Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Lost Saint by Bree Despain — 426 pgs

Coming hot on the heels of The Dark Divine, Grace Divine is having trouble dealing with her newly altered circumstances. The mysterious events with her boyfriend Daniel have all been sorted out and there’s no longer any danger that he’ll be forever morphed into a dangerous creature beyond the realm of humanity. But things aren’t as easy as all that because Grace’s brother Jude has been greatly changed and is on the run, trying to escape the terrible monster inside him. To make matters worse, Grace has also been attacked and altered and is just beginning to discover what it means to have unusual powers and impossible strength.

When a few newcomers to town begin to shake up the status quo, Grace will find herself both with an unlikely ally and in thrall to a very handsome man who might not be what he seems. As Grace discovers more about this man, she becomes embroiled in a plot to hunt down and kill other unlikely creatures that have invaded her town, much to the disappointment of Daniel and the other people who care for her. But with Jude still on the run and a dangerous contingent of supernatural criminals on the loose, it will take all that Grace and Daniel have to keep the inner monster struggling inside of her from breaking free. Fast paced and utterly thrilling, this second installment of The Dark Divine series will leave readers breathless with anticipation until the final act is closed.

This book was very different from the first in the series because, while it basically continued the story from the first installment, it was much more robust and action packed than The Dark Divine. While the first book moved a more slowly and sedately, this one ratcheted up the suspense and tension to a much higher degree. It’s understandable that the first book would have a lot more scene setting and exposition, and because I liked that book so very much, I was excited when this second installment began and I was thrust directly into the action so quickly.

At the close of The Dark Divine, many things have changed. It’s no longer a mystery why Jude has chosen to leave his family, and the secret that Daniel has been hiding from Grace has been dealt with head-on, resulting in both terrible and wonderful repercussions for both of them. Grace now finds herself in a strange predicament, because now it's she who’s not fully human and she has to deal with the newly encroaching powers that will one day take over her life. Most of Grace’s angst comes from the fact that she has no idea how to harness these powers, and though she wants to be a force for good, she’s coming to suspect that she will not be able to use the gifts she has in any kind of positive way. This conflict within Grace sets her in the perfect position to be both exploited and revered by the two very different men who make an unexpected appearance in the town. Grace takes an immediate liking to one of the new visitors and a dislike to the other, but are her powers of discrimination another one of those things that she just doesn’t have a handle on quite yet?

Into the confusion that are Grace and Daniel’s lives comes the news that a crime wave is sweeping the city and no one can discover who’s responsible. Security cameras consistently go on the fritz during these crimes and there are no fingerprints or physical evidence left at the scene. Grace finds herself thrown headlong into investigating these crimes by her new acquaintance Talbot, a man whose mysterious background is only overshadowed by his rugged and handsome good looks. Before Grace knows it, she’s hunting down these criminals with a vigilante’s sense of justice, and she begins to get in way over her head. These events must be kept secret from all those who love Grace, for she’s in terrible danger, and the more she immerses herself into this world, the more risks she begins to take.

When it’s finally revealed who is behind these crimes, the unlikely Jude resurfaces, but his presence now is malignant and horrible. With Daniel also being secretive, Grace resorts to putting more trust in Talbot, but comes to discover that he’s not who she believed him to be. All these questions and suspicions boil down to an ugly and dangerous confrontation between a group of other-worldly criminals pitted against Grace and Daniel, and it’s unclear if they’ll survive the ordeal. Someone from both of their pasts is orchestrating these nightmarish events, and he won’t stop until he's dispatched Daniel and taken possession of Grace.

I must say that by the end of this book, I was flipping pages madly, racing to discover what would become of the heroic Grace and the steadfast Daniel. When I finally got to the conclusion, I was flabbergasted! Despain leaves the reader with such a dramatic and unexpected cliffhanger that I was frantically searching the interwebs to see when the next book would be published. Alas, there was no information to be had, and I was almost overwhelmed with impatience to find out what happens next. It certainly was an unexpected development in an already superlative book.

This series clearly worked for me, and was so full drama and pathos that by the end of the book, I made myself a promise that I would see this series to the end, no matter what the cost. In these books Despain creates both a set of characters and a mythos that I found to be utterly irresistible. With a plot that seems to move forward on oiled springs and a handful of unexpected twists and turns, this is series that shouldn’t be missed. It transcends the YA genre and does its best not only to be relevant, but genuine. If you haven’t gone out to get these books, you simply must do it now. It’s a rockin’ good paranormal series and I very highly recommend it!

Great news! Egmont USA have offered me one copy of The Lost Saint and a bottle of eclectic blue nail polish to give away to one of my readers! But wait! In the interest of giving more readers the chance to read this great series, I’m sweetening the pot to include a brand new copy of the first book, The Dark Divine, to add to the prize pack as well. If you’re interested in winning this series, and the cute fingernail polish, please fill out the form below. The winner will be chosen at random at a date yet to be determined. Good luck to all!



This book was provided as a complimentary review copy.

13 comments:

Coffee and a Book Chick said...

This sounds GREAT! I haven't read this series at all, but am willing to catch up, if you're flipping the pages madly at the end, trying to see what happens! Sounds exactly like a good read for me right now!

rhapsodyinbooks said...

I agree - this does sound great! I just love books that I have to rip through!!!

Jenny said...

This series sounds sooo good!! Sounds like there are a lot of different aspects to look forward to in these books and that the second one was different enough from the first to make you want to keep reading.

Alison's Book Marks said...

These covers are so beautiful, so happy to know what happens inside is just as swoon-worthy!

TheBookGirl said...

Wow I don't think I've read a review in quite some time where it was obivous that the reviewer was so jazzed about a series :) I have this picture in my mind now of you frantically turning pages, lol. Hope you don't have to wait too long for the next one!

bermudaonion said...

I'm not sure this is for me, but I threw my name in the proverbial hat since you loved it so much. Has your daughter tried the series or is she still too young for it?

Zibilee said...

Kathy,
both of my kids read both books, and they are excited about the new one as well. I can't wait for it to come out, and I'm not alone!

Sandy Nawrot said...

Oh! My finger is hovering and shaking over the keys. Do I sign up for the giveaway or not? I have so much to read, it makes me sick sometimes. But you loved this series I know. I don't know what to do. I have to think about it.

Suko said...

Zibilee, you've done it again! You've written another excellent review, and now I must add yet another book to my TBR list!

Thank you for hosting this terrific giveaway. :)

Audra said...

Fantastic review -- I'm swimming in books so I'm not entering but I've added this series to my TBR because of your enthusiasm for both books. I tweeted your giveaway -- it's really quite an amazing prize pack!!

Zibilee said...

Thanks for tweeting this Audra! I really appreciate it!

Liz @ Cleverly Inked said...

The Cliffhanger was a doozie. LOL I love to hate them

Darlene said...

Oh my, a giveaway I couldn't resist. I'd love to read this series! You make it sound so good! Great review Heather!

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