Thursday, September 23, 2010

Book Review: The Dark Divine by Bree Despain

The Dark Divine by Bree Despain

Reading Level: Young adult
Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: EgmontUSA
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1606840576
ISBN-13: 978-1606840573
Series: The Dark Divine #1
Source: Bought from Books-A-Million
Cover: This cover is absolutely beautiful in it's simplicity and represents this novel fantastically. The legs look so vulnerable and represent innocence really well which completely speaks to the MC Grace. I love the use of black with the shocking white of the legs and the floaty purple fabric. This is breathtaking!
First Sentence: "Blood fills my mouth."

The Mini-review: A fast paced, exciting read with a unique take on werewolves and what it means to have faith.

Grave Divine--daughter of the local pastor--always knew something terrible happened the night Daniel Kalbi disappeared and her brother Jude came home covered in his own blood.
Now that Daniel's returned, Grace must choose between her growing attaction to him and her loyalty to her brother.
As Grace gets closer to Daniel, she learns the truth about that mysterious night and hos to save the ones she loves, but it might cost her the one thing she cherishes most: her soul.


I was apprehensive about this book because of the religious tones. I'm not overly religious and I was afraid this book would get preachy. I was pleasantly surprised that it didn't. The plot was fast paced and exciting, the characters were intriguing, the romance was engrossing and sweet and the writing was crisp and clear.

I don't often really take the time to think about the plot in novels but this one was so good that I need to mention it. I had no idea where it was going or how the characters were going to dig themselves out of the holes they kept falling into. It was a mixture between a who-dun-it and a guess which creature we are dealing with. I had the creature down from the beginning, though it was a different take on werewolves that I enjoyed thoroughly but I had no idea who was behind all the odd things that were going on.

One of the main reasons I was unable to guess who was causing all the trouble was because Despain does an amazing job crafting a clever male lead. Daniel is smart, he's a smart ass, he's artistic, infuriating and unavoidable. I wanted to to stick near him to hear the next thing that came out of his mouth. But what made him all the better was he wasn't "good". I won't ruin too much, but he has a past that directly links to Grace and her family and he openly (well, when Grace finally gets around to asking him) admits to what he did. He knows he can't control what's happening to him and he doesn't hide that fact. I was pretty sure he wasn't causing all of the strange things but I liked that I could see him doing these things. There was strong evidence pointing towards him besides the usually, he's "the new guy in town" so it must be him. I really appreciated that.

Grace played a lovely light note to Daniel's dark one. She was pretty sheltered in her home life, obedient to her parents, loyal to her brother and not a trouble maker. But she had a personality. She was also bossy, she loved painting, she was intensely loyal to what she believed was right and above all else, she usually searched for proof instead of saying "uh. well, it looks like this so it must be". I really loved that for as innocent as she was, she wasn't afraid to follow her gut. A lot of times, I have a hard time seeing MC's personality come through in these novels but Grace did not fail me.

Grace's family got a little annoying to me. I'm not a parent but if I were, I wouldn't be one that sheltered their kids from the world and Grace's parents (particularly Mom) came off that way to me. That annoyed me to no end, especially since I wanted to be experiencing things with Grace and Mom ALWAYS got in the way of that. I think this means that Despain did a good job. The parents were meant to be annoying (or at least I think so) and they were!

Another thing I really loved was Grace and Daniel's blossoming romance. I'm always more fond of stories were the boy and girl were either friends first or knew each other when they were little so since this romance followed a little bit of both categories it was made for me. I liked watching Daniel and Grace fall in love. The one complaint I have about this though is many times Grace calls Daniel her "brother" because Daniel lived with their family for a few years. Hearing that and then reading a romantic sentence right after made me feel uncomfortable. I know they weren't actually siblings but it was still a little weird.

I think what I might have liked the most about this story was the writing. Grace's voice was so clear and I turned the pages so quickly because the writing was easy to understand and gripping. Her voice flowed so nicely and there were some really wonderful descriptions.

I should also mention that Despain is a master at adding light and dark characters like shades in paintings. She fills out the white spaces with characters like Grace and Jude and shades in the shadow with Daniel and his bunch to make a beautiful picture.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I really liked the two main characters and wanted to see them together, the writing didn't feel corny and it didn't try to shove a message down my throat. The paranormal aspect was unique and the ending was surprising. I highly recommend it!


