Author: Melissa de la Cruz
Date started reading: Jan. 19, 2013
Date finished reading: Jan. 20, 2013
Publish date: January 2013
Number of pages: 368
Official summary: "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." (http://melissa-delacruz.com)
Official book trailer:
How I obtained the book: Pre-ordered for $14.44 from Walmart using a gift card I got for my birthday
My non-spoiler commentary:
- I had been really pissed off when the author announced "Wolf Pact" would only be an eBook in the USA, but then I decided that was ok once I got a print copy sent to me from the UK. Now I'm pissed about the entire situation again. There were many fans angry because they either don't have an eReader or are purists who only want to read "real" print books or fit in both categories, like me. The author told all the angry fans that it wasn't important to read "Wolf Pact" in order to understand "Gates of Paradise." I TOTALLY disagree. "Gates" only briefly explained Bliss' journey to gather the hellhounds. Without reading "Wolf Pact," I don't think fans will fully grasp that side of the storyline. I've read several bad reviews for "Gates," and those people seem to be the ones who either don't like Bliss or didn't read "Wolf Pact" or both.
- I'm fairly happy with this book and how the series ended. I'm not sure I could've came up with a better way to end it. I am sad that the series is over, but I'm really glad to finally have closure on a lot of the various storylines.
- I'm glad to finally how exactly Gabrielle (Schuyler's mom) had a child with Lucifer. That had been mentioned since I think the third book, but it was never explained. During the 1400s, Gabrielle's reincarnation had been tricked and was confused as to who her "mate" was. She ended up believing that a man who was actually Lucifer was Michael. She slept with Lucifer once and ended up pregnant. Michael made her forget the pregnancy and the baby. The baby ended up being Bliss. It's a relief that the author took the time to finally tell the story of Gabrielle and Lucifer's hookup so I could understand Bliss' existence.
- Bliss becoming one of the wolf pack and becoming a wolf herself was a little odd, but because I had read "Wolf Pact," I understood why that was. It had to do with the side of her that came from Lucifer. I sort of feel sorry for Bliss overall. She started her life thinking she was just human, then found out that she was a vampire/fallen angel, then found out that she was Lucifer's daughter and his spirit was living within her body, then she killed the part of her that Lucifer was in and became a human, and then ended up as a wolf. She had the biggest transformation of all in the series... obviously. I think she has the most intellectual/emotional strength of anyone else in the series.
- Mimi and Jack have to pretend to be on Lucifer's side in order to take them down. They were pretty much caught. It makes sense that no one would trust them because, well, they shouldn't have been trust. Mimi faced off with Kingsley more than once, and she was supposed to kill him, when she was still in love with him. After the defeat of Lucifer, Mimi and Kingsley get "bonded." I expected them to get married, but they did the bonding in hell and were going to rule hell together. That I did not expect.
- Jack was supposed to kill Schuyler and was fairly convincing that he had went back to his evil ways. He even drank blood from her in the last minutes before Lucifer was attacked, but it was what had to be done to open the gate to Heaven. Jack was killed.... or at least it appeared that he died. Schuyler finds him a few years later when she goes off to college. After he died, Heaven gave him a chance to come back to earth and live out his life or stay in Heaven. He chose earth and Schuyler, but it took a long time for him to find her.
- Schuyler discovered that her human father had another fully human daughter. The father was dead, but Schuyler was able to meet her grandmother and her half-sister. Oliver instantly falls for the sister. After the great battle, Oliver asks Heaven to turn him into a vampire and he ends up together with Schuyler's sister. I don't quite understand why he'd choose to become a vampire.
- Michael and Gabrielle returned to Heaven as angels, along with many of the other vampires. Some vampires chose to stay on earth to live out their immortal lives. After Lucifer was defeated and the gate to Heaven was opened, Schuyler was able to meet the spirit of her father, which was bittersweet.
- There was some confusion in the end because the legend said that Schuyler would lead the fallen angels through the Gate to Paradise through the blood of her father. Somehow it ended up that it meant that Michael's blood (and sword) was what she needed, not her actual father. What the hell was up with that? That's the one thing I'm really confused on.
- "You look beautiful and tragic, just the way a heroine should on the eve of battle. Like Joan of Arc in her silver armor." ~ Oliver to Schuyler
- "Divorce lawyers had nothing on Lucifer." ~ Mimi
- "Mimi and Jack were only just friends now, with a deep and abiding affection between them. They would always share their past, but their future together was unknown. She still loved him, she would always love him, but it was the kind of love that was muted, safely seen through the rearview window, like a place you used to call home but no longer visited. There would always be a wound there, but the healing had begun."
- "You only live once." ~ Oliver
"Not if you're a vampire." ~ Schuyler
"Point taken." ~ Oliver
- "The difficulty with being Abbadon and Azrael was that it was easier to do things well than to do them poorly." ~ Mimi
- "The work of the Dark Angels was never done." ~ Mimi
- "Schuyler Van Alen should never have been allowed to live Her life is a mockery of our glory. She is her mother's greatest mistake, and will prove to b her deepest sorrow. I will enjoy draining her life's blood and subsuming her spirit." ~ Lucifer
"What a hypocrite, Mimi thought. To call Schuyler an Abomination when you yourself unleashed the half-demon Nephilim into our world. Silver Bloods mating with human women to create a half-mad race of demon children. And good luck with that plan to kill Gabrielle's daughter. I'll believe it when I see it. Schuyler Van Alen is nothing if not hard to get rid of."
- "Evil was seductive and easy, and virtue was difficult and unappreciated." ~ Mimi
- "Love never failed to get people in trouble." ~ Mimi
- "You don't know anything about me, Schuyler, you never have. You've never understood what it means to be one of the Fallen." ~ Jack
- "Appearances can be deceiving. You of all people should know that." ~ Kingsley to Mimi
- "By falling in love with (Jack) she had doomed him. But even so, she could not regret their love." ~ Schuyler
- "You were corrupted by your love. By giving in to your love, you let evil flourish in our world." ~ Gabrielle to Michael
- "(Bliss) had been looking for a real home all her life, and finally discovered that home was in Lawson's arms."
Buy on Amazon.com: Gates of Paradise (A Blue Bloods Novel)