October 2, 2011

Masquerade by Melissa de la Cruz

read chapter 1 here
Series: Blue Bloods 2
Format: Hardback
Release Date: May 1, 2007
Purchase Link: Amazon

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 underway for the Four Hundred Ball, an exclusive gala hosted by the city's wealthy, powerful, and unhuman - a true Blue Blood affair.

But it's at the after-party, a masquerade ball thrown by the cunning Mimi Force, that the real danger lurks. Hidden behind the masks is a revelation that will forever change the course of a young vampire's destiny.

Rich with glamour, attitude, and vampire lore, this second installment in the Blue Bloods saga will leave readers thirsting for more.

Before Cordelia Van Alen expelled her last breath, she left instructions on where her granddaughter, Schuyler, can find her estranged mate Lawrence Van Alen. Only he can help Sky learn more about the Silver Bloods and how she can arm herself against their attacks. So this is the deal so far in Masquerade:

Schuyler and Oliver managed to track down Lawrence in Venice. Together they came back to New York to sort our affairs that Cordelia left. Also, Sky is not doing well with her transition, being half-human her body is rejecting the vampire cells. She ended up administering the Sacred Kiss to Oliver so she can feed. She also finds out that Oliver has been in love with her for a long time and being bonded like this will only complicate matters.

Bliss is getting more and more episodes of blackouts and signs of schizophrenia. She hears The Beast's voice in her head, urging her to do violent things. She also saw a picture of her father and mother but the note in the back said that the woman is Allegra Van Alen.

Mimi Force is slowly losing her status as the IT girl to Bliss and as Jack's intended to Schuyler. This doesn't bode well for the Queen Bee so she resorts to black magic with the help of newbie, Kingsley Martin. She tried summoning a Silver Blood to get rid of Schuyler. Since the ritual is forbidden, this simple act led to a series of disastrous events. Ultimately Schuyler saved her by proving that she's innocent of harboring the Silver Blood inside her.

Aptly titled, Masquerade is where they start shedding the banalities of the mortal world. These Fallen Angels are slowly coming to terms with their true selves and are slowly moving towards their destinies. And I'm happy to announce that the annoying litany of designer brands have been minimized. If there are mentions of famous and obviously expensive labels it is to reiterate that the series is merely living up to its name, Blue Bloods. Rich, priveleged aristocrats whose lifestyles and stations in life is something that, more often than not, we find ourselves fantasizing about.

I remain steadfast in my support for this series. I am well aware on how superficial de la Cruz's world is (as my buddy Cimmaron said, Vampire Blake Lively GG hihihihi) but that's just once facet of the story. After the first book, I did some reading on the angels mentioned and it's valid and not some made up names. There is some careful research done in this and as far as that's concerned I have to give Melissa props. The plot is well played out and the multiple stories and past lives of these characters are tightly woven, carefully placed in history, as if she lived all of it. 
Melissa de la Cruz did mention in one of her Author's Notes that the story of the Blue Bloods has been conceptualized and completed in her mind long before she started writing it. And like other things, once the goal is set and you can see the finish line clearly in your mind, it promises that both the journey and the outcome will be spectacular.


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