The Dark Divine is the debut novel from Bree Despain and it was released in the UK on 5th July 2010.
Grace Divine is a Pastor’s daughter with a reputation to uphold, never really being able to do exactly what she wants. Her family aren’t as perfect as they make out to be though. Three years ago saw Grace’s brother, Jude, turn up on the porch covered in his own blood but Grace is completely in the dark about what really happened. On that same night, Grace’s childhood best friend, Daniel, went missing without a word. Until now.
Everyone at school is talking about the hot new guy but then Grace realises that it’s Daniel. Jude made her promise never to talk to him or see him again but once she sees him, all of those feelings she thought she had buried come flooding back. Grace has always been taught to learn to forgive people, no matter what they have done and takes it upon herself to try and sort Daniel’s life out for him.
As Grace grows closer to Daniel, family secrets unfold and she realises that she is in a lot deeper than she thought possible and in immediate danger. Not only is Grace risking her own life, but also the lives of the people she is closest to and loves. It’s all down to Grace to figure out secrets of the past in order to save everyone, including herself.
What I thought
Having seen pictures of this book roaming around blogs, I knew had to have it because of the cover. I was very lucky to find this in a BOGOF offer in Waterstones which shocked me a little as it is a very new release. Now having finished reading The Dark Divine, I don’t really think that the cover fit’s the story very well at all but it’s very pretty so I can overlook that.
Once I realised that Grace was a Pastor’s daughter and it was likely that there was going to be a lot of religion in the story, I was a little worried about how much I was going to enjoy this book. Although there is quite a lot about Christianity, it all fits in really well with the story, especially towards the end. I didn’t feel as though the religious parts were overdone or in your face at any point because it worked so well with what was happening. I would say though that if you are against religion at all then this probably isn’t going to be a book for you. I don’t mind it too much so long as it doesn’t preach at all.
I really liked Grace as a main character even though I wasn’t sure to begin with. Yes, she is supposed to be the ‘good girl’ of the book but it soon becomes clear that she isn’t about to do everything that her family tells her to. I do love a girl with a backbone and who can think for herself, someone who refuses to be told what to do. Although Grace does give in for a short time and loses part of who she is, it doesn’t take long for her to figure things out and be back to her normal self again. Her reactions to certain situations were definitely justified so I didn’t end up thinking of her as whiney or annoying (like I do with many female characters) at any point.
The story took a little too long to get into the real action but I still enjoyed the build up. Learning about Grace and Daniel in both the past and present let me really connect with both characters, realising the hard times that they have had to go through in order to be who they are. It was nice to be able to learn about Grace and Daniel’s past without having to wait until the second book. I loved the fact that Daniel was Grace’s childhood crush and there was something between them that they thought could never be acted upon. This was something that made me think that they are destined to be together. When the second book is released, I will already feel as though I know an awful lot about them both and will really be able to get straight into the story.
As I said earlier, this was part of a BOGOF offer but that offer was for vampire books…and this isn’t one. You can imagine my surprise when I got so far through the book and realised that this book wasn’t even close to being about what I thought it was. The fact that I had no idea what this book was really about made it so much more enjoyable as I didn’t know what was going to come next. Another thing that I didn’t guess was what was really going on. Bree Despain throws in a few good red herrings which made me guess the wrong outcome. The mystery aspect of the story was very interesting and was fused really well with a budding romance. For me, the story was really well balanced with a bit of everything that I could have asked for.