EgmontUSA - Young Adult/Paranormal
The Dark Divine is the first e-book I've completed, which is possibly much more exciting than you can imagine. When I first got my e-reader (just after Christmas) I found that I'd read a chapter or two and then completely forget I was reading an e-book for a few days. It didn't come as naturally to me to grab the reader as it seems to for a lot of people, but I finally decided I was just going to have to work on making it a habit. Success! I finished an e-book!
Grace Divine has never known what happened between her brother Jude and Daniel Kalbi or why Daniel disappeared. Now he's back in town and she finds herself curiously drawn to him, even though Jude has warned her to keep her distance. Why is Jude so angry with Daniel? What's causing the arguments between her father, a pastor, and her slightly obsessive-compulsive mother? Is it really so wrong to love and want to help someone who has hurt the people you care for? Doesn't the Bible tell us to forgive?
I don't believe it's a spoiler to say there's something to do with werewolves in The Dark Divine because I know I read that much before I picked up the book and it takes a very long time before you actually get to the werewolf part of the book. The vast majority of The Dark Divine is about relationships -- the relationship between Daniel and the Divine family, how they took him in and then he abruptly left their lives and how Grace still finds him magnetically appealing. Even though she knows his absence was difficult for her family and they're strongly opposed to her having anything to do with him, as the daughter of a pastor Grace is accustomed to helping people and Daniel seems to need a friend.
What I loved about The Dark Divine:
I think Bree Despain did a great job of slowly peeling away the layers of the story, revealing the secrets Grace's father and brother kept close in the past, whilst simultaneously developing a romantic dilemma with plenty of conflict. And, the conflict simply grows stronger as Daniel's story is revealed. I also love the way the book is written such that Christianity is simply a part of Grace's identity. The Dark Divine isn't about Christianity at all. Grace's beliefs are simply inseparable from who she is and how she reacts.
What I disliked about The Dark Divine:
There were some minor strands of the story that confused me. I don't know if there were extremely small holes in the plot or I missed something, but toward the end I found myself thinking, "I don't get it. Why is Grace thinking that to herself? Where's her logic coming from?" In the end, some of those confusing bits were explained but I can't say I was totally satisfied. And, yet, I really enjoyed the reading and think the main reason the book ended up my first completed electronic read has to do with the fact that the story was compelling enough that I pretty much didn't touch any other books for the few days it took me to read The Dark Divine.
In other words, the "dislike" section of this review is pretty weak. If I still gave numerical ratings, I'd go with 3.5 or 4 stars, depending on my mood. That's one reason I don't use numerical ratings, anymore. I'm so moody that I find myself thinking, "This was about a 4-star book," when I finish and then 2 weeks later, I'll reflect on scenes I loved or hated and suddenly I want to go back and change my rating in one direction or another.
At any rate, I hope to read the second book in the series. But, so far my upper limit on e-book prices hasn't cracked $5 and the next book, The Lost Saint, is not what I consider a reasonable price for an e-book.
Well . . . it's pretty. Very eye-catching. I have no idea what bare legs wrapped in hot pink tulle with matching toenail polish have to do with Grace Divine or the story, though.
Thoughts on defining genre:
I've occasionally hesitated to use the word "paranormal" because I haven't been certain I'm using it correctly, but I looked up the definition online and Merriam-Webster defines paranormal as "not scientifically explainable." Oh. Okay, that seems to work for werewolves. The American Heritage Dictionary goes a little further: "Beyond the range of normal experience or scientific explanation." That works better, in my mind, because (if I recall right) I'm pretty sure the prefix "para" means "beside" and when I think of the word paranormal, I think "beyond the normal" but "beside the normal" makes sense because it beside contrasts whatever you're talking about (ghosts, werewolves) with the normal but also implies a coexistence, right? Am I overanalyzing, here?
And a question:
I recently asked the people in my book group if they have an upper limit they're willing to pay for e-books or simply download whatever books they desire, regardless of price, for the sake of not adding additional clutter to their homes. The responses were interesting and quite varied. I'm curious about those of you who read my blog. If you own a reader, does the price of an e-book matter to you? Does it frustrate you if you find that a book you desire to read is cheaper in paperback than e-book form or are you willing to pay more to keep yet another book from cluttering up your home?
Time for a kitty fix!