Title: Blue Bloods
Author: Melissa De La Cruz
Publication Date: March 27th 2007
Series: Blue Bloods #1
When the Mayflower set sail in 1620, it carried on board the men and women who would shape America: Miles Standish; John Alden; Constance Hopkins. But some among the Pilgrims were not pure of heart; they were not escaping religious persecution. Indeed, they were not even human. They were vampires.The vampires assimilated quickly into the New World. Rising to levels of enormous power, wealth, and influence, they were the celebrated blue bloods of American society.
The Blue Bloods vowed that their immortal status would remain a closely guarded secret. And they kept that secret for centuries. But now, in New York City, the secret is seeping out. Schuyler Van Alen is a sophomore at a prestigious private school. She prefers baggy, vintage clothes instead of the Prada and pearls worn by her classmates, and she lives with her reclusive grandmother in a dilapated mansion. Schuyler is a loner...and happy that way. Suddenly, when she turns fifteen, there is a visible mosaic of blue veins on her arm. She starts to crave raw food and she is having flashbacks to ancient times. Then a popular girl from her school is found dead... drained of all her blood. Schuyler doesn't know what to think, but she wants to find out the secrets the Blue Bloods are keeping. But is she herself in danger?
Okay, so this has been on my to-read list for so long but I wanted the last book to be released before reading it. And part of the reason why I kept on postponing it was because I’m afraid it might not meet my expectations.
Blue Bloods series has one of the best cover photos and it’s one of the reasons why I thought I might like the book. Aside from the fact that, after reading Vampire Academy (link review), I wanted to try the other vampire books and look on the author’s attack on the world of vampires. The author also begged to differ regarding several clichéd myths about vampires’ lifestyles.
Let’s meet the major characters (I’ referring to those characters that I guess will appear in the majority of the series.)
Schuyler Van Alen.
Status: Half Blood / Dimidium Cognatus
Description: “Schuyler was startlingly pretty, with a sweet heart-shaped face; a perfectly upturned nose; and soft, milky skin – but there was something almost insubstantial about her beauty.” She’s somewhat out of place in her school, The Duchesne. She’s different. She doesn’t wear normal clothes and is always the subject of bullying among the group of Mimi Force. Her grandmother holds a secret about her past that may seem so impossible to her, and gradual changes will occur to her that will signal the change in her life.
Status: Blue Blood
Description: “One of those guys – head of lacrosse tea, lead in the school play, and his term paper on shopping malls in published in Wired.” He’s Schuyler’s love interest and for now I don’t really like him yet. I hope this change on the next book.
Description: “Oliver was tall and slim, with a fair elfin face that was frames by a shag of brilliant chestnut hair. He had sharp cheekbones and sympathetic hazel eyes.” He’s Schuyler’s bestfriend since they were kids and I’m guessing that he’s secretly in love with her.
Status: Blue Blood
Description: "She was popularity personified. She had golden-girl good looks and tanned, Pilates-toned limbs that came with the Queen Bee Position but she transcended the stereotype while embodying the essence of it. She had a size twenty-two waist and a size ten shoe. She ate junk food everyday and never gained an ounce. She went to bed with all her makeup on and woke up with a clear, unblemished complex ion, just like her conscience." She’s the mean girl in this book. The queen of popularity who doesn't want anyone to outshine her.
As I’ve said a while ago, there are too many terms, places, and things that must be learned if you plan to read and follow the adventures of the vampires in this series. Here are some:
- CONSUMPTION – fatal affliction of the blood
- HUMAN FAMILIARS – these are humans who feed their blood to the Blue Bloods. To be a human familiar, you must give your permission to a Blue Blood, otherwise, you will break the code of conduct of the vampires.
- Wardens – they are in-charge of the security
- The Duchesne School – this is the school where some of the Blue Bloods study. It’s a prestigious school which caters to the privilege students.
- The Committee – a.k.a. New York Blood Bank Committee. It’s one of the oldest charities in New York and is also the most prestigious. If you are a member of this committee, you will be elevated to a level of social stratosphere that was so lofty, mere mortals could only aspire to, but never reach its heights. It was snobby, cliquey, exclusive to the extreme; membership comprised only kids from the top private schools. The members wore a ring – a gold serpent around a cross.
- Sangre Azul – blood marks, these are blue veins that starts to show on Blue Bloods when they near the age of transformation. The blood marks were a map of their personal histories – it was the blood asserting itself.
- Illuminata – one of the gifts of Blue Bloods that aids the in night and makes them visible to one another.
- Sunset Years – Blue Bloods’ most vulnerable time in the cycle of Expression when they shed their human selves for vampire ones.
- Blood Manifest – brought about memory shocks, the dizziness, the sickness, and makes vampires weak
- Red Bloods – the Humans
- The Conspiracy – a subset of the Committee dedicated to keeping the Red Bloods from knowing their true existence
- Caerimonia Osculor – The Sacred Kiss, is a very special ceremony and most Blue Bloods wait until the age of consent (18) to perform it. It’s the sucking of blood from humans to gain strength.
- Conduit – caretakers for the Blue Bloods forever. They work as doctors, lawyers, accountants and financiers.
- Silver Blood / Croatan – Vampires who consume Blue Blood’s life force (blood). By consuming it, their blood becomes silver. They are insane, with the lives of many vampires in their heads. They have the strength of a thousand Blue Bloods. Their memories are legion. They are the devil in disguise, the devil that walks among the people. They are everywhere and nowhere.
- Dimidium Cognatus/ Half Blood – a product of the union of Blue Blood and a human familiar.
