Friday, July 30, 2010

The Dark Divine by Bree Despain

The Dark Divine by Bree Despain

The second post of my two day theme of "Books everyone else liked, but I didn't." Actually, dislike is too strong a word. I didn't dislike these books...just am not raving about them.

What was the last book that didn't really get you that everyone else seems to love?


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 Devine is an excellent debut by Bree Despain. I really did enjoy the book, although I have more reservations about it than many other reviewers. 

The good: 
1) Grace - I really liked Grace, the main character. She's a strong, kind girl. But she's also human - we see hints of jealousy and anger. Bree creates a 3-dimensional character. 
2) The relationship between Grace and Daniel - Not just good girl falling for bad boy. Grace falls for the sweet Daniel she's known for her entire life. It's him she sees when she looks at Daniel, not his current "bad boy" exterior. 
3) The writing - this is a good and bad. I think Bree is a talented writer. The characters and setting are richly described but not to the point of bogging the story down. While I have some quibbles with the plot, she built a climax that kept me reading to the end, despite a pounding fatigue-induced headache.

The bad: 
1) The writing - actually it's more of the plotting. I had no idea what the paranormal twist to this book was until midway through. The first half of the book, while presumably necessary for set-up, could have been much shorter. It's frustrating to read a book continuously wondering when you're going to figure out what the point is. I also thought the paranormal world could have been described better. It's a really interesting concept but the description was choppy. It took too long to understand. 
2) The Minnesota setting - I live in the Twin Cities, where Bree set the story. Her descriptions of the area were ridiculously wrong. There's no Apple Valley mall. The more rural suburbs near Apple Valley have no woods - they're former corn fields. No one says "going into the city" - it's the Cities - or just Mpls or St. Paul. These are petty complaints, I know. But it really wouldn't have been hard for Bree to do a little Internet research on the setting or else make something up.

Rating: 3.5 / 5


  1. I had a span of about two months where almost every book I read was one that was loved by others but was just meh... for me.
    The Soul Screamer series, Fallen/Torment to name a couple.

  2. great review and I see your points about the city. I like this one and agree with karen..sometimes I wonder what all the hype is sometimes with books

  3. Good review. I'll keep those in mind when I get to read it.

    Anyway, just dropping by to let you know that you've received an award. Drop by my blog when you get the chance.

  4. I picked your blog for an award! Head on over to my blog to pick up the Versatile Blogger award!

  5. I agree - I didn't love this one either. I WANTED to, especially since Bree Despain is such a sweet person. Oh well. I'm glad I'm not alone in my opinion :)

  6. I like how you showed both the good and the bad! This looks like a good paranormal read but slow beginnings make me ache because I'm so impatient.

  7. I liked the beginning and can't wait for the lost saint

  8. See, I loved the slow build-up, but maybe that's because it focused on Grace and Daniel's relationship. I was SO HAPPY that there was a reason for her to fall in love with him rather than just being inexplicably drawn to him. I'm hoping the paranormal element is better explained in the second book. It seemed like it was a secret for too long in this one for anyone to get a real sense of it, including Grace.


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