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Howdy YAL!

I used to be the blogger called YAL Book Briefs, but I grew bored of the handle and changed my name to Howdy YAL. I also respond to MJ. I like to read, write, eat truffles, and watch bad Lifetime movies. 

Gates of Paradise (Blue Bloods, #7)

Gates of Paradise - Melissa  de la Cruz To see full review click hereWarning this review features lots of spoilers and I have not hid them since they're a big part of the review.I never thought I'd compare Melissa de la Cruz to George Lucas, but now I am. Both individuals have created series that I love and both individuals have concluded their series dubiously. It's really sad too because this is really a series that I can connect too. I've been reading Blue Bloods throughout my college career and it's coming to an end now and hopefully my college career will be coming to an end too in May.General Summary: Well, this is it. After multiple spinoffs, seven long books, Blue Bloods is finally coming to an end. Will Sky die? Will Jack and Sky finally say screw it and hop on a plane to Antarctica leaving the Blue Bloods to kill each other? Will Kingsley get sexiest character of the year? Well, one of those things happens or maybe not.Review:How do I review this book? Well, there were some beautiful things about it and then there were some things about it that reminded me that indeed de la Cruz wrote the atrocities better known as Wolf Pact and Witches of East End. Mainly because if you haven't read those books a lot of things that are brought up will be slapped in your face, despite the fact it's been said you don't have to read these books to enjoy the Blue Bloods series.Oh, the lies.If you don't read these books you'll be confused. And honestly, that's not a good thing for fans, de la Cruz, or for that matter those series. Also, one of the characters I deplored in Wolf Pact is heavily featured in this book. No, Mel, Lawson is not going to happen. Not in this girl's book boyfriend mind. It's really surprising after some great male characters (Jack Force, Kingsley Martin, and Oliver Hazard-Perry) that we get Lawson. Lawson who instantly falls in love with Bliss after almost having grief sex with her because the girl he almost had bathroom sex with dies (I freaking kid you not, read Wolf Pact if you don't believe me). And oh yes, did I mention that Lawson is controlling and in Wolf Pact was borderline physical with Bliss. What a charmer that one is.I didn't even have Jack to balance him out. Jack's barely in the book and when he is you sort of think he's a tool till the very end. Thank God, for Kingsley though. hat being said there wasn't way enough Kingsley to balance the bad from the good. I not only had to put up with Bliss's POV again and Lawson (barf), but I also had to put up with Allegra who I never liked and who's story contradicted what we were told in earlier books (see worst feature part of this review). Additionally, I thought Schuyler was really dumb throughout most of this book and was acting really out of character. I really wish that instead of being with Oliver looking for her family history and not acting like the strong vampire that she is, she would've fought for Jack. And that she would've bucked against him a little more when he first returned into her life and was in full Abbadon mode. That was always one thing I liked about this series was the potential of the Sky and Jack relationship and it just never seemed like it reached that. And honestly, the end was sort of lame. I get why she did what she did, but come on. Let's be realistic here most people would've acted like Michael. And the whole twist with Schuyler's heritage didn't make sense and made me also question Bliss's heritage as well (does she have two dads too?). I also thought the way the whole Oliver story was handled was contrived and I honestly didn't comprehend his ending at all. Why of all things would he wish to be a vampire? Couldn't he just wish to be immortal? And how's that going to affect his relationship with his consolation prize Sky's sister (who's basically the same as her, but blonde). I guess you'll have to read the next book to find out.Because guess what guys, there's a cliffie here!Best Feature: Kingsley Freaking Martin. You can thank Kingsley, and Mimi for the most part, for making me tolerate this book. And believe me that was hard. With the lack of Jack and having to get through Bliss, Allegra, and Lawson's point of view I was close to liver failure. However, Kingsley regained my faith in this series. This is how hero's should be created, de la Cruz, not like Lawson. I do not like Lawson. I do not like furry Edward Cullen wannabes. I like guys like Kingsley who are gray characters, like donuts, can handle Mimi's antics, and are just pretty much awesome in general. In fact, I would just like a book written in Kingsley's POV. Now that would be awesome. The Duke of Hell I can just see it now in fact, I'm thinking of a brief summary for the book as we speak....Hot sexy good times happen between Mimi and Kingsley in their underworld paradise. When Venator Martin realizes he has to have his own book to save a series. Can he do it? Oh, yes he can. Worst Feature: Continuity: Oh dear, lord. I think I got drunk from this book just on the countless continuity errors a lone. Let's count and quote them shall we?1) The whole Florence thing really happened in Rome. In Keys of the Repository Kingsley tells Mimi about the horrors in Rome which included Bliss's birth:" "But what does Rome have to with what happened in the Repository?" Mimi asked...Kingsley nodded. The wins