Sunday, February 5, 2012

Review: The Dark Divine by Bree Despain

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.

Let me preface this by saying, I don't like negative reviews where people bash authors. It's unprofessional and flat out rude. When I don't like a story, it's nothing personal; it just means that particular book isn't for me.

I'll be honest on this one. It's the first book I ever laid down without finishing. I slogged through over 250 pages, and it never grabbed my attention. I'd hoped after all the glowing reviews, and the incredible cover, that it would live up to my expectations. Alas, it wasn't meant to be. Page after page held more rambling and lacked the oomph I desired. A few people told me if I'd continued, that's where the story really gets good. Don't get me wrong, I love me some build-up, but if you haven't reached that point in 250 + pages, it's futile.

The story begins with Grace Divine, the daughter of the local pastor. She works hard and has her priorities straight. Enter Daniel. Daniel is a friend from the past who mysteriously disappeared some years before.
Now he's back in school and back in Grace's life ... despite her family's wishes otherwise. Daniel is the bad-boy with a past. Nothing really exciting there and rather derivative.
Had I not known what the book was about, I wouldn't have suspected Daniel of being more than a troubled youth. Yeah, there are a couple of "hints" that he's more, but honestly, it's kind of boring. Grace is the good girl that falls for him. Still more stereo-typical plot line. Seeing as I didn't finish, I don't know where their relationship goes.  

The interaction between Grace and Daniel was kind of mundane. I would've liked to seen more chemistry or conflicting emotion that felt genuine. There were a lot of misused opportunities. The story would have had great potential (for me) if it had simply moved along faster. There were several paragraphs I skipped over because they didn't move the plot forward.

A (very) long story, short: It's all a-day-in-the-life-of... If you're going to live in someone's head that long, they'd better have a head worth living in. I'm giving it 2-stars, because I can't stand the thought of giving someone's work a 1-star. There were pieces here and there that were unique ... just not unique enough to overcome the other issues.
  For anyone who likes a deeper story, a character-driven plot or mystery and action, I don't recommend The Dark Divine.


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