Tuesday, July 24, 2012
The Lost Saint by Bree Despain
Release Date: December 28, 2010
A family destroyed. A love threatened. An enemy returns.
Grace Divine made the ultimate sacrifice to cure Daniel Kalbi. She was infected with the werewolf curse while trying to save him, and lost her beloved brother in the process.
Desperate to find Jude, Grace befriends Talbot, a newcomer to town. But as the two grow closer, Grace's relationship with Daniel is put in danger - in more ways than one.
Unaware of the dark path she is walking, Grace begins to give into the wolf inside of her - not realizing that an enemy has returned and a deadly trap is about to be sprung.
Bree Despain delivers sizzling romance and thrilling action in the heart-pounding sequel to the The Dark Divine.(courtesy of Goodreads)
Bree Despain managed to do something with The Lost Saint at which few authors succeed: write a sophomore book that is better than the first book. I liked The Dark Divine, but I really liked The Lost Saint.
The Lost Saint begins where The Dark Divine left off. Grace's brother Jude ran away after turning werewolf and biting Grace. Grace sacrificed herself to save Daniel's life. Now, Daniel is just a regular kid and Grace has burgeoning werewolf superpowers.
At one level, The Lost Saint is par for the course for the second book in a paranormal trilogy. You have a happy couple suddenly thrust into conflict. The guy (almost always the guy) becomes distant and/or disappears. A new guy enters into our heroine's life and sweeps her off her feet. She doesn't want to give up her love for our hero, but she is drawn to new guy. And you can guess how the book ends...
The conflict in The Lost Saint is Daniel's secrecy. He's lying to Grace about where he's going, what he's doing, and is avoiding her. The new guy is Talbot, a fellow Urbat, who encourages Grace to expand her powers..
Despain fixed my two major complaints from The Dark Divine. I was so confused for most of the first book. I didn't even realize it was about werewolves until at least halfway through. Now that we've been introduced to the paranormal element, Despain doesn't hesitate in immersing us in the werewolf world. I love how rich the mythology is. It's not just werewolves. There are demons, vampires, and Urbats. The werewolves have a complex history and even more complicated politics. I like how Despain gives paranormal creatures we've read about in loads of other books a little twist to make them unique but still recognizable.
I loved the plot. I especially liked that Grace didn't know who she could trust. And neither did the reader. Was Jude really trying to help Grace or just manipulate her? Was Daniel turning his back on her? Is Gabriel really such a hero? Is Talbot using Grace or does he truly care about her? Even her father had secrets. Despain kept me guessing until the very end. And new guy Talbot is really cool. Sexy, handsome, a fighter. He comes off as less emo than Daniel. And he doesn't assume that Grace will break if she tries to increase her powers.
My other major complaint (well, it's kind of petty) was the setting. The book is set just outside of Minneapolis in a small made-up town called Rose Crest. Rose Crest is near a slightly larger town called Apple Valley. I used to lived literally across the street from the Apple Valley city limits and the descriptions of the suburb were laughably wrong. I was happy that any descriptions of the town were generic enough in The Lost Saint that it didn't detract from the story for someone who is familiar with the area.
Similar to The Dark Divine, The Lost Saint gets off to a slow start. Nothing really started happening until halfway through the book. Thankfully, there was enough world-building and relationship intrigue that I didn't get bored. Still...it dragged. But don't worry. Once things get going, they're fast and exciting. You won't be able to tear yourself away. And the book ends at the perfect place. It ties things up from this book but leaves the reader with a fabulous cliff hanger.