Book Review: The Dark Divine (The Dark Divine #1) by Bree Despain

6380822Title: The Dark Divine (The Dark Divine #1)

Author: Bree Despain

Genre: YA Paranormal Romance

Age Group: Young Adult

Rating: 3 stars

Purchase: Goodreads, Amazon, B&N

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 his own blood–but she has no idea what a truly monstrous secret that night held.

The memories her family has tried to bury resurface when Daniel returns, three years later, and enrolls in Grace and Jude’s high school. Despite promising Jude she’ll stay away, Grace cannot deny her attraction to Daniel’s shocking artistic abilities, his way of getting her to look at the world from new angles, and the strange, hungry glint in his eyes.

The closer Grace gets to Daniel, the more she jeopardizes her life, as her actions stir resentment in Jude and drive him to embrace the ancient evil Daniel unleashed that horrific night. Grace must discover the truth behind the boy’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.

I’ve read a lot of raving reviews about The Dark Divine, and I’m sure plenty of people will love it, swoon all over Daniel, etcetera etcetera. For me, it didn’t work. The first 100+ pages all tell us about Grace Divine’s day-to-day life as the oldest daughter of a pastor, and I thought it was pretty boring. At some point, Daniel returns to town, a boy from her past, who used to be best friends with her brother Jude, but now Jude acts like he hates Daniel. Daniel is a bit of a bad boy, which is a stark contrast to Grace Divine who is such a goody-two-shoes it’s not even funny anymore.

Then I had some trouble with characterization. Grace definitely isn’t suffering from missing-parent-syndrome. If anything, she’s suffering from overbearing parents syndrome. Her parents play as much of a role in this book as anyone else, and especially her mother’s presence can be overwhelming at times. Then there’s Grace’s brother Jude who is just plain annoying, has frequent mood shifts, and really has no purpose except to play the part of the semi-bad guy.

I liked the plot, which was different. Daniel definitely has a dark past, and there are hints early on that he’s more than we’re led to believe. It all comes together nicely in the end, but I was bored through the middle part of the book. Not enough action, and I already had a feeling where it was going.

Based on the raving reviews, I’d expected more. All in all, this is a mediocre, but enjoyable read. It’s not the most original book, nor are the characters very intriguing, but it’s all right. I bought the sequel as well, so I’ll dive into that one right away. Expect the review for the sequel, The Lost Saint, tomorrow.

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