The Dark Divine by Bree Despain

Title: The Dark Divine
Author: Bree Despain
Page Count: 384
Summary: 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.

Review: Let me just say, when I bought this book, I didn’t really know what it was about. I didn’t know that there’d be anything paranormal at all; I probably didn’t read a description about it. I’d just heard it was good. So when I started to get an inkling that this was a paranormal romance and not just a “Hey, I have a dark past,” type of thing, it kind of threw me off. The world that Grace lives in seems to normal to me. It doesn’t seem like a place where monsters could be running around out of Bible legends and such. It seems like the world I lived in.

I didn’t like how easily Grace accepted the fact that there were monsters running around. She just went on with her day. I think that that’s the reason I don’t read a lot of paranormal fiction; a lot of the time, the world created seemed too fantastical for someone who’s been conditioned to believe that there is no such thing as monsters or magic. Personally, if someone told me or showed me that things like that were real, I’d go a little insane. I wouldn’t be like, “Okay, so what do we do?” I think it’s just a personal preference, but sometimes things like this get a little too unbelievable for my taste.

That aside, I enjoyed The Dark Divine. I read it in two days and after the first hundred pages or so, it gets pretty fast-paced. Daniel was pretty steamy, but I didn’t get into his character as much as other reviews I’ve seen. Their romance was sweet and Grace was a very good character; she was afraid for her life at times, but willing to do anything for the boy she loved. There are inevitable comparisons to Twilight, of course, but I don’t feel like she was too passive or she purposely put herself in danger. She was understandably naive, because she was a pastor’s daughter, but I thought that her character was portrayed very well.

Overall, I did like The Dark Divine, but perhaps not as much as the other reviews I’ve seen on it. That seems to happen with me and popular fiction; I hear the hype and I want the book, but then when I read it, I’m kind of like, “Eh.” I think that exception to that rule is Graceling and I totally hated the prequel, so I don’t know. Maybe the hype ruins it for me.

Rating: 4/5 stars

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