Why do I like this book and for that matter this series? I can’t explain it. It’s against all sense and reason. It’s sort of like my feelings for Shakespeare’s character Falstaff. He’s a real rogue, an old dirty letch… fat and sweaty always up to some kind of scheme to make a fast buck. Yet I can’t help loving the bastard. It’s crazy.
This book is the same… lousy title, over the top and unnecessary melodrama, some cringeworthy scenes, and cheesy illustrations. Yet after finishing the three stories that make up this tiny book, I had a traitorous half-grin on my face. What a bitch.
If de la Cruz edited out some of that superfluous drama, these stories could have easily been included in the series proper or at least have been present in her Keys to the Repository file guide. The first story details how Oliver was able to move on from the “loss” of Schuyler. It’s also a vehicle to promote her new adult series, Witches of East End. It certainly has more of that adult novel feel to it, but I don’t know… in this case I think a more subtle approach to the writing would have said more and have felt less trashy. The initial descriptions of Oliver’s spiral into depression were quite good, since there’s some depth in regards to the writing. But after that, the writing loses momentum, focusing on unnecessary details that left strange images in my mind's eye. As is, it does offer some explanations, but I think the story could have been handled much better.
The second story details how Schuyler’s parents met. This story is actually the weakest of the three, leaving you with more questions that haven’t yet been answered. Also, de la Cruz’s portrayal of Allegra is crappy. She’s just a blonde Barbie doll, with no real substance, only considering her own needs. She reminds me of Bliss, but I think Allegra’s worse. I find this strange, since Allegra’s voice here doesn’t really match the voice of Tomasia—Allegra’s former self in a previous lifecycle (described in book five). Tomasia seemed to have more substance. I guess after the events in Florence, which supposedly lead to Bliss’s birth, Allegra’s character and soul regressed to a shallow mindless girl. ;) And Charles, her twin, is a true emotional mess. What a whiny puppy! Though I did foresee something like this when de la Cruz changed her story in Keys
, i.e. making Charles Allegra’s twin, instead of the older brother that was initially described in the early books of the series. The descriptions of Ben, Sky’s father, are rather strange, though it does seem to support my theory about his true identity—which I formed after reading book five. If you’re looking for answers from this story, don’t expect them here.
The third story is the promised Jack and Schuyler bonding ceremony. Truly, if de la Cruz edited out all of the action sequences, which essentially makes the story feel like a cheap action flick, it could’ve easily been included in Misguided Angel. I understand why she includes these sequences—due to the final reveal at the end—but for me it just kills the story. The illustrations—which only appear here—are fine, but when I first noticed them in my initial flip through, I just cringed... more unnecessary details. Do I really understand how this bonding was possible given the vampire mythology de la Cruz provides? Not really, it’s still a muddle in my mind. Yet, hell, I found myself loving that sappy conclusion. Reason says stop right here, no more, but somehow I just can’t. I guess this means I’ll be tuning in to the next book in the series whenever it arrives.