Author: Melissa de la Cruz
Release Date: January 15, 2013 (hardcover)
Source: Copy provided by publisher
Overall: 5 Stars
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.
Seven years. Seven books. Everything we know and love about the Blue Bloods series has led us to this moment. It's a race against time for Schuyler and her allies to stop Lucifer and his forces before they destroy the Gate of Promise and storm Paradise. Will Schuyler be able to lead the Blue Bloods to salvation after all... or will she die trying in the process?
Jack and Mimi have pledged their allegiance to Lucifer again, but in order to protect their loved ones, they have to be careful no one suspects they're actually still loyal to the Light. Oliver may only be human, but he's always been a consistently loyal and supportive best friend since the very first book, and Schuyler was lucky to have him by her side once again. Kingsley is just as passionate as ever before, and continues to see the good in Mimi which others overlook. If Jack and Schuyler had a chance to be together, then I truly wished for the same with Mimi and Kingsley too. As I was reading Gates of Paradise, I was so nervous to learn everyone's fates!
Bliss makes her return to the series after becoming human again in The Van Alen Legacy, which was also when Allegra first gave her the task of finding the wolves captured in the underworld; now she's back and prepared to fight Lucifer. I wasn't too familiar with her new friends right away because I haven't read the Wolf Pact companion series, but Melissa de la Cruz fills in the missing pieces, to my relief. Bliss has always struggled to find a sense of belonging, and I was glad she finally found it with Lawson and his pack.
I've grown so attached to these characters—have grown up with them in a sense, really—that it's difficult to say goodbye as they end this chapter of their lives and continue on with their futures beyond the pages. Much like the previous novels in the series, Gates of Paradise is an addicting, fast-paced read that refuses to pause for breath.
Melissa de la Cruz's Gates of Paradise is an epic and unforgettable conclusion to the Blue Bloods series. Did I think some of the characters arcs were wrapped up too neatly? Perhaps. Would I have wanted it any other way? No. Hidden secrets will be revealed and heartbreaking sacrifices will be made. Are you sure you're ready for Gates of Paradise?
Thanks so much to Hachette Book Group Canada for providing this review copy! You can learn more about Melissa de la Cruz's Gates of Paradise on Disney-Hyperion's unRequired Reading website, and if you're not already doing so, don't forget to follow HBG Canada on Twitter and "like" their Facebook page!