Saturday, July 2, 2011

Review: The Dark Divine by Bree Despain

"A Prodigal Son

A Dangerous Love

A Deadly Secret

Grace 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 attraction to him and her loyalty to her brother.

As Grace gets closer to Daniel, she learns the truth about that mysterious night and how to save the ones she loves, but it might cost her the one thing she cherishes most: her soul."
Copyright ©EgmontUSA-2010

Book  #1 for my Werewolf/Shapshifter Challenge for 2011!

Honest to god, I didn't know what to expect when coming into The Dark Divine.

This book features a whole new experience into the whole YA genre. It features elements of suspense, religion, mythology, paranormal-ness, and contemporary rolled up into one plot. All I knew, when I picked it up from my local library was thatThe Dark Divine was a paranormal love story. That's it.

Anyway, the story revolves around Grace Divine- the town pastors daughter, the one who wouldn't do anything wrong, and like her name she is offers "heavenly help, guidance, or mercy." Grace is highly scrutinized among her peers in her small town, especially when bad-boy Daniel Kalbi returns. Daniel's return offers a little bit of an alarm to the Divine family, because of his troubling past and what he did to Grace's brother, Jude. The Divine family offered loyalty, respect, and dignity to Daniel due to his family situation however, Daniel had an urge to stop being in control. There was a long wait in the book to figure out who was Daniel Kalbi? Grace's childhood friend was back, and she wanted to help him- hell, that was what her name meant wasn't it? Well, coming closer and closer to Daniel meant she was growing farther and farther from her family. Plus, she was growing closer to finding out Daniel's secret: he is a werewolf hybrid. His mother was full human and his father and alpha wolf: dominating, uncontrolling, and the one responsible for those illusive deaths in Markham Street. The Kalbi family has been traced by generations and generations (even before the written alphabet) into serving god and being "The Hounds of Heaven." However, Daniel was not being truthful and it turns out because the werewolf race (YES, created by God himself)believed that they were more worthy than God and therefore, the demon unleashed in them. Thus, Daniel has to wear a moonstone pendant to keep his bloodthirsty werewolf side from coming out. After knowing Daniel's secret, she figures out that her family was not so D-vine after all. Both her brother and father knew this about Daniel and Grace couldn't believe how much her father, the pastor, put so much extensive work into curing the wild side of Daniel Kalbi. Grace's father leaves the work of curing Daniel up to her, but she has to figure out what she wants for herself. To be with passion, gut-thrashing Daniel or jockey hometown boy Pete? She puts her relationship on hold with Daniel, but she knew that she was always going to want to be back with Daniel--even though the only way to cure him was to put a silver knife through his heart and die.

Honest to god, I loved this story. I thought that it was very slow in the first third of the book and I didn't know where Despain was going with her story. I also, thought that the story was a little bit confusing since she threw so many elements in the story. I was either confused or bored in some of the arts where Despain was describing the mythology thing. However, I really thought that Despain put real thought into the emotions that flowed from character to character. She didn't put a fluffy uncomplicated love story like Jacob and Bella from Twilight; what she did was show the struggle between Grace and Daniel and showed what depths some people go through being with one another. Through Grace's bossiness, Daniel's solemness, Jude's empathy/anger, and Pastor Divine's soul we see each character's individuality at it's fullest. Her writing showed beautiful intrigue and mystery that made this one a page turner for sure. I honestly, enjoyed this story's originality and whirlwind emotions that I felt when reading the story. Even if I was confused at some parts... 

Four out of Five Stars.

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