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The Dark Divine Hardcover – December 22, 2009

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The Dark Divine + The Lost Saint (Dark Divine) + The Savage Grace: A Dark Divine Novel
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Series: Dark Divine (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: EgmontUSA; 1ST edition (December 22, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1606840576
  • ISBN-13: 978-1606840573
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.9 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (205 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #951,018 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 9 Up—Grace Divine, a pastor's daughter, doesn't think she lives up to the name that her father tells her means "heavenly help." Her brother, Jude, a church volunteer whose faith seems unshakable, has always seemed to be the more "graceful" Divine. When his friend Daniel returns to town after a long and mysterious absence, Jude recognizes Grace's attraction to him but urges her to stay away with unusual vehemence. Against his advice, Grace begins a relationship with Daniel, whose reluctance to discuss his disappearance piques her curiosity. As she attempts to uncover the mystery of Daniel's past, Jude discourages her investigations with oblique references to an ancient evil and a transforming curse. The novel builds to a dramatic climax involving the surprise revelation of a Divine family secret and a violent confrontation that suggests a possible sequel. Despain's first novel mixes romance and the supernatural and offers true love as the ultimate defense against lycanthropes. This long novel is a slow starter, but as Grace discovers unexpected local connections to the mystery of Daniel's absence, the pace picks up and the suspense builds. Although not a novel of Christian fiction, the book's thematic investment in faith and sacrifice distinguishes it from traditional supernatural romances.—Amy S. Pattee, Simmons College, Boston
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

With its eye-catching cover (pale, slender legs with purple toenails entwine with purple chiffon on a black background), intriguing title, and the hook of werewolves in love, comparisons to Meyer’s Twilight series are inevitable. However, Despain roots her story firmly in the faith of her protagonist’s family. Sixteen-year-old Grace Divine is a pastor’s daughter and has heard every joke possible about her name. But her family practices what her father preaches: community, caring, and forgiveness, including taking in a neighbor’s abused child and raising him as their own. That boy, Daniel, and Grace fall in love, and when Daniel reveals that he is a werewolf, Pastor Divine searches for remedies while trying to keep his family safe. Though the romantic passages are predictable and characterization sometimes weak, Despain raises complex issues of responsibility and forgiveness and offers no easy answers. Atmospheric and compelling, Despain’s first novel will be popular, and a sequel eagerly anticipated. Grades 7-11. --Debbie Carton

More About the Author

Bree rediscovered her childhood love for creating stories when she took a semester off college to write and direct plays for at-risk, inner-city teens from Philadelphia and New York. She currently lives in Salt Lake City, Utah with her husband, two young sons, and her beloved TiVo. THE DARK DIVINE is Bree's debut novel.

As a kid, Bree would staple folded papers to make her own "novels." As a teen, she wrote stories in notebooks while her friends waited for the next page to be finished. Her teachers told her she should be a writer. But Bree thought only special people could be writers, so as the years past, she settled into the idea of becoming a lawyer or something else just as ordinary.

Bree rediscovered her childhood love for creating stories when she took a semester off college to write and direct plays for at-risk, inner city teens from Philadelphia and New York. With a renewed passion for story, and the young adult audience, she returned to Brigham Young University, filled her schedule with creative writing and literature classes, and started writing stories again. But regular life kicked in, and she soon found herself married with a new baby, working full-time, and with very little writing done.

That's when the universe threw a pick-up truck in her path. The car accident left Bree with an understanding that life was too short to not do what you absolutely love. A few days later, her husband brought home a used laptop computer, placed it by her bedside, and said, "You'd better start writing." Her life has never been the same since.

In a moment of karmic perfection, Bree received the offer to purchase The Dark Divine on the 6th anniversary of the car accident that put her back on the path to becoming an author.

Customer Reviews

If you love paranormal type romance will LOVE this book!
I don't give away spoilers just bits of information to help you decide if you want to read the book.
I thought this book was well written and the characters nicely developed.
S. Walker

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

64 of 69 people found the following review helpful By Jenny, Wondrous Reads on December 28, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I read The Dark Divine without knowing anything about the story, the characters, or what I was in store for. All I'd read was the description on the inside cover and, just like the first half of the book, it gave nothing away. I was intrigued to say the least.

