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The second novel in the supernatural box set is Blue Bloods. The cover design is about a thousand percent less hideous than Marked, so points for that, and Melissa de la Cruz’s teenagers do at least act and sound somewhat like teenagers. Not that I’m an expert on how rich American vampire teenagers act and sound.

The Good:

First off, there was a fashion orientated side to the story that I definitely never appreciated when I was younger, and all the characters’ talk of dresses and shoes is weirdly much less dull than it should be. Plus, for a supernatural vampire book none of these bits seemed out of place, which pleasantly surprised me. There was also some interesting historical threads to the story that added another layer to the story, particularly as the historical events were factual and already of interest to me before reading the book. This combined with the diary entries that the author interspersed throughout the first part of the book kept me hooked and broke up what was Blue bloods coverotherwise quite a dull, lacklustre plot.

The Bad:

You know, for a book about murder and intrigue not a lot actually happens. There’s lots of mystery and you get to read from multiple characters’ perspectives but aside from giving you an insight into their love lives you don’t learn very much. By the time you reach the final page it can feel a bit like ‘oh, is that it?’; I almost wonder if the author would have been better off combining the first two books into one longer one. The beginning chapters are very reminiscent of City of Bones because of the combination of the setting and the characters which didn’t help as I felt as though I’d read it all before.

The characters themselves were mostly okay, apart from one notable exception: the Force twins. Jack was the love interest; your typical mysterious, handsome, enigmatic stranger who is madly in love with the plain Jane protagonist one minute and then avoiding her the next. But of course this is justifiable because he’s only trying to ‘protect’ her and she ‘wouldn’t understand’. Please. Then we have Mimi who is, of course, the token ‘bitchy’ character. But what were we meant to expect from a rich girl with a name like Mimi? Oh, and there’s incestuous undertones. Because who doesn’t love reading about mildly incestuous undertones in YA. I don’t care how many reincarnated lives you’ve lived – right now you’re sixteen years old and share the same genetics. Hands off.

The Verdict:

Blue Bloods is certainly a step up from Marked which means it at least deserves a 2/5 on the star rating scale. The friendships seem genuine and the romance actually does kind of work, but the mythology just doesn’t quite work for me. It isn’t even that it’s too complex, it’s just… bizarre.