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Saturday, December 18, 2010

Book Review: The Lost Saint by Bree Despain

THE LOST SAINT (A DARK DIVINE NOVEL)

Reading level:
Young Adult
Hardcover:
416 pages
Publisher:
EgmontUSA (December 28, 2010)
Language:
English
Purchase: Amazon | Indiebound | Barnes & Noble
Prologue here
Chapter One here 

A family destroyed. A love threatened. An enemy returns.

Grace Divine made the ultimate sacrifice to cure Daniel Kalbi. She was infected with the werewolf curse while trying to save him, and lost her beloved brother in the process. When Grace receives a haunting phone call from Jude, she knows what she must do. She must become a Hound of Heaven.

Desperate to find Jude, Grace befriends Talbot—a newcomer to town who promises her that he can help her be a hero. But as the two grow closer, the wolf grows in Grace, and her relationship with Daniel is put in danger—in more ways than one.

Unaware of the dark path she is walking, Grace begins to give into the wolf inside of her—not realizing that an enemy has returned and a deadly trap is about to be sprung.


Book Beginning
"Do what he wants, and you might survive," a harsh voice said into the boy's ear before he felt a sharp blow to the kidneys.

He fell forward onto the concrete, his arms splayed out in front of him.

"So this is the one who tried to get away?" another voice asked from the shadows.
The Lost Saint: A Dark Divine Novel

Notable Scene
"I tilted my head back, taking in the glow of the glistening silver of a moon rising in the night sky as I ran, and let that feeling of power wash through me.

Tingling warmth spread up my arms and legs and into my chest.

You're in control now, that foreign voice reassured me as I ran.

I'd finally broken through the barrier."- Page 128

The wolf deep inside Grace threatens to break free. Some say let it out, some urge her to control her dangerous dark side before it consumes her body and soul. Unsure of what is right and what is wrong, Grace does know one thing for sure- she won't sit around idle while her brother Jude is lost out in the world by himself.  Swallowed up by an unforgiving city, she knows she must find Jude before it's too late. With her mother grief-stricken and her father constantly on the road, Grace decides to take matters into her own hands. She wants to train. She wants to fight. But when Daniel starts becoming secretive and pulling away from her, she begins turning to newcomer Talbot, a boy who urges her to surrender to the beast within.  As darkness lurks around every corner and danger closes in, Grace must decide who she can trust  - and most importantly, whether or not she can  trust herself.
 
THE DARK DIVINE was one of my favorite novels last year and I knew if the sequel didn't live up to my high expectations, I'd be so disappointed. So with an anxious heart and somewhat shaky hand, I opened THE LOST SAINT and took a deep breath. In hindsight, I shouldn't have worried. Once again, Bree Despain's writing rocked my world. The sequel was just as good (if not better) than the first book in my opinion.

THE LOST SAINT was a darker read. More urban fantasy to me than paranormal romance, I reveled in the tension as Grace began training to take on all manner of devilry. I have to say she earned a whole new level of respect from me in this installment. I admired the way she refused to give up when everyone around her was falling apart. She proved she was a fighter, that she could take care of herself. I knew she was a strong character from the first book, but in THE LOST SAINT, Grace really kicked some serious butt!  I also loved that there was so much turmoil with her and Daniel; it kept me constantly guessing. As the pages flew by, I had to know what was going to happen with two of them. Why was he turning away from her? Could she really trust the dangerous and oh-so-handsome Talbot?  Ultimately I wanted Daniel and Grace together, but with the uncertainty of what Daniel was keeping from her, and the arrival of Talbot (picture a hunky young Alcide from True Blood), well, it all made for a delicious distraction.

I can't say too much about the storyline for fear of giving the plot away. But I will tell you I loved this book so much that I had to go ahead and pre-order a finished copy even though I had the ARC.  I also want to mention the creatures of the night Bree Despain expanded on in this installment. It gave the book a gritty edge and added to the urgency of Grace's need to find Jude and bring him safely home.  I also loved The Depot—the bar where Grace went to look for her brother—I could feel the vibration of the pounding base as Grace descended into the dangerous lair of the seedy nightclub. I could see her in her uncomfortable vinyl pants trying to blend in long enough to scope out the scene for Jude. I could feel my own heart racing when she met Talbot, befriended him and then subsequently went on raids with him, learning how to handle evil on her own terms.

The ending of THE LOST SAINT was heartbreaking. Many questions were answered, but so many more rose to take their place. The title of the book came into play, giving the book a parting, bittersweet touch.  I can't wait to see what Bree Despain comes up next with with one of my favorite YA series of all time.

Side Note: Be sure to check back on December 27th when I feature my interview with Bree Despain and your chance to win a signed paperback copy of The Dark Divine, along with an ARC of The Lost Saint and some pretty blue signature nail polish



Books by Bree Despain:



Anthology





Bree rediscovered her childhood love for creating stories when she took a semester off college to write and direct plays for at-risk, inner-city teens from Philadelphia and New York. She currently lives in Salt Lake City, Utah with her husband, two young sons, and her beloved TiVo.
Official Website & Blog of Bree Despain


10 comments:

Catherine Stine said...

Well, you've hooked me by the description! I've always wondered what the exact demarcation line was between paranormal and urban fantasy. So urban's a bit darker, eh? I'm following you now. If you want to check out my blog, I just posted on trends in children's books for 2011:
http://www.catherinestine.blogspot.com

cj'alhafiz said...

Hi Kim. I never read this kind of books, I mean the werewolf thingy books. This sounds interesting and the book cover looks great! Happy reading.....=)

CJ Latest Review: HERE

Alex Bennett said...

I'll have to get to reading my copy soon!

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

The Dark Divine was so good and this one sounds even better. Can't wait to read it. Thanks for the review.

Christina/Book Addict said...

Wow! Awesome review! I am glad this book didn't disappoint. I will definitely have to pick it up over my holiday break. Thanks for the great review!

kellyhashway said...

This sounds great. I'm looking forward to the contest!

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

OMG
OMG
OMG
OMG
I want to read this so bad.
I am SO pleased to here you not only loved it but you gave it 5 stars :)

Debbie's World of Books said...

I just posted my review too and totally agree with you. I loved it! I think maybe even more than the first book.

Bere said...

Excellent review, Kim! I have not started reading this series yet but your review has really encouraged me to get the books. This series sounds fantastic. And omg the trailer is wicked cool. Looks like a movie trailer! Again, excellent review, Kim. Thank you! =]

doina said...

I totally got hooked on The Dark Divine novel, and I'm looking forward to read the next one from the trilogy. I consider kind of cliche the werewolf or vampire theme for a book nowadays, but this book is soooo good!!! P.s. Great review!