Thursday, July 26, 2012
The Savage Grace by Bree Despain
Release Date: March 13, 2012
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.