Title: Gates of Paradise
Author: Melissa de la Cruz
Series: Blue Bloods, Book 7
Hardcover: 355 pages
Source: Chicago Public Library
Summary: (taken from Goodreads)
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.
Overall Rating: 3.5 out of 5
I have waited far too long to read this conclusion of the Blue Bloods series, so I was incredibly happy when I decided to pick up a copy at the library and just finish it. Everything starts coming together in this novel, and it’s mostly action from start to finish, which was a lot of fun. Mimi and Jack are acting as double agents, Bliss is working with the hellhounds to help fix the timeline, and Schuyler is finally figuring out what it means to be the key to the Gate of Promise.
I loved getting back into the swing of things and how everything is on a knife’s edge throughout pretty much the whole book. Who can be trusted? Is Kingsley on their side? Are Jack and Mimi really double agents? It’s a whole lot of suspicion and doubt and trying to fight the good fight, and I really liked that. Everyone’s preparing for an all-out war with Lucifer, and I liked how the shifting character perspectives shows how the war is shaping up as a whole and what each character’s part in it is. I LOVE that we get more Bliss time and that she’s really coming into herself as a hellhound and working to find her place within her pack.
While I enjoyed this book, however, there were two main problems with this book: the pacing and the ending. I expected it to be all action and let’s go get Lucifer, etc., but there were way too many side trips for this to have been a really satisfying ending. Schuyler randomly flies out to meet her paternal grandmother, who accepted her with very little question-asking and suspicion, and then meets a half-sister that does the same. It’s heartwarming and I’m glad Schuyler is finally looking into her father’s family, but that probably should have been put in an earlier book to give this last one the oompf I thought it was going to have. It seemed out of place and frivolous. Also, while I love happy endings, I wish this ending were just a little more on the dark side; they were fighting Lucifer, after all; I thought there should have been more personal, heart-wrenching devastation, but that’s more of a personal preference than an actual problem, I guess, so moving on. :p
This series as a whole is definitely one to check out. It provides an interesting perspective on the idea of vampires and history in general, with how they played a role in major events. It’s intriguing, but also has light, fluffy moments of romance and regular teen intrigue, which is a fun contrast. If you’re interested in vampires and angels, definitely give this series a try.