Monday, January 24, 2011

Misguided Angel

Misguided Angel (Blue Bloods, Book 5)Misguided AngelMelissa de la Cruz

The plot has now split, so this gets a little Lord of the Rings-y with the first part of the book focusing on one plot line with some of our characters and the next part focusing on a different plot line with some other characters. And yes, I just compared Lord of the Rings with Blue Bloods. I meant only in structure. There are no orcs here.

The first part of the book gives us the next installment in the lives of Jack and Schuyler. After being offered the Countess's protection, they discover she's still in league with the Morningstar. Her protection, while luxe, is a prison. They escape to continue the Van Alen work of securing the gates, only to be chased across Italy by Venators. Lots of daring escapes and shaky alliances as the pair try to save the world and themselves.

The second third focuses on Mimi, who is now acting Regent and finding herself in way over her head. She finds a video of a vampire teen being held hostage and being threatened with black fire, which will destroy blue blood forever. Mimi must try to find the culprit, save the girl, and disguise the videos as teaser trailers for a new movie. Not to mention school.

The last part of the book focuses on Deming Chen, a Chinese blue blood and Venator who comes in to help Mimi catch the culprit as more vampires go missing and are threatened.

Through it all, we get snippets of vampire life in Florence in 1482 and something about to go horribly wrong. This part isn't totally fleshed out, but you can tell it will be big later.

Overall, I really liked this one. I liked the sweetness of the first part (let's face it, I just really like Schuyler) but I really got into the second and third part. I loved seeing a different side of Mimi and getting more of her inner voice. I think she grew a lot as a character and was given much more depth as she struggled with real responsibility and leadership instead of her vacuous life as an over privileged vampire brat/jilted lover. I also liked the introduction of Deming.* I think it's interesting how Deming is the spirit of Kuan Yin, the Angel of Mercy and her twin, Dehue, is Xi Wangmu, the Angel of Immortality. Until now, the mythology of the series has been very Miltonian and Christian. Kuan Yin (also spelled Guanyin) is from the Buddhist tradition-- she's the Bodhisattva of compassion. Xi Wangmu is the Chinese Queen Mother of the West (usually used in Daoist tradition, but she actually predates Daoism). She's the Goddess of Immortality and is in charge of the Peach Garden (where the peaches make you immortal. I now have a desire to track down a college reading I hadd on the Peach Garden. So this is a shift in the world we've seen so far. I get to interview de la Cruz in a few weeks and will be asking her about this!)

Overall, I really liked this book-- it's one of the best so far. I like that even though it's still exciting and moves very quickly, plot-wise, we get more character development and growth, which I appreciated. BUT! I really missed Bliss. I know she's getting her own spin-off series now, but... :(

*Ok, she showed up for a few paragraphs in Masquerade, but she's actually a character now! I wonder if we'll see more of her and get to meet her twin?

Book Provided by... my local library

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