heavenly throne for good. This time he has his greatest angels by his side, Abbadon and Azrael—Jack and Mimi Force, as they are known in the Coven.
Or so he thinks. Even as Lucifer assigns Jack and Mimi the tasks of killing their true loves, the Force twins secretly vow to defeat the Dark Prince once and for all. But how far will Mimi and Jack go to conceal their real loyalties?
Meanwhile, former vampire Bliss Llewellyn has joined forces with Lawson, the greatest wolf of the underworld, to free his people from their imprisonment in Hell. As they struggle against impossible odds, an ancient message, woven into the very fabric of time, reveals just how much depends on the success of their mission.
Lucifer seeks the key to the Gate of Promise, and when Schuyler is taken captive and delivered straight to Hell, she must make an unthinkable choice—the same one the archangel Michael was forced to make during the Crisis in Rome. Will Schuyler find the strength to do what he could not?
The epic, heartbreaking Blue Bloods series comes to a close with this final novel about staggering courage, unbearable sacrifice, and the immortality of true love.

Steph’s Review: This will be a pretty long review headsup.

*sobs massively*. It’s the end of Blue Bloods. I will forever miss the adventures of Sky, Jack, Ollie, and Mimi. This has been one of my favorite series since I was a little dweeb in elementary school, and around that point only Masquerade or Revelations had come out. I’ve been following this series since, waiting the torturously long waits for the next book with all the other fans out there, and loving every minute of the words Mel etched into these novels.

Well. it’s not quite the end, but I will get to that.

This was a pretty perfect ending to Blue Bloods. Most of the unraveled ends that had everyone scratching their heads have been tied up while Mel built up the suspense and action. Before the final showdown against Lucifer, Schuyler and Oliver are running around the globe to find clues to the key of the Gate of Promise, the last gate in the way of Lucifer and his spawn from returning to Paradise. Schuyler has a destiny to save the angels of Heaven and the Blue Blood race, one that she finally comes to understand in Gates of Paradise.

I’m pretty sure a lot of people will complain about this book because of Jack and Schuyler. I know I was asking the “Are they or are they not” question over and over again throughout this book. If you’ve read up to Lost in Time, you know that Schuyler and Jack separated so Jack could deal with his broken bond with Mimi. They don’t quite meet up again in Gates of Paradise because of a little scheme Abbadon and Azrael are running... :). The problem is, Ollie has been cured of his love for Sky by the witch of the East End, and Jack is nowhere to be found. Steamy Romance *poof* (for those who care)! I was never a huge fan of Jack so I actually didn’t care that there wasn’t a Sky/Jack romance going on the entire time. I actually found it a little annoying and cheesy before.

I am actually really proud of Schuyler in this book. Since Jack isn’t around to save her every time there is trouble hiding in a corner, Schuyler as a character grows and matures in a way she probably wouldn’t have if Jack was still there. She knows now that the Van Alen legacy at hand is one she must solve on her own, because really no one else has a hope of understanding it. I didn’t like her much in the books before, but Mel has made me a Schuyler fan right at the finish line.

Although I said that Gates of Paradise is a little lacking in romance, I don’t mean its nonexistent. There is a new character introduced that has a little something to do with Stephen Bendix Chase...and lets just say one of our good old characters has found a new infatuation >:) *smiles evily*.

Overall there is just so much character development in this book. I feel like its really hard to get to everyone, especially since Gates of Paradise is told in multiple POV’s: Schuyler, Bliss, Mimi, Kingsley, Lawson, and Tomasia (Allegra in a older cycle)--I think that gets them all. Everyone is changing and growing, and finally making duty first in front of their own selfish wants. They are putting survival of the race before themselves.

You didn’t forget about Mimi and Kingsley did you? They are my fave couple in the entire Blue Bloods series, just because Kingsley is one hilariously sexy guy. A lot of readers hate on Mimi, but I actually like and pity her. I mean seriously, she got ditched at her own bonding ceremony. She’s not the dumb blond that everyone takes her for and she does have feelings. I think everyone will like Mimi a little more in this book, especially after reading a lot of her POV. You will just have to read to find out the outcome of the Mimi and Kingsley relationship. Lips are sealed.

The only real complaint I have about Gates of Paradise, which lead me to give it 4 ½ stars was the ending. There is a huge twist at the end that left my eyes bulging. I wasn’t entirely unhappy with it, but it was just so surprising; I didn’t see it coming. The epilogue raised a TON of questions too. At the end of the book Mel leaves us the little kind of “the end...for now” message. She mentioned that there would be a “surprise” that will take place in the Blue Bloods world, but she hasn’t said what so far. I thought Mel answered all of my unanswered questions in the last chapter, but right at the epilogue, as in the last few pages, she dumped a load of questions in my head. Full-blown, mind boggling questions that I also did not see coming. Since Blue Bloods was a series in itself, I thought it deserved its own thorough conclusion/HEA. I didn’t want it to be a conjunction to whatever her next plan is. Mel ended up not concluding at all really and left me utterly confused, which was not how I wanted to feel at the last book of Blue Bloods.

Besides the fact that Mel has left me completely dying for her new plan, this was a great installment to Blue Bloods. Gates of Paradise completely unraveled me and gave me countless change of hearts. It evoked gasps and  feelings of pity and love from me, more so than any other book she’s written. Any lover of Blue Bloods is sure to enjoy this final installment!


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