2015 TBR Challenge – THE DARK DIVINE Review

2015tbrbuttonMy fourth review for the Official 2015 TBR Pile Challenge is THE DARK DIVINE by Bree Despain.

The goal of this challenge is “to finally read 12 books from your ‘to be read’ pile within twelve months”. To qualify for the challenge, books must be read and reviewed before the year is over, and all selections must have publishing dates from the year 2013 or older. (Here are the books I’ll be reading this year.)

After participating in an online book club chat with Ms Despain, where we discussed an entirely different book, I actually won a copy of this book, the first in a series. I’d actually been dying to read it ever since I’d heard Greg Ferguson – her editor – talk about it at a conference a few years ago. He’d discussed in detail how they’d agonized over getting that cover just right – quite stunning isn’t it? 

On to the review!

Dark Divine CoverTHE DARK DIVINE by Bree Despain

Published by: Egmont USA

Release Date: November 22, 2009

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal

Plot summary:

I stood back and watched his movements. Daniel had that way about him that could shut me down in an instant. . . . I kicked the gravel a couple of times and worked up my courage again. “Tell me . . . I mean . . . why did you come back? Why now, after all this time?”

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 blood. But she has no idea what a truly monstrous secret that night really held. And when Daniel returns three years later, Grace can no longer deny her attraction to him, despite promising Jude she’ll stay away.

As Grace gets closer to Daniel, her actions stir the ancient evil Daniel unleashed that horrific night. Grace must discover the truth behind Jude and Daniel’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. (Plot summary from author’s website.)

I must admit, after viewing the cover, and reading the synopsis, I was surprised when this series turned out to be about werewolves. I was thinking it would fall more in the undead spectrum. Once I read the first book, though, I was hooked on the characters, and I had to keeping reading their story. I found the dynamic between Daniel, Grace, and Jude to be very compelling. I quickly read on to the next book and I enjoyed the entire series.

What I especially appreciated was how well the author balanced Grace’s struggle with her faith and her desire to help Daniel in a very realistic way. Grace came away as a real person who had to re-evaulate her entire belief system and not a flat caricature spitting out rote dogma. This added so much depth to her story and her character. I think it’s one of the reasons I enjoyed the series as much as I did. I whole-heartedly recommend this book.

Learn more about Bree Despain here.

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