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.
The Dark Divine belongs to one of the most popular (and one of my favourite) genres of YA at the moment: paranormal. I found it unique, engaging and thouroughly entertaining.
I was unsure how much I would enjoy the book with the religious aspects of the story, Grace being a pastors daughter and all. Bree Despain wrote her book wonderfully, though. Although Grace, her family, school and th backstory to Daniel’s condition (no spoilers here!) are all steeped in religion, I did not feel preached at or taught – the facts were just that, facts. Grace and her family were obviously quite religious, but it was handled perfectly.
The writing was engaging and smooth, though I found the beginning of the book a little slow. I contribute this to the plot, rather than the writing style. Even with the bit of lag in the beginning, the plot soon gained momentum and I was sucked right in to Grace’s world. Grace’s character was pretty well-rounded; she knew exactly who she was…until Daniel showed up again and threw her for a loop. She’s soon conflicted between her feelings for her old friend, and her loyalty to her family, especially her brother. She’s an imperfect character, who can make mistakes but truely has good intentions. Daniel was also well-done, with a detailed background and emotions that came out loud and clear even through the first-person narrative.
I was actually most impressed with the ending, believe it or not. I like my happy endings, and while The Dark Divine can certainly be considered a happy ending, it’s not all roses and light – which I also like. There’s just something about having an ending where not everything works out perfectly for our characters that I enjoy. It’s a bit more real than the happily-ever-after scenario. Over-all, a wicked debut novel!