had been given the task, but had balked at the wrongness of it and so he and Forsyth had kidnapped Gabrielle from her room. He remembered everything. The silent birth, the frightened midwives, then Charles and Lawrence taking the baby...the burned swaddling clothes, the ghastly smell of death all around. Then Gabrielle waking up with no memory of her ordeal or even that she'd born a child." ( de la Cruz, Keys to the Repository 132, 133).This isn't the only time that it's alluded to that Bliss was born in Rome or that Allegra knows of her existence (despite having no memory of what happened in Florence which was Bliss birth). In The Van Alen Legacy Allegra reiterates that her memory was forgotten that only now she just remembered Bliss. However, it's not until The Gates of Paradise that Charles tells her about the same events that happened in Florence that happened at least a thousand years after the events in Rome. Furthermore, what happened in Florence which would account as rape (Lucifer slept with Allegra through fraud) would not count as love ( The Van Alen Legacy, 358).2) Deming Chen was with Sam Lennox not Ted Lennox.A relationship between Deming and Sam Lennox is developed in Lost in Time and the two of them are later married. The relationship is highlighted several times throughout the book. Case in point:"Weapons were quickly holstered, and the couples reunited--Sam and Deming and Ted and Dehua instinctively going to each other's side." (Lost in Time, 65).At one point in the book, Sam realizes that Deming has been taken and essentially loses it trying to get her back (227). Later on, they have joyful reunion (297).So, why after all this building a relationship with Sam in Lost in Time is she married to Ted in Gates of Paradise? 3) Blue Bloods need blood to survive, as evidence by the fact Schuyler collapsed in Masquerade and Lawrence tells her she'll have to take a familiar." By exercising your vampire powers, your blue-blood cells are working overtime, and since your red-blood cells aren't high to begin with-because the mixed nature of your blood composition-your energy flags. There is only one solution to keep your blood counts in the normal range. You must take a human familiar." (Masquerade, 220).4) Schuyler could've easily jumped out of the car and would've been fine and could've avoided being taken to hell. In this excerpt, Jack talks about all the times he tried to kill himself." "I've jumped in front of trains. I've cut myself. I was the one who fell out the library window last year." (Blue Bloods, 192)5) Bliss was in possession of Lucifer's bane in Wolf Pact.6) Stephen Chase's family was based in San Francisco not Malibu." "You look so familiar. I'm Decca Chase. Welcome to our home." One of San Fransico's premier society matrons, who happened to be Ben's mother, smiled at Allegra."" (55)7) Arthur was never mentioned in this series until it was convenient. And on that note, you'd thought Lawrence would've had a bigger role than he did in comforting Allegra. And oh, yeah where's Kingsley? It was suppose to be Kingsley, Lawrence, Forsyth, and Michael who disposed on Bliss (wish they would've succeeded too). Once again, look at the excerpt from Keys of the Repository where Kingsley goes into detail of how Bliss was disposed of in Rome. (Keys of the Repository, 132, 133).8) So who was Paul Rayburn's mother? If it wasn't Simonetta like it was implied in Misguided Angel. And for that matter what was the point of the Nephilims?" " So tell me what happened in Florence?""It's simple, really. Stuart and Victoria were part of a sect. They were called the Petruvians. Ghastly group, really. Butchers. Murderers. The worst kid of slayer. They killed in the name of peace, in the name of justice, in the name of God. They killed my mother." (Misguided Angel, 245). 9) Sky's non existant death sentence. In Lost in Time Jack leaves because he thinks Schuyler is dying. This is shown throughout the book. With Schuyler getting ill and thinking she's knocked up. In Gates of Paradise other than being maybe a little thinner the illness is never mentioned again.10) Not all vampires are shape shifters. In Gates of Paradise several of the vampires are able to shift their features. Only a select few were able to in the early books. For example, in Revelations Schuyler is surprised to learn her form of the mutatio is shape shifting."Most likely you are like me. I cannot turn into a cloud or a creature either. But I can shift my features, liek so, and take a different-but human-disguise. Try it." (Revelations 244).Furthermore, it's stated early that Mimi's mutatio power involved changing into fog not shifting her features(111). And if Jack could change his features don't you think he would earlier when he was on the run with Schuyler?11) Stephen's death was anticlimactic with all the foreshadowing (see number 9). In Lost in Time Stephen's death was correlated with Schuyler's mysterious illness. However, her disease disappears in the seventh book and we find out he just died from cancer of all things.12) Multiple times in Wolf Pact and Gates of Paradise Bliss talks about having access to her mother and father's memories. It's stated that Bliss carries a part of her parents with her like all children, yet Schuyler who should have access to them for some reason doesn't. Thus, not allowing her to figure out the obvious sooner.Appropriateness: I see Blue Bloods as more of an adult series than teen. There's mature relationships, violence, and in this book allusions to rape though the victim as you see above doesn't exactly see it that way. Oh, and there's underage drinking too.