Monday, April 25, 2011

The Dark Divine by Bree Despain — 400 pgs

Grace Divine is a preacher’s kid with a loving family and a lot going for her until, out of nowhere, a face from her past comes barging back into her life. Daniel, a young man who once lived under the protection of her father and whom the family hasn’t seen for many years, is finally back, but his looks aren’t the only thing that have changed. Long ago, Grace had a crush on Daniel, and after seeing him again, she can’t deny that her interest is piqued by his strange return. But there are secrets swirling around Daniel’s reappearance in her life. For one thing, her brother Jude, usually a reticent and polite boy, has been acting strange and wants Grace to avoid Daniel at all costs, and for another, Daniel seems to have some incredible abilities that Grace can’t understand.

Swirling over all of this is the fact that the town is being plagued by what some call the Markham Street Monster, a creature that has been attacking and killing both animals and people. Though Grace tries to piece everything together, no one will share any information with her, leading her to investigate these things on her own. Time is running out, and as her feelings for Daniel reach a fever pitch, she discovers just what happened to make Jude turn against him and why he may be as dangerous as everyone thinks he is. In this seductive and entrancing new paranormal fantasy series, many secrets and intrigues will be revealed, and it’s up to Grace Divine to put it all together and recreate the life she once knew and loved amid the shocking disruptions that have changed everything

My summary of this book was rather vague, as there are some things about it which I think are best discovered by the reader. Suffice to say that this was the first paranormal YA book I’ve ever read, and now I’m itching to get my hands on more books of this genre. I found so much to love here, and despite my fears, there was almost no annoying teen angst. It was a spectacular read overall.

Grace is your typical preacher's kid. An art student with a pretty active social life, Grace is a bit sheltered due to her upbringing and her mother’s over protection. When Daniel breezes back into her life, Grace has no idea what she’s getting into when she decides to welcome him back into the fold. Daniel has had a troubled past, and due to the abuse by his father, he at one time lived with the Divines as a sort of adopted child. During this time, Grace’s brother Jude and Daniel became inseparable. But everything changed one night, and although Grace doesn’t know what happened, Jude now considers Daniel to be a mortal enemy, a fact that bothers and confuses Grace immensely. Through her love for the forbidden Daniel, Grace comes to understand that there is something different and puzzling about him, and when his back is against the wall, she discovers that Daniel is not fully human anymore. Just what he is will take some discovering, but Grace isn’t willing to give him up, despite the danger that he may pose.

Meanwhile, strange things are happening all over Grace’s small town. Animals are being mutilated and severely mauled dead bodies are being discovered. Most of the town is blaming the Markham Street Monster, but Jude seems to know more than he’s saying. As more and more disturbing things happen, suspicion is cast upon Daniel, and though Grace refuses to believe it, everything that Daniel is and has done begins to spread out in stark relief in her mind. But there’s something else lurking in the secret that Jude and Daniel are hiding, and this may mean that someone else is to blame for all the strange occurrences in the town. All of this ends up in a three-way showdown between Grace, Daniel, and Jude, and when it’s over, nothing will ever be the same.

One of the best things about this book was the way that Despain was able to keep a tight rein on the suspense throughout the story. Through her clever twists and turns in the narrative, we see the plot unfold from various angles and perspectives. The story is mainly told through Grace’s eyes, and as more and more comes to light, we discover, right along with Grace, that those whom she thought she could trust may have been deceiving her, and that things are not always what they appear to be. The book ends on just the right note, and though there is closure, the book gives the perfect segue into the second installment. It’s a great feat of writing that Despain manages, keeping her readers asking pertinent questions and guessing all the way to that final paragraph.

If you haven’t done yourself the favor of picking up these books yet, I strongly urge you to do it soon! There are two in the series as of now, but there are sure to be more, and they’re just the type of book an adrenaline junkie would love. Great characters, plot, and dialogue are just the beginning with this series. A great and intriguing read. Highly recommended. Stay tuned for my review of the next book in the series, The Lost Saint, and a great giveaway, coming soon!


This book was provided as a complimentary review copy.

17 comments:

TheBookGirl said...

How fun that your foray into a new for you genre turned out to be such a success.
Honestly, this doesn't sound like my kind of book at all; the mutilated dead body stuff is sort of a deal breaker for me, but I'm glad that you enjoyed it :)

Anita said...

Sounds very dark, not sure if it's for me, but you write a wonderful book review!!

rhapsodyinbooks said...

I really like some of the YA paranormal books, although I'm kind of embarrassed about it - I feel like covering them with brown paper wrapping! LOL

nomadreader said...

I'm so glad you enjoyed this one! I love when a book in a new genre is a treat. I don't read much paranormal YA, but perhaps I'll reconsider and give this series a try for something new.

Suko said...

Zibilee, it's great when a book exceeds your expectations, especially when you've read something different from your usual choices. (Did you get lucky with this one or will you enjoy other paranormal YA books?)

bermudaonion said...

I'm curious about what makes this one paranormal - I have an idea, but I'm not sure. I've kind of stayed away from all the paranormal stuff, but you've made me think I should give one a try.

Stacy at A Novel Source said...

i have not read this series yet but i am itching to get my hands on a copy! i've heard so many great things about bree despain! i love your review of this book and it only makes me want to read it even more! what a fantastic last name for a preacher's family "divine"! i will definitely stay tuned for your giveaway!!!

Jenny said...

I've very possibly skimmed or skipped lots of reviews for this book b/c from what I did read I wasn't interested, but your review makes me definitely want to read this!! I don't read much paranormal, but this sounds really good!

Amy said...

I'm glad to see that you liked this story. I listened to it on audio, or rather to the first few hours. I found Grace just too... I don't know. Perfect maybe? Just couldn't get in to it, sadly!

Geosi said...

Good to have found an interest in Y.A books. I hardly read from this genre, however you render the review so nice that I am tempted go for this. I would be waiting for the giveaway anyway!

Vasilly said...

I stayed away from this book because of the cover but after reading your great review of it, I'm glad to add this to my tbr list. The Dark Divine sounds like a wonderful mystery that would keep me up all night reading it.

Trisha said...

I love YA paranormal, so it definitely sounds like this is one I should pick up!

Nana Fredua-Agyeman said...

Great review. I enjoyed it and it was as if I was watching a movie. You have made me want to read this and I would enter the giveaway to see if I win. thanks

Liz @ Cleverly Inked said...

YA is spreading it's wings and is starting to bleed into the Adult word. It's a nice combination

Darlene said...

Lol - I should have read this review before the other one. These novels really sound fantastic! If you liked it this much I bet I will too!

Jenners said...

Paranormal...done well...can be so gripping. This sounds like it is done well...I'll have to check it out as I do have a weakness for this at times.

Jenny said...

I am mostly tired of paranormal romances, but I like the idea of the girl having known the guy formerly -- I get fed up with the girls in books who meet tall dark mysterious strangers who act like crazy people, and immediately they can't do without them. It would make so much more sense if the girl had a legitimate reason to be interested in what was happening with the guy.

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