Monday, May 10, 2010

The Dark Divine by Bree Despain

Instantly drawn by the title of the book and the cover art, I snatched this book up at the LDSStorymakers Conference in April. The Dark Divine: doesn’t it just sound intriguing? I don’t know of anything better than clasping a deliciously anticipated book in my hands—except when that book lives up to the praise and hype that precedes it. The Dark Divine is one of those scrumptiously readable books.

Food to eat while reading: Divine Dark Chocolate-Cherry Cookies

Note: I have to mention that I am typing this review with the purply nail polish that Bree gives out at her signings. It matches the cover. :)

Read the synopsis here.

What I liked:

Despain weaves a story of forgiveness and redemption using fantasy as a metaphor. The themes hit close to home without being “preachy” at all. I love the way the author chose to convey her messages in a way that is entertaining and still effective; the book will carry important truths to young adults who might not otherwise be willing to read about them in a formal way.

References to grace and divinity were artfully done and stayed away from the cliché.

Despain’s characters are tangible and relatable. Grace has a quiet confidence and, well, grace about her. Her relationships with her brother, Jude, and Daniel, the love who has re-entered her life, are realistic and tug at my heart strings. I fell in love with Daniel on the first page; he is so mysterious, a bit dangerous and obviously smitten with Grace.

The plotline is smooth and reads almost like a mystery. By the time you finish the book, you will look back and see how quiet events were significant to the character’s development and the story.

Grace commits to a love that is powerful by the end of the book. The Dark Divine reads beautifully and contains great truth, but Grace’s sacrifice pushes the book to a new level, where you will dig deep inside and ask if that selflessness resides in your own heart.

What I would have changed:

Without spoiling the book for those who haven’t read it, let me say that Daniel’s motivation to seek Grace out is more than just his attraction to her. That detail makes me doubt how pure Daniel’s motives are for trying to gain Grace’s love.

In between the time when Grace finds that she loves Daniel, and the climactic scenes at the end of the book, there was too little happy time for the couple. I wanted to experience more of their love for each other. Granted, I understand that because of Daniel’s inner demon he has difficulty getting too close to Grace, but a bit more courtship would have been enjoyable.

So, I am curious:  for those of you who have read the book, do you agree with the changes I wish for in this book?  Did you enjoy it as much as I did?

The verdict:

The Dark Divine teaches truths of redemption and forgiveness in a fast-paced, satisfying romance that will leave teens wanting more.

I gave this book 4/5 stars.

Purchase: The Dark Divine

Genre: fantasy, YA , paranormal romance

Publisher: December 22nd 2009 by EgmontUSA, Hardcover, 372 pages

Where I got the book: LDSStorymakers Conference bookstore


  1. Lovely!I've been wanting to read this.Thanks for the honest review.

    p/s: I believe this is my first time visiting you.I love your blog.Cute layout.

  2. Thanks Darlyn-I'm following you now as well.

  3. I really enjoyed your review. Very detailed without spoiling anything. I usually don't read paranormal YA romances but because my daughter will soon be a teenager I am now trying to read books that I can recommend later and this one seems like it may be good.

  4. Sweet I am so gonna read this! Thanks!


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