While I liked the previous book in this series, “The Dark Divine”, I thought that it was an okay read, not the best book that I had ever read, but not the worst by any means. But this book? I loved this book, it is hands down the best book that I have read since reading “The Last Sacrifice” by Richelle Mead and I am happily surprised, since in all honesty I didn't think that this book would exceed the first, because in some cases I find that sequels do not deliver. It becomes evident that author Bree Despain is very much developing as an author and therefore I cannot wait to see what she has in store for us in the next book in this series.
Whereas “The Dark Divine” had a slower pace, with almost all of the action taking place at the end, this book is saturated with non-stop action. I found that this book mainly revolves around new characters, save for Grace and Daniel, and in all honesty, I didn’t really find myself missing the original characters who were so predominant in the first novel, such as Pastor Divine, mainly because the new characters are so intriguing and interesting. Ummm... Talbot anyone? *Swoon*. When he was first introduced I kept thinking to myself, I should be wary of his character and find him to be suspicious, but I just couldn’t, mainly because he was such a nice guy and he clearly cares about Grace. And what happened towards the end of the novel? I didn’t believe it for one second, if anything, it made me like him even more. Okay, so I know that Charity played a role in the first book, but barely and as such, I hadn’t really formed an opinion of her. Though in this book, even though she played as little of a role as the last time, I did find myself liking her quite a bit. She reminds me of Grace a lot, strong, smart, and more than willing to look after those that she cares about, I think that she will grow up to be an extremely kick-ass woman.
And then there is April... Oh April, the trembly cocker-spaniel like character, whom I really couldn’t stand in “The Dark Divine” mainly because she seemed so dependent upon Jude, but whom I loved in this book (except for the beginning when she was shunning Grace). If I were to have to pick only one character who changed the most/ for the better in this book, it would be April. She grew a backbone and really found her place in this crazy world that she was thrust into. As for Gabriel? Well, I must be honest and say I don’t really know what to think of him. I do think that in theory he is a really cool guy, you know, being a legend/ hundreds of years old and whatnot, but I just felt like his character was kinda flat. But, I did feel extremely bad for him when Grace was being a jerk to him, he didn’t have to help her whatsoever, in fact, he was told not to and he disobeyed his orders and for that he could get in a lot of trouble, but he thought that she was worth it, so I suppose I can respect him, though I wish that he had a bigger personality. And Jude? Well, I still find him to be extremely selfish, but you know what? He works for the story. A story wouldn’t work if all of the characters were nice and we loved them all, we need characters whom we loathe and would really like to be squished by a bulldozer in order for the plot to be fuelled and the story to be successful, so that is what he is for me, an annoyance that I would rather not have to read about, but an annoyance that I understand is necessary.
Typically when the male of a character knows of the paranormal world and the female character doesn’t and they fall in love and he wants to protect her from the paranormal world because she doesn’t understand the dangers that she could face, but she still doesn’t trust him and seeks out to learn more about this world and finds herself in a dangerous situation where the boy has to save her, I want to shake some sense into her/ I become extremely frustrated and grumpy at the female character. The boy knows what he is talking about girl! He has been saturated in this way of life forever and knows how to protect himself and everyone he cares about from it, what makes you think, you who have only known about this world for 2 days (or however long it has been- usually it hasn’t been very long), think that you know more about it than he does? That’s right, you don’t! So imagine my surprise when this does occur in this book, yet I don’t want to shake Grace and scream, “Listen to Daniel! He knows what he is talking about, whereas you are totally a clueless girl from an apple-pie kind of life!” Nope, didn’t find myself thinking that at all (kudos to you Bree Despain, you are one of few authors that I have read who I think have successfully pulled this off), and why didn’t I think this? Because of my biggest (actual) frustration of this book... *Ahem, I am talking to you Daniel*. What were you thinking? You do remember that girl, Grace, who risked everything to free you from your curse, and as such took on the curse herself? HOW COULD YOU JUST STOP TALKING TO HER? You excuse for not talking to her? Lame! She wasn’t asking you difficult questions by any means and wasn’t being the stereotypical whinny girlfriend, “But why? Where are you going?” No, she deserved the answers to the questions that she was asking. As such, I don’t think that Grace should feel guilty for breaking her “non-promise” to Daniel that she would stay out of trouble/ not find Jude/ not train; she had to do what she had to do. However, there is something that I do believe that she should feel guilty for; developing feelings for Talbot, even though she denied it to herself throughout the novel, obviously there is something between them.
Rating: 10/10 If you were one of those people who read the first book and were on the fence about it, thinking that you wouldn’t bother continuing on with the series (as I hope it becomes evident in this review) this book is much better than the first and I think that you will really regret not reading this book!