Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Dark Divine by Bree Despain

Title: The Dark Divine
Author: Bree Despain
Publication Date: December 22, 2009
hardcover, 372 pages

A Prodigal Son

A Dangerous Love

A Deadly Secret

Grace Divine—daughter of the local pastor—always knew something terrible happened the night Daniel Kalbi disappeared and her brother Jude came home covered in his own blood.

Now that Daniel's returned, Grace must choose between her growing attraction to him and her loyalty to her brother.

As Grace gets closer to Daniel, she learns the truth about that mysterious night and how to save the ones she loves, but it might cost her the one thing she cherishes most: her soul. - Summary from

Bleh. The Dark Divine was a disappointingly typical paranormal story. It included all the classic components: girl meets mysterious boy, they try to avoid each other but are still pulled closer by love. Then the boy turns out to be a paranormal character- a werewolf, vampire, or in this case, a hound of heaven. Boy still has secrets that girl must find out on her own. Girl gets mad. Doesn't talk to boy. Boy still loves her. They get back together and save someones life. Sound familiar? This storyline makes me sick to my stomach, I've read it so many times. The Dark Divine was not an exception. I found the narrative of the story to be awfully amateur, juvenile and simple. Grace, the narrator, was a girl with a lack of sophistication. She was dull and mundane with nothing stark in her personality that made her truly stand out above all other girlfriends-of-paranormals. She had an abundance of lines where she would talk to herself with cliche thoughts such as the one when Pete was flirting with her.
"Why am I such a dumb girl? I mean, seriously, get it together."
Sometimes it befuddles me as to how such shallow-minded girls always seem to get the charming boys.

There was lack in Jude and Grace's relationship as brother and sister. It was just barely there. Jude always seemed more interested in taking April out on dates than seriously discussing the dangers of Daniel to Grace. And Grace was much closer to Daniel than Jude in my opinion. Whenever she had to choose between them, it was clear that she did not put much thought into the decision. The beginning was terribly slow, and although Daniel was introduced early on, his presence was never heated to the point of intensity. In fact, I found the beginning to be so bland
that at one point I put it down and didn't pick it up for another week.

Grace is most definitely not the sharpest tool in the shed. Her lack of intelligence therefore results in her obliviousness to everything. She is too simple-minded and ignorant to even question Daniel's crazy inhuman abilities. Like the time during one of Grace's flashbacks to several years ago, Daniel had randomly shown up one day with major damage done to his skull. He went to the hospital, but the next day his skull was perfect, as if nothing had ever happened to it. Unconcerned, Grace never questioned the miracle. If I knew someone who was in the same scenario, of course I would have immediately realized something was not right. But no, while most normal people would have asked or sleuthed around for the truth, instead, it took Grace several years to remember the odd incidents in which Daniel proved to heal miraculously. And even then, only when Daniel confessed to her his capabilities, did she put the two and two together.

There were quite a number of unnecessary headers in the story. For example, on page 101:
Wednesday Afternoon, At the Funeral
"A somber shadow cast over the parish, touching the hearts of all those who shuffled into the sanctuary for Maryanna Duke's funeral."
No need for repetitiveness...
One Heartbeat Later
Instead of starting a whole new section with that unnecessary header, you could just start a new paragraph?
Into The Woods
The next several pages are describing Daniel and Grace dashing off into the woods. We get the picture.
Also, many of those headers were right under the start of a new chapter, with the chapter already titled. The headers were extraneous.

The one thing that kept me holding onto this book was Grace and Daniel's relationship. They're addictive love for each other always made me swoon. They Divinely (ha-ha) loved each other, and truly stopped at nothing to be together. When Grace discovered Daniel's past and was so shocked and outraged that she refused to talk to him for months, it made me ache for Daniel to somehow in any way he could, come back for her and ask for forgiveness. Those two made made me totally hooked. All in all, The Dark Divine was not particularly special, although it was also not a book that I was appalled to read.

3.5 Beasts


Melissa said...

I really enjoyed the idea behind this story, but I will definitely agree it has the formulaic teen romance. Great review :)

Rica Eat World said...

ape. on the contrary, i actually liked the stupid sub-headings. despite the fact they take up unnecessary space, i thought they were kind of cool since most books dont have them. kind of. actually now that i think about it, its pretty dumb. but whatever. im not a conformist. muahaha. WHAY. im soo depressing.

Rica Eat World said...

oh and also:

I lost the wang. :) you're welcome.

Rica Eat World said...


THE GRAPHICS ARE SOO DEPRESSING HAHAA I LOVE THEM! lurking rica attacks once again. im bored. im trying to write my sleepless review but im just not feeling it at the moment. too many distractions consisting of losing the wang. i lost it.

Anonymous said...

Ah finally! I've seen people writing panegyrics about this book and wondering if we were reading different words within the same covers. I found this book to be exactly as you said though I wasn't much too impressed with their relationship either. (I guess I'm way too hard to please, haha.) I'm a new er..bookmarker? I look forward to reading more reviews from you.

angelatarantula said...

thanks for the lovely comments Melissa and thebookwurm!


Susan said...

I wasn't wild about this one either. "Disappointingly typical" is the perfect way to describe it.

Kelli (I'd So Rather Be Reading) said...

I haven't read this one, was on the fence, but thanks to your honest, justified review I may skip it. Thanks!