The Dark Divine by Bree Despain

#33 of 200

Original Language: English
Publisher: Egmont USA
Country: United States of America
Publication Date: December 22, 2009
ISBN: 9781606840573
Page Count: 372
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 his own blood, but she has no idea what a truly monstrous secret that night held.
The memories her family has tried to bury resurface when Daniel returns, three years later, and enrolls in Grace and Jude's high school.
Despite promising Jude she'll stay away, Grace cannot deny her attraction to Daniel's shocking artistic abilities, his way of getting her to look at the world from new angles, and the strange, hungry glint in his eyes.
The closer Grace gets to Daniel, the more she jeopardizes her life, as her actions stir resentment in Jude and drive him to embrace the ancient evil Daniel unleashed that horrific night.
Grace must discover the truth behind the boy'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.
The Dark Divine is the debut novel of Bree Despain, and the beginning of a new series of the same name. Grace Divine, daughter of the local Pastor, happily contributes to society while focusing on her art. She was living quite happily, especially when she is asked out by a cute Senior, until Daniel returns and shakes everything up.

The Dark Divine is a young adult novel that delves into family loyalties and tests the strengths of its characters. Grace has strong morals and is determined to help anyone who needs her. Unfortunately it is Daniel who needs her; the same Daniel whose name is not mentioned in the Divine household and who was like a brother to Grace's siblings. Grace's character begins as very concrete, determined to do well and live happily, unfortunately as the story continues her character loses stability. She becomes a fickle character, unsure of who or what she wants, and loses the familial bond that makes her so strong in the beginning.

Grace's family is very two-dimensional. Her Father, the Pastor, acts mysteriously, her older brother Jude, is the ultimate do-gooder gone wrong and her Mother and sister are just part of the background. Despain doesn't take the time to look at the Divine family, whom she repeatedly touts as the perfect nuclear family. The connections and loyalties of the Divine family are easily challenged and the conflicts are too choppy. The disappearance of Baby James is too sudden, and though it acts as a turning point in the narrative, it makes the family interaction too dramatic.

The Dark Divine is another paranormal novel for teenagers, and exists in the mainstream category of werewolves and vampires. Unfortunately, for Despain, this means that the Dark Divine cannot stand out. As a werewolf novel, DD is average. Good girl + Bad Boy = Supernatural Twilight Novel. Despain needs to make more of an effort to move away from Twilight syndrome and ease away from the unachievable (and unbelievably sexy) supernatural.

The Dark Divine is slow going, and at times the narrative is uneven, but it is a worthy read for anyone who enjoys a new take on the werewolf myth. Despain continues Grace's adventure in The Lost Saint.

Raiding Bookshelves Rating

Judging by the cover: The cover of the Dark Divine is a beautiful one that comes in two shades of purple. I particularly like the lighter one featured above, but the deep purple looks gorgeous as well. Against the black background, the pale legs and purple shroud give great contrast. 

Unfortunately, I have one huge bone to pick with the Dark Divine cover. Stock photo cover! It is the same image, in a different colour, to Kelley Armstrong's new No Humans Involved cover. It doesn't matter which comes first, any stock photo cover loses its appeal and loses its uniqueness. 


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