Series: The Dark Divine
Author: Bree Despain
Page Count: 372
Published: December 22nd, 2009
Did Not Finish
Grace lives a fairly simple and and uneventful life, until Daniel shows up at her school one day. Daniel, the boy who befriended her as a child, moved into her home and who later vanished, and who her family never ever talks about.
Daniel is different, but he doesn't hesitate to befriend Grace once again. Grace soon resolves to fix the tense relationship between her brother, Jude, and Daniel, but soon strange things start happening, things that leave people fearing that the "Markham Monster" might be back. Does Daniel have anything to do with it?
There will be minor spoilers in this review.
I decided to stop reading this at 56% of the way through. I was very disappointed in it, mostly for personal reasons.
The writing itself was actually pretty good, I liked the way that the author phrased things and I was able to picture everything very well. My favourite setting was the area that Daniel ended up living in, because she made it sound so sketchy and suspicious. I also really liked the descriptions of the angel statutes and the atmosphere in the Garden of Angels.
I also liked Daniel. Actually, he was the only character that I really liked. I liked him because he seemed kind of rebellious, he seemed like he was still dealing with his past and as such he had depth. This is, unfortunately, in contrast to Grace. I found Grace and her family to be rather superficial.
Grace was too much of a "follower" for me. I feel like she didn't question anything and that got on my nerves. She was kind of a "sheep". I felt no connection to her. Then there was her father, who seemed really awesome at first. He seemed kind and caring and I really liked him! Then, he showed a bit of a petty, somewhat intolerant side at the Thanksgiving dinner and I instantly disliked him.
Usually I don't mind when some characters are like this, but because of the context it brought up some rather unpleasant memories, so when I say that most of my issues with this book was personal, I mean it.
Here's where the spoilers come in. The author's interpretation of werewolves or shapeshifters, which I'm guessing, due to other reviews and other readers' discussions of this book, is what Daniel is, was approached in a rather unique way. However, as unique as it was, it really didn't work for me.
Basically, Daniel's situation as a werewolf, shapeshifter or "urbat" was explained through people being super religious and devoted to "God", who then rewarded them with these powers. He is a descendant of these people, so he has these abilities. I didn't like this version of the shapeshifter or werewolf myth, and as with the characters, it kind of brought up unpleasant memories.
I wanted to keep reading to give this book a chance. However, I had to put it down because I feel it had too much religion in it for myself, personally. I think it's kind of funny, actually, that a werewolf or shapeshifter book has more religion in it than most angel and demon books I've read! Of course, I was expecting some religion, but not this much.
So while I liked the writing style and settings, the characters and religious interpretation of werewolves and shapeshifters turned me off this book. I tried and read more than half, but I just had to give up.
If you're interested in paranormal books with religious themes, this may be a good pick for you.