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This series seems to alternate between awesome books and not so awesome books. So since Bloody Valentine, the Blue Bloods novella proceeding this book, was frickin' awesome, that would make this book not so awesome.
There are three main plot threads in this novel, one with Jack and Schuyler, one with Mimi, Oliver and Kingsley, and one with Allegra, Steven and Charles. The three plot strands are explored in alternate chapters as it does in the other novels but it particularly bothered me in this one for some reason. I felt that the chapters were too short and I didn't have enough time to get into them before we were thrust into another story. Sure, there was a cliff hanger on the end of all the chapters which kept you reading, but given the change of scenery and a few new concepts to get to grasps with, I was just confused.
Jack and Schuyler are in Egypt where they believe the real Gate of Promise is but of course there are still a hundred thousand obstacles between them and their goal. If I'm perfectly honest, I don't remember Jack and Schuyler's thread all that much despite the fact that I finished this novel just this morning. At the beginning of this series, this pair was the thing I always most excited to read about, but as time has gone on, it has become my least favourite. I feel like the spark and excitement in reading about their relationship has completely died and their story just isn't as interested as it used to be. This is probably because their story line is one that started right back in book one whereas some of the others are new and refreshing to read about. The other thing that I've come to realise is that I believe Schuyler is actually younger than me and she's already found a boy who she's irrevocably in love with, who she'd die for, yada yada yada. It just seems a bit unrealistic to me. Not that any of the other young adult books I read are particularly realistic either, but this pair actually act like an old married couple, probably because they are actually married - which is also kind of creepy.
The other two plot strands are far more interesting. Mimi and Oliver have travelled to the Underworld to try and rescue Kingsley Martin, Mimi's new love interest. The problem is that things are quite as they expected. After their long and perilous journey to find Kingsley, they find that he is not tortured or unhappy, but he seems to be pretty content and not all that bothered about Mimi's appearance in the Underworld. This section fluctuated between mediocre and really, really awesome. The bit that was really really awesome was a romantic scene between Kingsley and Mimi that actually made me cry (yes, real tears). My opinion of Mimi was shifting between love and hate constantly throughout this novel but in the end I decided that I love her character. She may seem really bitchy but deep down she has got a heart and she's really loyal and even though sometimes her decisions make you want to hate her, she does do the right thing in the end.
The third plot strand was a flackback from Allegra and Bendix's (or Steven's) past. It's been several years since Allegra left him at Edicott Academy and she's resigned herself to loving and bonding with her brother Charles (creepy, right?), but everything changes when she bumps into Bendix at an art gallery. The story of Allegra's past has consistently been my favourite part of this series and this was no exception. It's really interesting to read about her past life as it makes some of the events in the present a little clearer, especially since lots of the older characters in the present are featured in Allegra's past. This part of the story is also really romantic, though I would argue not quite as romantic as Mimi and Kingsley's. This particular part of their history isn't as exciting as it has been in past books but it's really interesting nevertheless.
At the end of the novel, two of the plot strands come together and there's a pretty climatic finale. I'm excited to read Gates of Paradise, the last book in this series, and I'm really, really hoping that it's good. Hopefully all the plot strands from the previous books will all come together in this book and be resolved but I'm trying not to get my hopes up just in case it's a disappointment.
I feel like this series has been dragging on for so darn long, I kind of just want it to end. Don't get me wrong, some bits are brilliant, but the basic plot line hasn't changed all the much and the same story has been carried through six (eight, if you include the novellas) and it still hasn't been resolved. This book is definitely worth a read for the Mimi/Kingsley and Allegra/Bendix parts, but in my opinion, Jack and Schuyler's part of the story is a massive let down.