Wednesday, May 25, 2011

[Review]The Dark Divine by Bree Despain

Title: The Dark Divine {goodreads}
Author: Bree Despain
Publication: 01 September 2010
Publisher: Hardie Grant Egmont
Source: Publisher for review
Age: 14+
Pages: 360
My Rating:

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.
My thoughts: 

Really, not what I expected. I'm not even sure I thought I was going to like this book but I was willing to give it a try. What I found was a thrilling book that revolves itself on an unforsaken romance and an ancient, dangerous, paranormal curse. The other-creaturely phenomenon seemed to me dealt with in a unique manner. There is a strong typical paranormal romance YA-type, romance - you all know the story. But I guess in the case of The Dark Divine, these aspects weren't the only thing explored in this book.

There is a strong religious background to this book which brought on an entirely new dimension to this certain paranormal creature. I found that perhaps it had the potential to turn me away from this book, but if anything, it set itself that little bit apart from all the others I've read so far (which isn't much).

It was a bit difficult to get into at the beginning, part of which was due to my studies and all that jazz. And just being too tired at the end of the day to read more than one sub-chapter before passing out. Sure, by the end I was buzzing with excitement, and I can say that, for me, Despain is one of the first authors to have been able to get an action-y scene exactly right. It had the pacing part down so well that I never had to re-read a sentence twice, a quality that really breaks that adrenaline-rushing flow that action scenes need to thrive.

The plot seemed okay enough. Perhaps though, just a bit too typical for a paranormal. A bad boy with a troubled past comes back after strange events happen, and once again, those strange events are reoccurring. It's been done before. But entertaining nonetheless.

Thinking about characters and character development, well. As the events in The Dark Divine unfold, new and different and scary new sides of each person begin to surface. What I do like about the characters in The Dark Divine is that all of the "main characters" are those that have been in Grace's (the protagonist) life for ever. Maybe I've been reading the wrong paranormals, but this is the first time where Grace doesn't just randomly meet this guy at a pub or in detention. Grace's world has always been of safety and benevolence. She's always been the good girl, daughter of the Local Pastor. And despite all that, Grace remains naive, but not annoyingly so. As in, she would have her doubts as to the intentions of those around her, and her thoughts seemed pretty much in line with an average teenage girl.

The relationship between Grace and Daniel is perhaps an improvement on some other paranormal romances I've been exposed to. It's hard to explain much further as any way I go about it might be a bit spoiler-y. I guess I was surprised that I found myself liking the relationship.

Some complaints of mine, however, include that sometimes Grace would seem so dumb and clueless. I would have already figured out what was happening pages before she would even come to a connection between two things. Also, I really need to emphasise that it is slow at places.

The Dark Divine is an example of the quintessential paranormal YA. Fans of paranormal YA will revel in this book, as it contains all that any person looking for a paranormal might ask for. For anyone wondering, the cover? It actually has some (but not much at all) relevance in the book! The angle taken on this particular paranormal creature was simply divine.
Come back tomorrow for my "The Lost Saint" review!
(There will probably be many spoilers, so keep that in mind.)


First Lines

"Blood fills my mouth. Fire sears my veins. I choke back a howl. The silver knife slips--the choice is mine.
I am death or life. I am salvation or destruction.
     Angel or demon.
I am Grace.
I plunge in the knife.
This is my sacrifice--
I am the monster."


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I have received this review copy in return for an honest review.

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