Monday, June 7, 2010

The Dark Divine by Bree Despain

"blood fills my mouth. fire sears my veins."

The Dark Divine By Bree Despain
372 pages (Hardcover)
Published: December 22, 2009
Publisher: EgmontUSA
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Young Adult
Series: There is a planned sequel.
Goodreads Rating: 4.01/5
Amazon Rating: 4.5/5
Shelfari Rating: 4/5

A prodigal son

A dangerous love

A deadly secret . . .

I stood back and watched his movements. Daniel had that way about him that could shut me down in an instant. . . . I kicked the gravel a couple of times and worked up my courage again. “Tell me . . . I mean . . . why did you come back? Why now, after all this time?”

Grace Divine, daughter of the local pastor, always knew something terrible happened the night Daniel Kalbi disappeared—the night she found her brother Jude collapsed on the porch, covered in blood. But she has no idea what a truly monstrous secret that night really held. And when Daniel returns three years later, Grace can no longer deny her attraction to him, despite promising Jude she’ll stay away.

As Grace gets closer to Daniel, her actions stir the ancient evil Daniel unleashed that horrific night. Grace must discover the truth behind Jude and Daniel's dark secret . . . and the cure that can save the ones she loves. But she may have to lay down the ultimate sacrifice to do it—her soul. - from

I want to say I was let down by this book, but honestly I wasn't. I couldn't expect much. Ever since the whole boom in the YA paranormal romance genre, I haven't been impressed by many of them. That doesn't mean there aren't exceptions, just very few of them. But I keep picking them up and reading them. I want to like them. I really do. Paranormal romance, sounds so good it can't be wrong. I wanted to like the Dark Divine, too. In a way, I did like the book. I just didn't love it, which is what I really wanted. Its what everyone wants when they pick up a book, right?

Grace Divine and her family have never been the same since the night Grace's brother came home, covered in his own blood. Grace never knew what happened, and her family chooses to act like the whole thing is nothing. Grace's father is a local pastor. The whole town looks to the Divines to set an example. A Divine boy drenched in blood would not look good. The Divines also believe in caring for everyone, which means helping the less fortunate. One of these less fortunates was the Divine's neighbor boy, Daniel, a boy with a rocky home. He disappeared the same night of the 'incident'. Grace knows the two events are related. When Daniel shows up again, she is determined to get answers and maybe finally figure out her feelings for this troubled boy.

Let's start with the positives. I adore the cover and the name of the novel. Both are truly excellent. Actually, a small part of me probably picked up the book for the cover. I know, never judge a book by its cover. But if it drives you to read the book, why not. Another good element was the whole mystery surrounding Grace's brother, Jude, and Daniel. What happened that night when Grace found her brother covered in his own blood? Its a shocking enough occurence, and not just one a family can hush up and make disappear. Anyone would want answers, and I can't believe Grace let the whole thing drop that easily. The mystery kept me turning the pages, and when I finally found the answer there were even more mysteries that kept me intrigued. I wanted to know how the whole thing would end. That said, Daniel's 'monster' form was totally predictable. I think I guessed it in the first chapter.

While the plot was enjoyable, the characters weren't. They were typical and boring. Grace is the pastor's good little girl, tries not swear, keeps up her image, doesn't keep secrets. As much as we were told she was good by everyone, I never really believed she was all that great. She was just a normal girl who kept having to tell herself she was this angel because her father was the pastor. It was a classic case of showing vs. telling, and the telling won out. To balance her goodness, we had Daniel, the classic bad boy. Broken home, has done drugs, has probably had sex (Oh no!). The romance felt a little like Grease, with these contrasting people so in love but keep trying to change each other. I don't buy into their being in love either. I can believe they were physically attracted to each other, but lust isn't love. Love was far-fetched. I understand that certain plot elements wouldn't have worked if they weren't in love, but the romance could have felt less stiff.

I will probably pick up the sequel, just because I think the story can really be something now. Grace may finally be able to stop being a good girl and actually confront some issues, which may make for some good drama. I'm not saying the sequel is one of my most anticipated, but I think it will be worth reading.

Rating: 6 out of 10. While I have the feeling that The Dark Divine is just another drop in the stream of YA paranormal romance that came from the waterfall that is Twilight, I feel bad comparing every YA PNR to Twilight. It's just not fair! So I would recommend Dark Divine, especially if you like boys with a tendency to give a little spook to your swoon. There isn't too much depth inside the book, but it is an entertaining read.

Source for copy: Borrowed.

Other Reviews: Story Siren/Opinionated Me.

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