What did you think and who was the dark Divine?


  1. Great review! I liked this one too. I agree with you on the religious overtones. I shy away from books containing them. But I was glad it wasn't preachy as well. BTW...thanks for mentioning my blog last week in the Hop! I really appreciate it :) I've been swamped at work these last two weeks, so I've playing catch-up today. Have a great weekend!

  2. Just hopping by...

    Great review! I agree with you, it was so good, and I was a little hesitant to read it at first, but I'm glad I did!

    Bella - CheezyfeetBooks

  3. You make this sound so good!

    Also, how did I not know ANYTHING about this book except the cover? I had no idea it was about werewolves or religion. Umm, yeah. I totally do not research things before adding them to my to-read list.

    Overprotective parents are awful. Sigh.

  4. I can't wait to read this one.. I don't think I will ever get through my TBR pile!!! Great review.. I didn't know it was about Werewolves the cover is just so darn pretty!!

  5. Great review! I really enjoyed this novel as well and have managed to get my family to read it too. Yay for more book lovers!

  6. I've really enjoyed the first two books and am looking forward to getting my hands on a copy of the 3rd book. I agree it's a great book!

  7. This book definitely kicked off a great series. I am absolutely in love with the characters. Glad to hear you enjoyed it!

  8. This has been on my TBR for a little while now. I actually want to read this because of the faith in the books - I don't mind reading books with religious tones in them at all. In fact, I think sometimes I seek them out because I find them interesting.

    "I love the use of black with the shocking white of the legs and the floaty purple fabric." --> I like the way you mention this about the cover too, Amber. The covers of this series are really pretty and cohesive. I totally agree with the black and white standing out and shocking!

    Great review. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  9. I really enjoy Grace as well. I think you described her voice dead on. What I have read of this series I have loved and I can't wait to read more.

  10. Super interested in this! I actually haven't read a lot of werewolf books, as I'm just not really into them or the whole vampire thing...but that doesn't mean I won't give a werewolf book a try if it sounds fricking good! :)

  11. Thanks for this awesome review:)

    I agree with you, it's hard to put in a religious theme without putting some people off or sounding preachy. But if like you said Bree Despain managed to write a werewolf tale with a religious dimension that everyone can relate to without feeling alienated then she's really talented. It's great when authors also combine great characters with a wonderful plot like you said, and isn't it fun when you can't guess what's going on?

  12. Great review! I haven't read any of these books yet, but I've been wanting to get my hands on them. I think after reading your review, I'll have to bump them up on my TBR list!

  13. I have been contemplating reading this book for awhile now and your review just makes me want to read it even more. Thank you!

  14. This is one of series that I love. Daniel and Grace have this complicated romance and you don't know if they will really have it. Especially with all the complications involve. And the mystery! Bree really did a good job on that.

  15. I love it when a preconception turns around and the ending brings a surprise. Thank you so much for sharing your review today. I have been wanting to read this series and am looking forward to it :)

  16. This cover is so gorgeous! and the first sentence is so intriguing! This sounds like such a good book, and your review just makes me want to read it more!

  17. I haven't read this series yet, but I will definitely be on the loo out for it at the bookstore!
    And I agree with the romance being better if the character's actually knew each other for awhile before hand..and not just a product of infatuation.
    You make me REALLY want to read for the sake of knwoing Daniel...he sounds like a pretty swoon-worthy character!

    Thank you for the review!

    Lilian @ A Novel Toybox

    and yes, that cover is GORGEOUSSS

  18. Great review! This really is a fabulous series and I love what she's done with Grace so far. I can't wait to find out what happens in the future!

  19. Love Daniel! I read the first book, but am dying to read the rest of the series. I also took it into school and my 8th grade girls loved The Dark Divine:)

  20. thanks for the great review, sounds like there is a lot of mystery in this one!

  21. Glad to hear it's not preachy, I'm not overly religious either so it gets annoying if I feel as though I'm being preached to.
    You make this book sound so good!! I can't wait to read it so I can read about the unique take on the supernatural.


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