Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Savage Grace by Bree Despain

The Savage Grace (The Dark Divine #3) by Bree Despain
Release Date:
March 13, 2012
Publisher: EgmontUSA
Source: Library


A troubled soul. An impossible choice. A final battle.

Wrestling with the werewolf curse pulsing deep inside of her, Grace Divine was finally able to find her brother, but it nearly cost her everything.

With her boyfriend, Daniel, stuck in wolf form and Sirhan's death approaching, time is running out for Grace to stop Caleb Kalbi and his gang of demons. If she fails, her family and hometown will perish. Everything rests on Grace's shoulders.

The final installment in The Dark Divine trilogy brings Daniel and Grace's love story to a breathtaking conclusion.(courtesy of Goodreads)


Do you ever have those books where it's hard to determine whether you actually liked the book or you only think you liked it because you wanted to like it? The Savage Grace was one of those for me. I had trouble mustering up enthusiasm for this book from beginning to end. Plus, writing this review several weeks after I finished the book, I had to rack my brain to remember anything about the story. But I liked it. I really did. When I dig hard enough, I remember the story and characters with fondness. It's just hard for me to care.

The Savage Grace and I got started off on the wrong foot. It begins right where The Lost Saint left off, with little to no set-up. I loved that about the book. I hate having to re-read half of the previous book in the next book in the series. Unfortunately though, I had forgotten large portions of The Lost Saint, so I was very confused. My memory returned quickly enough, but the feeling of being lost distracted me from the tenor of the story. I guess there's a logic behind repeating the previous plot after all.

Grace is reason enough to read this series. She's such a strong person. Strong physically, but mostly strong mentally. She is infected with the werewolf virus and it is always tempting her to go dark - kill, maim, lash out. In many ways, the biggest villain in this story is Grace herself. She has to learn to tame the wolf inside her and stay true to the values she knows to be right. She definitely has a solid inner core. She is able to differentiate the wolf from herself. She knows who she should be, even when it's hard. Plus, I loved her dedication to her family, her friend April, to the lost wolf boys, and to Daniel.

Daniel is the perfect YA hero. The edgy bad boy who's really sincere, passionate, and devoted. It would take a cold heart not to beat a little faster when he's on the page. I apparently have a lukewarm heart. While I enjoyed reading about Daniel, my affection for him didn't outlast the book.

As you'd expect with the last book in a series, The Savage Grace goes out with a bang. Caleb Kalbi is not going to allow Daniel, his son but also a threat, to live. The great power struggle puts Grace, Daniel, Gabriel, Talbot, Jude, April, Grace's parents, Charity, and even Baby James in mortal peril. There are enough plot twists and big surprises that you'll be turning the pages to see how the series ends.

My biggest problem with Daniel and the story overall is that I didn't believe it. The ideal paranormal or fantasy novel makes the reader forget that it isn't real. I wouldn't be surprised to run into Diagon Alley someday, have a Cullen knock on my door, or see Sam at the bookstore in Mercy Falls, MN. These stories and characters are real to me. The Dark Divine series is not. It's a fun read, but it never makes the leap from being good to being special.

Rating: 3 / 5


  1. Great review, Alison! I haven't read this series but I understand the issues you had with this book. It's annoying when a book just recaps the previous book and it's hard to enjoy a book that is not believable

  2. Alison, I am a new follower thanks to FF. I had some time today and I read through your blog - more specifically your discussion post, which interested me more than the reviews :) - and while I probably should have commented on each one, I thought I would give a summary shout out here: Thank you for an amazing blog. I feel your passion in every word you write. You are pure inspiration, and I will definitely be back - often.

  3. I'm so glad to read this review and find that I'm not the only one who trailed off from this series. I love Bree Despain, I really do. I really enjoyed the first book, but I have to say that the second one didn't hold my attention enough to finish it. Everything felt internalized to me, felt as if it were all a debate between right and wrong. Part of the problem is that, just by happenstance, in my life, I've always been surrounded by very defined personalities. People who do the right thing because it's right, even when no one is looking, or people who weren't so great, and tended to do the self-serving things because they didn't care. As a result, I have trouble with stories where someone utterly profound in their beliefs, is suddenly feeling tempted to do 'bad things'. In the first book of the series, Daniel's struggle was very well portrayed, and so was Grace's devotion to what was 'right'. And as you said, Grace is SO STRONG. But that caused me to have trouble believing that she would be so easily tempted. I still love Bree though, and I'll immediately try anything she writes in the future.

  4. Great review! I love this series and I understand why some people didn't enjoy this book as much as they did with the other two books, but . . . I still enjoyed it though the ending really left me wanting more!

  5. "My memory returned quickly enough, but the feeling of being lost distracted me from the tenor of the story. I guess there's a logic behind repeating the previous plot after all."

    This just happened to me too! Not with this series, but the effect was the same. I like there to be a bit of reintroduction so to speak in a second book, just a quick, subtly done recap of characters and story so I'm not completely lost, especially since so many times YA series release at least a year apart. Sorry these characters weren't quite as believable as in other paranormal stories, but it seems like you had fun reading for the most part which is a good thing:)

  6. I've totally experienced that feeling! I have a couple of third-in-a-series sitting on my shelf right now that I just can't seem to pick up due to lack of enthusiasm.

    And I completely get the good but not great feeling from this series. I read the first and enjoyed it but haven't read any more. Grace is a great character but...meh. Great review!

  7. Shame you didn't enjoy this one too much! I haven't read this series, but I do have the first one The Dark Divine to read.

    I have to agree about wanting a character and a paranormal setting that you can believe is real though!

    Great review!

  8. I couldn't muster up the enthusiasm to read this one either. I think this series started off differently and uniquely blending religion with the paranomral but that got lost in the way and wounded up being just an ordinary paranormal YA series.

    p.s. To answer your question from yesterday, yes I'm Pakistani but I was born in the U.S.. :D

  9. Yup, a large part of the reason I read is to believe that these other worlds and character could actually exist. To be put under their spell and believe they are real. Sorry to hear that wasn't really the case here. I've been curious about this series, but for some reason, it hasn't really sparked a need to read it.

  10. I've always thought that it seems as though this series has a lot of good things going for it, from what I've read from reviews. But it also strikes me that what you say is true, that it is by no means anything special, which I think is why I've kept away from it. I know exactly what you mean when you say that the ideal fantasy should be convincing as a real setting. I don't think I'll ever read this series, but I appreciated your helpful review anyway!

  11. I really hate when books retell the previous books so it's funny that this time though it would've helped, it didn't have it. I too hate when I'm really iffy about a book after reading it. However, I think I'll be skipping this story if it's something that won't stick with me. Great review.

  12. I haven't read this one yet, but not sure I will continue series.
    I personlly like and need it for a book to recap since I've read so many other books before the next in a series comes out...
    Thanks for review and sorry you didn't like it more.
    Brandi from Blkosiner’s Book Blog


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