Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Lost Saint

Depain, Bree. The Lost Saint. New York: Egmont USA, 2011. Print. A Dark Divine Novel 2.
[Book cover credit:]

Not only will this not make much sense if you haven't read The Dark Divine, but it will spoil the crap out of the last chapter for you. You've been warned!

     "Oh. My. Gosh." April shouted so loud I slammed on the breaks, thinking we were about to hit a dog or something. But April bounced in her seat with the craziest smile on her face, like she'd just thought of the best idea since nail polish. "...I have to ask: if you're gonna be a superhero, can I be your sidekick?"
Now that Grace is the one with superhuman abilities, Daniel is trying (mostly in vain) to get her to keep her powers and emotions in check so that the wolf doesn't take control. But calm and controlled is not what Grace wants. She wants to be out fighting the evils of the world, rescuing damsels in distress, thwarting demons and saving Jude. And if she has to embrace the power the wolf gives her in order to do that, she will. The fact that the hot new guy in town is willing to train her in ways that Daniel is not has nothing to do with it. Right?

I'm going to start out by saying that, while I loved the first book, I was not DYING to read The Lost Saint. I was interested, looking forward to it, and knew I would love it, but the first book did not leave me with that unquenchable need (as a result of a too-late-in-the-story twist or cliff-hanger) to pick up the next book in the series. I knew that nothing horrible would happen to Grace, Daniel, or even Jude before I met them again.

Well, I'm clawing my eyes out now waiting for the still untitled third book in the series. I tore through the last chapter and was half a paragraph into the acknowledgements before it hit me: I have to wait until December to find out what happens next. Oh, the agony!

Where The Dark Divine had mystery and the unknown (and one of my favorite romances in the paranormal genre) to move it forward, this has an overall feeling of doom and dread to push the story along (and a rift in my favorite romance). Despain does not fall into the paranormal trap of making either Grace (the girl) or Daniel (the love interest of the paranormal) helpless or unable to read the hints right in front of them, but there were still plenty of moments where I just knew that Grace was Going the Wrong Way, and just like while watching a horror movie, I could do nothing but yell at her through the pages and watch her go. Her little tiffs with Daniel that turned into petty I'm-not-speaking-to-you problems that turned into secrets kept were believable and painful. They also made her vulnerable, and that vulnerability made her trust people she shouldn't have. And that, of course, gets everyone in trouble.

The upside to all of this is the return of April. And, well, she's just awesome. From her superhero aspirations to her wink-wink-nudge-nudge secret keeping to her inability to not see the upside of everything Grace is going through, she made this book for me. This is what I absolutely love about Despain's writing and why I will keep reading anything she puts out. There is so much about these books and others like them that is serious and stressful (in a good way), but she so far she has managed to put in something to balance it, and it is not a serious and dramatic love story where no one smiles but instead gazes. In the first book, it was the happy flashbacks to Grace and Daniel's childhood together and the fluttery first love between them. In this book, it is April's excitability and the rekindling of Grace's friendship with her. These additions help to pace the story and help to create well-rounded characters (did I mention that April is designing Grace a superhero outfit as part of her art school application?). The world does not fall away in the face of the Despain's werewolves; they exist in it.

And I can't wait to see what they do next!!!

Book source: Philly Free Library

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Christy said...

I love the Dark Divine series. I'm with you-can't wait until the next one now! Nice review blog.

Lawral the Librarian said...

Thanks Christy! I'm conforting myself with the assurance that December always rolls around a lot quicker than I plan for. The third Dark Divine book will have to be my holiday-craziness break!