- REGENERATIVE MEMORY SYNDROME – new blue bloods experience this. It is the effect of cell restructuring cognizance phenomenon, a cataclystic event in the brain that produces the subsequent time-warp effect. It is popularly called as déjà vu.
- BLUE BLOOD CODE – it was like the Ten Commandments of the Blue Bloods – the laws of creation. All Blue bloods are bound to its rules.
- FULL CONSUMPTION – a person who had died with all of his or her blood drained from the body.
FACTS ABOUT VAMPIRES:
- Vampires undergo three stages of life: Expression, Evolution, and Expulsion. Meaning the physical shell of a vampire expires after a hundred years and then they rest, evolving until they are called for the next phase in the cycle. There are some who choose not to rest, and instead keep the same physical shell and become Enmortal – like some of the Elders, but they had to be awarded a special dispensation for that.
- Vampires actually love the sunlight. It just reminded them of the paradise they’d been expelled from, but they love it – hence the major killer tans on most of the Committee members.
- Nothing can kill a vampire. They are immortals. They live forever, but not as the same person, and not always at the same time. There were only Four Hundred of them at every Cycle. But Silver Bloods are out in the open to prove otherwise.
- Vampires didn’t like the crucifix because it reminded them of their downfall, their banishment from the kingdom of Heaven.
- Vampires aren’t afraid of garlic. It’s just a no-no because of the smell.
- Vampires can actually ingest food, but most did it out of habit, or simply to be social. Once they reached a certain age, only human blood was needed to keep them recharged.
- The first commandment in the Code of the Vampires – is that no harm must come to their human familiars. Taking a Red Blood without his or her consent is also against the Code. It is forbidden to perform Caerimonia Osculor on fellow Blue Blood. When this happens, you turn into a Silver Blood.
- Wisdom teeth function as fangs, contrary to the popular belief that it grows at the front part of the gums.
Vampire powers are manifested in different ways:
- hyper-intelligence and supernatural strength – most common
- could read human minds
- could perform mind-control – only the most powerful can perform this
- ability to stop time – the most rare power, only one Blue Blood in recorded history had ever been able to demonstrate this power and had only done so once in all the centuries they had been on earth.
SYMPTOMS OF BECOMING A CERTIFIED BLUE BLOOD
- Occasionally, time either slips away or becomes very slow.
- You can eat everything and still not gain an ounce.
- The taste of cooked meat has become unbearable. You begin to crave things that are raw, bloody.
Vampires are described in this book as one of the founders of their town. They are the most powerful in society. They own the largest networks, establishments and corporations. They date back from centuries ago. But their pack was lessened when Croatans attacked them. Centuries after, they thought they were already safe, but several Blue Bloods who are still in their Sunset Years were found out dead with all of their blood drained completely. They target the newer ones because they are the most vulnerable and they don’t realize their strength yet.
“To save them, two of the archangels were sent to Earth – Gabriel and Michael. Gabriel (Allegra) was the strongest. She was Michael’s – Charles Force’s twin. His only love. It was her original sacrifice. He only followed out of his love for her. He gave up Paradise to be with her. They were blood bound to each other until she met Stephen. Charles left the family, too a new name and forsook the Van Alen Legacy. When Stephen died, Allegra swore never to take another human familiar to preserve their love. That’s why she does not wake up. She exists between life and death.”
Schuyler Van Alen was just a normal high school student but when she turned 15, blue veins started reappearing on her arms. Little did she know that this will soon result to a bigger revelation regarding her real identity. According to her grandmother, she will bring salvation to their all of the Blue Bloods. The adventure starts on the second book which is Masquerade.
The book is like a cross between Harry Potter, Vampire Academy and Fallen. When I first started reading it, it didn’t make any sense to me and I dreaded that I will come to a point where in I’ll have to ditch it, but thankfully I was able to finish it.
I think I can’t make a clear verdict about the book unless I’ve read the other books. Reading this book feels like a déjà vu because the way the characters were presented were almost the same as that of Vampire Academy though the terms were altered. It feels like Harry Potter at times, especially the way their school was being run and the way they use spells which they call special language or incantation. There is also a head girl and a head boy. With this, there is a lot of information to take in so when I read it, things were a little fuzzy. I was a little bit enlightened towards the end of the book though there are still a lot to learn.
The characters were still not yet fully established. I’d say the author just introduce them to the readers. They still have a lot to learn. Unlike in VA where characters are already established towards the end of the first book.
I hope the next books would be better than this one.
Melissa de la Cruz is the New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of many critically acclaimed and award-winning novels for teens including The Au Pairs series, the Blue Bloods series, the Ashleys series, the Angels on Sunset Boulevard series and the semi-autobiographical novel Fresh off the Boat.
Her books for adults include the novel Cat’s Meow, the anthology Girls Who Like Boys Who Like Boys and the tongue-in-chic handbooks How to Become Famous in Two Weeks or Less and The Fashionista Files: Adventures in Four-inch heels and Faux-Pas.
She has worked as a fashion and beauty editor and has written for many publications including The New York Times, Marie Claire, Harper’s Bazaar, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Allure, The San Francisco Chronicle, McSweeney’s, Teen Vogue, CosmoGirl! and Seventeen. She has also appeared as an expert on fashion, trends and fame for CNN, E! and FoxNews.
Melissa grew up in Manila and moved to San Francisco with her family, where she graduated high school salutatorian from The Convent of the Sacred Heart. She majored in art history and English at Columbia University (and minored in nightclubs and shopping!).
She now divides her time between New York and Los Angeles, where she lives in the Hollywood Hills with her husband and daughter.
Labels: Book Review, Melissa De La Cruz