Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Dark Divine & The Lost Saint ~ Bree Despain reviews

The Dark Divine (The Dark Divine #1)
December 22, 2009
384 pages
Buy/info @ Amazon (paperback)

Grace Divine, the local pastor's daughter, gets (almost) the shock of her life when Daniel her long disappeared friend/surrogate brother returns to school with no warning. Grace has always known something happened the night Daniel Kalbi disappeared and her brother Jude showed up at their home covered in blood.

Now that Daniel has returned, there's more than a little tension between him and his once best friend, Jude--and Grace is stuck in the middle of it.

Once Grace begins to uncover what really happened that night--and exactly what it all means--whether or not she can keep herself (and her soul) safe becomes a true question.

The Dark Divine is a supernatural story that almost doesn't let on that it's a supernatural story for a long while. Reviews have mentioned it, yes, but based just on the summary and first part of the book, you wouldn't really know that.

A retelling of the Prodigal Son (with a twist for sure!), The Dark Divine does involve religion--Grace's father is the pastor, etc.--but not so much that it feels like Christian Fiction and not secular YA Fiction (for those that do not prefer Christian Fiction).

I think I would have liked a little bit more of the supernatural elements earlier in the story, but I did appreciate the way the character relationships were built, their history was slowly brought in (and added to the story), and how the different story lines came together in the end.

While initially I will admit to being at least partially interested in this book because some of the main characters shared my dogs names (what--they're best friends, too!), I am really happy I read it and it left me looking forward to the sequel . . .


A sneak peek of The Dark Divine's first chapter is on Bree Despain's website

Stop reading now if you haven't read The Dark Divine and/or don't want spoilers for it!!!

The Lost Saint (The Dark Divine #2)
December 28, 2010
400 pages
Buy/info @ Amazon

The Lost Saint picks up soon after The Dark Divine ended. Willing to lose her own soul, Grace made the ultimate sacrifice to Daniel's life. With Daniel now human, Grace a werewolf, Jude on the run, and Grace's mother all but lost in her own mind, Grace's world has turned on itself.

Grace Divine knows that she now has to become a Hound of Heaven, that she has to keep from turning into a dangerous werewolf. But when two new characters show up in town, each with very different plans for Grace, her plan becomes a little more difficult.

One of the newcomers, Talbot, promises to help Grace become a hero, what she longs to be. The closer Grace gets to Talbot, however, the more trouble and distance it creates between her and Daniel.

Will Grace be able to find the right path--the one that truly leads her away from darkness and losing herself? And what about the mysterious, warning phone call from the brother she hasn't seen in so long?

With much more romance, danger, action, and supernatural elements than The Dark Divine, The Lost Saint hits the ground running. This time around it's not a mystery that there are werewolves--only, maybe, just who is one--or that things do, in fact, go bump in the night.

The relationships between the characters developed in the first book are still there and utilized very well. Some new characters are introduced and the old characters are developed more in Saint. There is still religion and lore in this second book, too and ,once again, I felt that it really added to things, made the story stronger.

I enjoyed The Lost Saint quite a bit more than the first book, likely because the basis of the story was already established and the story expanded from the central characters to include a few others. And the ending!! Oh, the ending!!


The Lost Saint website with first chapter, etc.

(Copy of The Lost Saint received for review. Thank you to the publisher. The Dark Divine was bought by me.)

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