The first half of the book sets things up nicely, and introduces us to Grace Divine, her overly perfect brother Jude, and the mysterious Daniel Kalbi. I instantly warmed to the Divine family, and loved the way they supported and bounced off one another. Grace is a great female lead, and has a strong sense of loyalty and independence that I find many YA characters lacking. Daniel has to be one of the most frustrating bad boys I've come across -- I just couldn't figure him out. I knew there was something off about him, but could I guess what? No, I couldn't, and I think that more than added to my enjoyment of the book. It was almost like every page had the ability to uncover a new secret, and I couldn't wait to find out what it was.

I'm not going to even mention what the sinister secret is, as it's definitely something you need to discover at the same time as Grace. I'll just say that I think it's brilliant, and the mythology and lore crafted into the legend is fascinating, and different to anything I've read previously. If you let the story unfold as it should, I think you'll be just as surprised as I was when I finally found out what was going on. Stay away from spoilers, you won't regret it.

The Dark Divine is a compelling, addictive debut, and I absolutely loved it. All the time I was reading it, and even when writing this review, I was excited, and I couldn't put it down until I'd finished it. It effortlessly stands out in the sea of supernatural YA fiction, and Bree Despain should be very proud of herself. Now, where can I find me a Daniel...?
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46 of 53 people found the following review helpful By Erin K. Simons on July 28, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I have a really hard time writing a negative book review. It's kind of like saying someone has an ugly baby. There's so much time and sweat and love that go into a novel (even a bad one) that it just seems impolite to say "it's bad."

So, I'll try to expand on that a bit.

The Dark Divine is a very predictable story about a Very Good Girl and a Very Troubled (Bad?) Boy with a Very Dark Secret. Of course, they have a Very Forbidden Love that brings about Very Big Trouble.

The plot is recycled, unimaginative and transparent. But I can forgive that. There isn't a lot of original thought out there, and a familiar story retold with a spark of magic can be a wonderful thing. Unfortunately, Ms. Despain missed the mark in her effort to breathe new life into her story, built on a classic, universal monster legend. There's nothing new here, and only the youngest and most naive or unread readers will find anything to raise their pulse between the covers of The Dark Divine. The spiciest thing about this book is the cover -- which, incidentally, seems totally random and unrelated to the story. Beautiful art, though.

The real problem with The Dark Divine is the writing. (I say the real problem, because truthfully, the book is chock full of problems. This is the foundation upon which the problem house is built, though.) The book is plodding, the dialogue is abrupt and unnatural and the characters are two-dimensional stereotypes. Not one character has a shred of sparkle, even the laughable bad boy Daniel, whose secret is teased with the subtlety of a sledgehammer. It's just... bad, from start to finish.
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24 of 28 people found the following review helpful By D. Cootey on December 22, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I really enjoyed the characters in this book, especially Grace Divine. As a heroine, she was plucky enough to get herself into trouble and then out of it, but her vulnerable nature, born of doubts and insecurities, made her real and grounded to me. Although Grace was often rescued during pivotal scenes by the love interest, Daniel Kalbi, I didn't find her helpless as much as simply in over her head. Any strong lead, male or female, can do the same, so I never found myself thinking of Grace as an incapable damsel.

The dynamic between the family members, especially in regards to Daniel, felt real to me. The dialog was often delightful and balanced. Grace had just enough sarcastic wit to be snarky when called for, but never so mean as to lose my connection with her. The mystery of the story was paced well without feeling held back artificially, and the descriptive text didn't bog the story down in exposition and distraction. Good, solid concrete details helped me visualize the narrative consistently.

About 4/5ths through the book I felt the story began to drag for me, but I couldn't put my finger on why. I felt I'd need a reread before knowing for sure.

And therein lies the main point of this review for me. Despain has written a paranormal romance not weighted in pretentious dialog or scenes of maudlin angst. It is a tale of paranormal adventure, mystery & romance, filled with secrets engaging enough to propel the reader forward in search of their revelation. I couldn't put it down and look forward to reading it again.

Highly recommended.
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