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I Belong

Review: The Dark Divine by Bree Despain

Dark DivineTitle: The Dark Divine

Author: Bree Despain

Genre: YA Paranormal

Publication Date: December 22, 2009

Format: Hardcover, 384 Pages

ISBN-10: 1606840576 (Egmont USA)

ISBN-13: 978-1606840573 (Egmont USA)

Synopsis (

Grace Divine, daughter of the local pastor, always knew something terrible happened the night Daniel Kalbi disappeared–the night she found her brother Jude collapsed on the porch, covered in his own blood–but she has no idea what a truly monstrous secret that night held.

The memories her family has tried to bury resurface when Daniel returns, three years later, and enrolls in Grace and Jude’s high school. Despite promising Jude she’ll stay away, Grace cannot deny her attraction to Daniel’s shocking artistic abilities, his way of getting her to look at the world from new angles, and the strange, hungry glint in his eyes.

The closer Grace gets to Daniel, the more she jeopardizes her life, as her actions stir resentment in Jude and drive him to embrace the ancient evil Daniel unleashed that horrific night. Grace must discover the truth behind the boy’s dark secret…and the cure that can save the ones she loves. But she may have to lay down the ultimate sacrifice to do it–her soul.

Quick & Dirty: A must read debut novel that will give you thrills and chills.

Opening Sentence: Sacrifice – Blood fills my mouth.

Excerpt: Chapter 1

The Review:

Despain does an excellent job of showcasing themes and mythology in this beautifully written story.  Character motivations and conflicts aren’t always what they seem and the story will definitely keep you guessing until the very end.  The plot and pacing of the story arc moved along with an interesting telling of the story in sections or events if you will.  Grace, the narrator of the story, easily connects with the reader.   Her family is very important to her and the more she tries to fix the situation and become what other people want her to be, she begins to second guess her own motivations.  I think Grace finds herself in a place where she starts to shoulder the burdens of everyone else and the weight of it becomes unbearable.  From the very beginning the reader is teased with the mystery of what happened between Daniel and Jude.  Both characters are sympathetic and likable despite their flaws.  Daniel is the dark and mysterious love interest with baggage, while Jude is the ever loyal and “good son” – essentially perfect in everyone’s eyes.  I loved the dynamics between the Divine family and how each member dealt with the events that unfolded.  The Dark Divine has a satisfying ending that left room for the sequel without ending on a cliffhanger.  I think the book is an easy read with plenty of plot twists.  I enjoyed the back story, character development, and sense of danger.

Notable Scene:

I felt a bit dizzy as I inspected the at least ten-foot drop down to the other side.  Crap, that’s high.  I was wondering how I was ever going to get down when I lost my balance and stumbled off the pillar.  Before I could shriek, something hard and tight wrapped around my arm, wrenching me to a stop a couple of feet from the ground.

I dangled for a moment, my feet swinging above the frozen earth.  I tried to catch my breath before looking up.  But I found it even harder to breathe when I saw Daniel kneeling on the top of the pillar, holding me with only one hand.  His face completely smooth and calm, not puckered or creased by the strain of my weight.

You can visit Bree around the web here: Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook


FTC Advisory: Egmont USA provided me with an ARC of The Dark Divine.  No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.  In addition, I don’t receive affiliate fees for anything purchased via links from my site.  Note: I am a member of Bree’s street team contest.  I will be holding various contests to giveaway my autographed ARC along with other promotional items that I received.


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5 Responses to “Review: The Dark Divine by Bree Despain

  1. Audrey/brizmusNo Gravatar

    This is the first review I’ve read that talks about the mythology brought into play in the Dark Divine (even if only a little bit). Thanks for that! This is, oddly enough, the first review to make me wnat to read the book for the book and not just for the cover.

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  2. AngelaNo Gravatar
    Author Comment

    Thanks, Audrey. I didn’t want to breakdown the events of the book or expand on the mythology because it would be a complete spoiler. I will say that I was surprised when I found out what Daniel ultimately was. I’d been guessing as I read along and I have to admit that I didn’t guess correctly. The mythology is key and it also gives you an idea of what might happen in the future, as well as answer a lot of questions you might have as the reader. The cover is stunning but there’s also a good story inside. I don’t think that the mythology weighs the story down so you don’t have to worry about that. Despain gave us just enough to feed the plot and support events in the book, as well as leaving us with an idea of where things might go in the sequel. The paranormal aspect is certainly a nice twist and I think the lore has a nice spin to it as well.

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  3. Stacy WNo Gravatar

    I read Chapter 1 on this yesterday and I cannot WAIT to read the book. Thanks for the awesome review! :mrgreen:

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  4. Abigail [All Things Urban Fantasy]No Gravatar

    Angela, I’m so glad you wrote a review! I was beginning to think that you weren’t going to do any reviews on this site :)

    I’m definitely intrigued. So good job.

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  5. AngelaNo Gravatar
    Author Comment

    Hey Abigail,

    LOL, YES – I will have a ton of reviews on this site. I’m just REALLY behind right now. Busy with work and recently had surgery so I’m trying to get caught up. I will be posting reviews for Rampant, Beautiful Creatures, and a few others soon. I still owe you some questions, working on the creature feature and such so the pressure is on. Didn’t realize how much time went into running the blog. Glad you liked the review. I really didn’t want to give too much away.

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