Monday, December 28, 2009
Review: The Dark Divine by Bree Despain
Rating: 3 out of 5
Pastor’s daughter Grace Divine knows that something is not right with the reappearance of Daniel Kalbi, her older brother Jude’s old best friend and almost-brother, who disappeared one night several years ago—the same night Jude came home covered in his own blood. But she doesn’t expect how embroiled in the affairs she ends up being when she falls in love with Daniel, who possesses a powerful and dark secret.
As Grace struggles to live up to her name and help Daniel love himself, she also deals with Jude’s increasingly disturbing behavior towards her and Daniel, and she must decide where she stands after learning Daniel’s devastating secret. Grace may hold the power to save or destroy Daniel’s soul in her hands—now she must decide how much she is willing to sacrifice for him.
THE DARK DIVINE is an interesting but ultimately underwhelming read that will still be eagerly embraced by paranormal romance fans of Twilight, Shiver, and other similar books.
The best thing about THE DARK DIVINE was the way it rewrote the typical werewolf story and infused it with history, magic, religion, and the balance of good and evil. It gave depth to Daniel’s werewolf character. I’m not a big werewolf girl, nor am I religious, but I enjoyed the way the two unexpectedly intertwined and enhanced one another in this book.
Unfortunately, the characters were for me rather difficult to connect with, as most of them felt like types I’ve read many times before. Grace was an extremely passive protagonist who elicited little sympathy from me. The tension between Grace’s parents often felt forced and unexplained. Daniel started out as stereotypical, but as the plot finally built and his background was finally revealed, he turned into a much more believable character.
As for the romance, it felt like one that I’ve read many times before: good girls feels undeniable attraction with bad boy, who acts like a jerk initially but actually reciprocates the feelings, and True Love Ends Happily Ever After. The familiarity of the course of the romance was unimpressive and rather disappointing to me.
The plot was rather infuriatingly slow, which may put off more impatient readers, but it does eventually build into an exciting paranormal world with an action-packed, heart-stopping ending. It does take an inventive writer to pull off what Bree Despain has as the ending, and I found it believable, heart-stopping, and satisfying. Overall, THE DARK DIVINE was perhaps not the book for me, but fans of Twilight-esque true love paranormal romances will find it a great addition to the genre.
Maggie Stiefvater (Shiver)
Overall Rating: 3 out of 5
Cover discussion: 3.5 out of 5 - Not sure what this has to do with the story at all (are those Grace's super-pale-and-skinny legs or something?) but it's still really pretty and attractive.
EgmontUSA / Dec. 22, 2009 / Hardcover / $17.99
Sent for review from EgmontUSA/Random House.