Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Review of The Dark Divine
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.
Rating: 5 out of 5 boxes
Target Audience: Fans of the paranormal and those who need a vampire break
High point: The plot and the characters
Low point: Too much foreshadowing
Reader maturity: 13+
I started The Dark Divine with more than a little apprehension. Everything I had read about the book said it was amazing, and it couldn't live up to the hype...could it? YES. It was fabulous.
Grace Divine, the preacher's daughter, manages to be a likeable good girl, avoiding the saccharine and cloying trap that so many straight-laced characters fall into, and she was also refreshingly normal, carrying her family baggage but not letting it weigh her down. Her reactions and questions are legitimate, and she handles the emerging chaos in her life in a reasonable manner.
And Daniel? He was the perfect prodigal son--flawed and torn but ready for redemption. During his heroic moments, he saves Grace without becoming untouchable. The relationship between Grace and Daniel was a refreshing change from the swooning heroine and her pedestal-bound savior. Grace has enough spunk and fire to stand up for herself and her beliefs, even as she tries to understand what those are. Jude was another brilliantly-developed character, another goody-goody who managed to still be likeable because of his sincerity, even as he makes his own life-changing decisions. The rest of the supporting cast was also really well developed, each character having their own traits and quirks but never overpowering the story, only contributing to it in small ways.
Some of the paranormal explanations fell strangely but were smoothed out satisfactorily just a chapter or two later. The only issue that I had while reading was the overabundance of foreshadowing and flashback teasers. There were so many and they went on so far into the novel, they distracted from the unfolding of the plot. Other than that, The Dark Divine was everything I had read about and more. I highly recommend it. Bree Despain created a heartfelt, passionate novel with an amazing array of depth and intrigue while still keeping the story pleasantly clean and suitable for younger YA readers.
Side note: I usually leave the cover commentary to others, but I have to say, the cover is beautiful. I love the tie-in to the abundance of purple in the novel.
Title: The Dark Divine
Author: Bree Despain
Genre: Teen Fiction Horror & Suspense
Book Source: Won from Amy Brecount White