The Dark Divine by Bree Despain, published by Egmont Books in 2010
Grace Divine—daughter of the local pastor—always knew something terrible happened the night Daniel Kalbi disappeared and her brother Jude came home covered in his own blood.
Now that Daniel's returned, Grace must choose between her growing attraction to him and her loyalty to her brother.
As Grace gets closer to Daniel, she learns the truth about that mysterious night and how to save the ones she loves, but it might cost her the one thing she cherishes most: her soul.
When I first saw this book I knew immediately that I had to read it. The cover is simply stunning and I was on the hunt for new authors to try so this ticked all the boxes. I'm happy to report that Bree Despain has just got herself a new fan!
This book is deliciously dark and mysterious. I had absolutely no idea what was going to happen or where the story was going to end up. The many twists and turns genuinely took me completely by surprise and just when I thought that I might have an inkling of what was coming next, the story went off in a totally different direction. It certainly stands out among the rest of the YA paranormal romance genre.
The book has a really strong religious undercurrent which I wasn't sure I was going to enjoy but it was integrated very naturally into the story and it never seemed too forced. The main character Grace Divine is a pastor's daughter and a really great central figure. She's torn between being loyal to her brother Jude and her feelings for childhood friend Daniel, who has returned after a long absence. Grace has some difficult dilemmas and hard situations to deal with in the book but I think she faces them with bravery and strength. She's very giving and caring of the people around her but without being self-righteous or too much of a goody-goody.
There are some stand-out moments between her and Daniel but although I adored the book, I have to say that I didn't fall head-over-heels for him. I'm not sure why but I just didn't entirely click with Daniel. He's quite a complex character and a bit of a bad boy but Grace feels an irresistible attraction to him.
'The Dark Divine' is fresh and original. It doesn't feature any vampires and it's nice to find a book which really keeps you on your toes and expecting almost anything to happen. The follow-up 'The Lost Saint' is published by Egmont on 28th December so not too long to wait now!