Sunday, February 14, 2010

The Dark Divine by Bree Despain

Book Description:

From Amazon:
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, and the strange, hungry glint in his eyes...

My Thoughts:

The Dark Divine is a retelling of the Parable of the Prodigal Son with a paranormal twist. It’s one of the reasons why I was so excited to read this. Unlike most YA books, this has a religious theme. When I say religious, I mean that a Supreme Being is considered here.

Grace is a very considerate, loyal, helpful and independent character. She’s not a saint. But she’s definitely an angel on earth. Upon seeing the condition Daniel is in, she decides to help him get his life back, despite his brother’s warnings to stay away from him and all the accusations against him. As she tries to help Daniel, Jude starts acting unlike himself. Grace wonders what really happened the night she last saw Daniel, which made her brother loathe him.

Daniel is the i-don’t-really-care prodigal. But is he really? On the outside he looks rebellious, dangerous, bad. But as the story progresses, we get to see why he has become like this. It was revealed that he is still he childhood crush that Grace loved. But he didn’t return with the same mud pie eyes, he returned with onyx orbs that reflect light. He’s struggling with an ancient curse that’s passed down to him by his father.

The first half of the novel elaborates the life of Grace Divine, her responsibilities and duties as the pastor’s daughter in Rose Crest. We get to see the strict unwritten laws that she follows everyday. We get to see how sincere she is in helping people in need. In this case, Daniel – her once-brother and childhood crush. In the first half, there are subtle hints that can reveal bits of information about Daniel’s identity. The second half of the novel pours in the crafted mythology of Bree Despain mixed with biblical and historical content. Daniel’s past is unfolded before Grace in a strained and desperate confession. The events before the ending is fast paced, thrilling, exciting and it kept me reading at full speed. It all ended with a promise of change and love in the Garden of Angels, Daniel’s sanctuary – a place that he shared with Grace.

The Dark Divine is a wonderfully-written story of love, acceptance and forgiveness. It opens our eyes to the places where the danger of pride and anger can take us. Another lesson here is the act of charity. Don, a man who falls under the category of ‘needy’ donates 32 christmas hams to needy people. Sometimes, giving hurts. And when it does hurt to give, to sacrifice, that’s when our act of goodness is truly appreciated.


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