Book Review: The Vampires of Manhattan by Melissa de la Cruz

Vampires of ManhattanThe Vampires of Manhattan by Melissa de la Cruz

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Series: Book 1 of The Vampires of Manhattan

Publisher: Hyperion (September 9, 2014)

Author Information: Website | Twitter

Mogsy’s Rating: 4 of 5 stars

I accepted The Vampires of Manhattan for review before I found out the book was actually the first of a sequel series to Melissa de la Cruz’s Young Adult Blue Bloods; fortunately, not having read those books did not seem to have a negative impact on my experience. Of course, there were a few moments where I sensed gaping holes in my knowledge of the background of the world, but on the whole my enjoyment of the storyline was unaffected. So if you’re unfamiliar with Blue Bloods and are uncertain as to whether or not you should check out this book, fear not! It’s perfectly fine to jump right in.

This might have something to do with the amount of time that has passed since the Blue Bloods series. Apparently, ten years have gone by, and the teenage protagonists are now all grown up, and while Blue Bloods may have been intended audience, The Vampires of Manhattan definitely feels more geared towards adults. Many of the characters have brand new lives, including Araminta Scott (formerly “Minty” but now known as “Ara”) who is now a Venator, an enforcer of sorts, specializing in paranormal activities and crimes. Mimi and Kingsley Martin, a married couple whose history is fraught with intense emotions have returned to New York following a particularly heated fight, after seven years of living in the Underworld. Oliver Hazard-Perry is now a vampire and has risen quickly in the Coven, preparing to take his place as its leader. With the help of his lover and human conduit Finn, they’re making sure the upcoming Four Hundred Ball will go off without a hitch.

But then pentagrams start appearing all over the place, and the discovery of a dead teenage girl who appears to have been murdered by a vampire leads to unease in the community, putting the Blue Bloods and Venators on alert.

The Vampires of Manhattan is touted as “hipster horror” right there in the description, though after reading it I think it’s more accurate to call it “yuppie mystery” on account of the ultra-sophisticated, extremely wealthy lifestyles that some of the characters flaunt. The Four Hundred Ball is the lavish, no-expense-spared affair that is at the center of this novel, the point where all the plot threads will culminate in a startling, dramatic climax. However, the story is also balanced with an investigation into a murder, with Ara and her new wolfish partner Edon Marrok hard at work to find the killer.

Told through many points-of-view, the novel will capture your attention no matter who you are, though if you have an inclination towards mystery like I do, then Ara’s perspective will probably interest you the most. I liked it best when she and Edon were following up on clues, especially when the investigation leads them to the hoity-toity prep schools of the city. Oliver’s perspective provides us with a glimpse into the life of a high-powered elite. And those who enjoy the ups-and-downs of a tumultuous romance will eat up Mimi and Kingsley’s chapters.

The plot itself is not terribly complicated, but that probably works in the novel’s favor. Being a follow-up series that will likely serve as a jumping-on point for a lot of new readers, a twisty, heavy and convoluted story would not have gone over too well with me, personally. I thought the book was pretty perfect in its simplicity, and at the same time I also grew to connect with many of the characters who I had previously no knowledge about, which is a rather impressive feat for an author. I imagine those who have read Blue Bloods will be even more thrilled to catch up with these characters.

I’m glad I discovered this urban fantasy, which was a fast read and thoroughly entertaining for the genre. Despite not knowing a lot of the background behind the vampires, it worked for me – and feeling lost when it comes to a book’s world usually drives me nuts. It’s my first book by Melissa de la Cruz, and this has actually made me very interested in going back to check out Blue Bloods, or her other YA work. I would expect that readers who are already fans of Blue Bloods to enjoy this, but I was certainly a bit surprised — but in a good way — that I did too.

31a55-new4stars

A review copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. My thanks to Hyperion Books!

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22 Comments on “Book Review: The Vampires of Manhattan by Melissa de la Cruz

  1. I know a lot of people who love Blue Bloods, and in fact I bought myself a copy a while ago, intending to read it at somepoint. And I got a copy of this at Comic Con, and definitely want to find time to try it. I’ll be curious to see what you think of Blue Bloods as well!

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    • I feel like the only person in the blogosphere who hadn’t even heard of Blue Bloods before I got this book! Of course, now I’m intrigued to read it.

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    • Some YA are like that, they don’t stay with me for that long but I still have a great experience while reading them at the time. I hope that was the case with you!

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  2. Glad you enjoyed this. I was waiting for your review – I’ve not read the previous series by this author so was curious to see how it would work out and I do quite like the look of this one.
    Thanks for the review.
    Lynn 😀

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    • No worries, and yes, no need to read the previous Blue Bloods series to understand this one, though now my interest is piqued to pick those books up!

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    • Yeah, I didn’t really get much of the “hipster” feel, a lot of them just seem like uber rich decadent people who love nice things…not sure that really counts as a hipster 😛

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  3. One of my blogger peeps DNF’d this one, but she was listening to the audio, so that can sometimes make a huge difference. That point aside, I’m glad that you didn’t feel lost, and I’ve always wanted to give Melissa de la Cruz’s writing a try, but I’m not big on YA, so this latest title is perfect for me!

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    • I’m not huge on YA either, it’s maybe about 10-15% of my reading, but I enjoyed this enough that I actually want to check out Blue Bloods. I also have another of her YA books on hand, The Ring and the Crown that I’ve wanted to read.

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  4. Never even heard of the book this is sequel series to. But YA vampire tale wouldn’t be my thing unless it was shockingly good. Not sure how YA characters grown up would work, not sure I have seen it done before.

    Except maybe ‘Girl Meets World,’ but I have not actually caught it on TV.

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    • YAY, so I wasn’t the only one who hadn’t heard of Blue Bloods before I got this! You bring up a good point though, it’s not often we see authors who write a spin-off or continuation series for a whole different age group than the original series.

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  5. Oh it’s nice and now you can try hr other series as well! I heard a lot about this author but the reviews were different so I don’t know but maybe this one if it’s ok to start with it. thank you!

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    • It’s okay to start with. I think you’d get a lot more info out of the world and characters if you start with Blue Bloods if you think you’ll be in it for the long haul, but for a jumping on point, this will do just fine.

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  6. OMG Mimi and Kingsley got MARRIED?! Maybe I should’ve kept reading the Blue Bloods series after all, haha. 😉 I know how much you love a character-driven novel (don’t we all?) so I’m glad this lived up to your expectations on that front!

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  7. Uhm, I have never heard of this series or of the author but maybe I should check out this book. It’s high time for me to start reading Vampire books again. The last one that I’ve read was last year

    And wow, the author did something right because you still found yourself enjoying this one despite not knowing the back story of the vampires. And hey, I didn’t know that there’s actually hipster-horror and yuppie-mystery. These are new words for me today!

    Great review, Mogsy!

    Like

    • Hipster-horror was a buzz term that I hadn’t heard of either and don’t even know if it truly applies here. As far as I know, it’s not even a “thing” maybe just used for the blurb for this book.

      And if you want a vampire book, have you started with Generation V yet? 😉 Definitely do that one first! 😀

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  8. I’m really glad you liked this, Mogsy. I was interested since I’d read one or two of the older series and wondered how this would be. It’s interesting to have an adult book and I’m glad it’s not really hipster horror! I’ve put it on reserve at the library.

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  9. Pingback: Vampires of Manhattan: The New Blue Bloods Coven - Melissa de la Cruz - 125 Pages

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