Melissa de la Cruz
(Atom books)

No more love triangles. No more forbidden love. No more vampires!!!
That’s what I had promised myself after reading what felt like one too many teen vampire books (Marked, by PC & Kristen Cast, which was abysmal. I read the second in the series too, just in case I had made an error of judgement, but no. It was much worse). That was fine, until Blue Bloods arrived. For some reason the British publishing industry had resisted publishing this series which is extremely popular in the US, and in France. So with so many good things said about it, I had to sample it. And then I was hooked. I wish I could feel ashamed that I like teen vampire fiction, but I don’t. It’s my guilty pleasure, and this one is a particularly enjoyable one.

Anyway, the series follow Schuyler Van Alen (pronounced Skyler, don’t ask me why, I only found out it wasn’t Schuler half-way through book 3, when I watched a video of Melissa de la Cruz!), a pupil at the exclusive Duschene school, where most of the students are Blue Bloods, ie vampires. But they are not your bog-standard vampires: they are rich, they are famous and they are, of course, beautiful. Schuyler is very much on the outside of all the little cliques and knows very little of their and her own heritage, until students start to die. She soon finds herself at the very heart of a fight between Blue and Silver Bloods, between good and evil, and against who they call the Morningstar, Lucifer himself.
What makes this series stand apart from other vampire series is the historical and religious contexts. All the vampires (apart from Schuyler, who turns out to be a half-blood) are in fact Fallen Angels, Angels who followed Lucifer and were cast out of Heaven. So for example Schuyler’s mother Allegra Van Alen is in fact the Angel Gabrielle, and Jack Force, Schuyler’s love interest is Abaddon, Angel of Destruction. Moreover, these vampires go through different life cycles, shedding their human shells and are return within new host bodies. So according to de la Cruz, the British settlers on the Mayflower were vampires seeking a new home, and Calligula was Lucifer himself.  A lot of flashbacks into history and the characters’ previous lives help understanding the “big picture” of the series. It could have been a disaster, but it really works and it is obvious that de la Cruz has done her homework so it all makes sense, especially with all the bits about the Roman Empire.
Ok so having to read about spoilt little American rick kids à la Gossip Girl, who moan about not flying first class or see American state schools as being gangster-ridden was slightly irritating; if de la Cruz was being sarcastic, the irony was lost on me there. Still, this is a small flaw in this very entertaining series, which I would recommend to any fan of the genre, but not only actually because I think Blue Bloods has more to offer than many of the Twilight clones and would therefore be a great recommendation for those sceptical of the genre.
Now how on earth will I wait until October for Book 5? At least I’ve got the Book 3 of The Hunger Games,  Mockingjay, to look forward to before that. Series, they don’t half take over your life!