The Dark Divine is the breathtaking debut novel from author Bree Despain. I was SO excited when I received this book from Santa! I have been lusting for it since I first caught sight of its spectacular cover!
Summary from Goodreads:
"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."
My favorite kind of book is one that forces you to ignore your beckoning pillow and makes you refuse to look at your clock- a book that compels you to read into the night, because if you don't find out what happens next you won't be able to sleep anyway! The Dark Divine is that kind of book! I was completely hooked by the end of the first chapter. This story is a battle of Good vs. Evil - full of suspense, danger, forbidden love, and deadly secrets. The story has a strong Christian influence that the author infused with legend and lore. The combination of these elements worked perfectly in the plot, and it made the story seem like it could really happen!
The book maintained a quick pace throughout. I truly had a hard time putting it down! The characters were well developed and believable. They felt "real" to me as I read the book. The story is told through Grace Divine. I really liked her character. She is strong and smart, but she feels compelled to live up to the expectations of being Pastor Divine's daughter. She is in a tug-a-war between her love and connection to Daniel and her deep commitment to her family. Does she follow her heart or do what is expected of her? Daniel's character is pretty complex. He is the dark and mysterious guy, sure - but he also possesses a deep vulnerability and need for Grace that will make you melt! He carries a dangerous secret that could destroy everything he has ever cared about. Jude is Grace's brother and the "perfect guy". He is committed to the church, helps the needy, and loves his family. But when Daniel returns to town, Jude begins to change. The secrets that have been kept from Grace "for her own good" since Daniel disappeared are revealed and Grace, Daniel, and Jude are plunged into a battle for their very souls!
This book has definitely made my list of favorite reads! The ending was spectacular! There was an unexpected twist that I did not see coming and it was awesome! I hope there is a sequel planned to this book! There is so much more I want to know about this story!!! Congratulations to Bree Despain for writing a phenomenal debut novel!!