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Sunday, December 13, 2009

Book Review: The Dark Divine by Bree Despain


Reading level:
Young Adult
384 pages
EgmontUSA (December 22, 2009)

A prodigal son

A dangerous love

A deadly secret . . .

I stood back and watched his movements. Daniel had that way about him that could shut me down in an instant. . . . I kicked the gravel a couple of times and worked up my courage again. “Tell me . . . I mean.. why did you come back? Why now, after all this time?”
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 blood. But she has no idea what a truly monstrous secret that night really held. And when Daniel returns three years later, Grace can no longer deny her attraction to him, despite promising Jude she’ll stay away.

As Grace gets closer to Daniel, her actions stir the ancient evil Daniel unleashed that horrific night. Grace must discover the truth behind Jude and Daniel'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.

THE DARK DIVINE is a compelling young adult novel exploring the Prodigal Son parable but with a romantic, paranormal twist. Grace Divine is a pastor’s daughter whose childhood crush Daniel Kalibi, mysteriously disappears town after an unexplained incident involving Grace's brother Jude. Years later, Daniel resurfaces again, stirring up long buried feelings despite the amount of time that has passed. Her brother Jude insists that Grace must stay away from him, warning her that he’s dangerous. But Grace can’t stay away from Daniel and the closer she gets to him, the more dangerous their relationship becomes. Soon it becomes frightening clear that time is running out and Grace will lose Daniel once again. Does she have the strength to make the ultimate sacrifice for Daniel and destroy the ancient evil threatening them all?

Bree Despain masterfully blends mythology into a complex, exciting storyline filled with strong romantic chemistry, heart pounding evil and dark family secrets.
Right from the start, the romantic sparks between Grace and Daniel ignited the page and immediately drew me in. I couldn’t wait to find out if Grace and Daniel would end up being able to overcome the many barriers threatening to keep them apart. Grace, the narrator of the story, was an easy character to connect with and sympathetic in her interactions with others. She loved her family and wanted to live her life the way they had raised her. When she became involved with Daniel again, it seemed like she just wanted to fix a situation that was already too much for one person to try and control. I saw Grace almost like a real person - someone I wanted to help shoulder some of the burden for or give advice to.

One thing I had never considered before reading this novel, was just how much pressure a pastor's family is under to maintain role model status within the community. I found that component of their lives very interesting throughout the book. I loved the family dynamics between Jude, the “good son”, and Daniel, the mysterious, secretive bad boy whose return irrevocably changes the lives of everyone connected to him. It was also interesting to watch the different members of the Divine family cope with events as they unfolded, and often with very different reactions.

Quite simply, THE DARK DIVINE blew me away. It is a novel that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very end. Each time I thought I understood where the storyline was headed, a fresh plot twist would throw me off track, and leave me reeling from the adrenaline rush of excitement. THE DARK DIVINE leaves room for a sequel without one of those frustrating cliffhanger endings too. I'm eagerly awaiting the next installment in this series and can't wait to dive back into this divine sage of love, mythology and mystery.

Bree Despain 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. This is her first novel.

You can visit her online at www.breedespain.com

Purchase The Dark Divine HERE.


Mari - Escape In A Book said...

Great review, Kim! I'm eagerly waiting for my copy of TDD from Amazon(and this review made me want to beg them to send it today LOL). I pre-ordered the book back in July, now it's almost release date YAAAY!

Unknown said...

Good review. I'm very excited to read this!

Julie said...

At first, this book didn't seem to catch my interest, but I keep seeing glowing reviews like this and now I can't wait to get my hands on it!

Donna Gambale said...

I loved this book too - great job spreading the word!

Emma said...

One of my favorite reviews of this book. I'm bouncing to read it!

Rhonda Helms said...

OMG I am soooo eager to read this book!!

Tales of Whimsy said...

I gotta read this!

Unknown said...

I cannot wait to read this one. Great review.

Unknown said...

*GASP* amazing review - I can NOT WAIT for this one to come out - this is the ONE reason I am breaking my "vow" to myself of NO books before Christmas - how can I wait!!!

EAK!!! I cant wait till the 22nd!

KIKA said...

Great Review! I was actually able to meet Bree Despain a few weeks ago and she was awesome! I cannot wait to get my hands on this book!

Fantastic Book Review said...

Great Review Kim! I Ditto all - Bree did a fantastic job and I can't wait to see what she has in store for us next!

Cecelia said...

The Prodigal Son, eh? That sounds really, really interesting, actually. I wonder if this will count as a 'fairy tale' for my challenge next year. I think it must...

Great review - I'm totally hooked!

Alyssa Kirk said...

I agree. This one is a winner!

Jackie said...

Kim a good review, you have given me a new book and new author for my Wish List and To Buy. Have to wait till next year though, credit card smoked for Christmas...

Jackie B Central Texas