The Dark Devine

Main Characters:

Grace/Gracie – a high school junior who’s father is a pastor and she loves art.  She had a crush on Daniel when they were younger and here, she realizes when Daniel comes back into town that she loves him.  She is sort of dating Pete during the beginning of the book.  At the end, right before Grace saves Daniel, Pete attacks her.

Jude – Gracie’s older brother.  He’s the school/town favorite.  He spends time helping anyone in need.  He’s smart, a star hockey player (until it’s noted that he’s not aggressive enough, but even then, the town loves him).  Starts to date April after Daniel comes back into town.  We (eventually) learn that he hates Daniel and wants Grace to stay away from Daniel because Daniel attacked him.  It turns out, Daniel bit him and tried to help him.  But Jude thinks Daniel left him for dead and didn’t care.  If it wasn’t already given away by the title, we learn at the end that he too is a werewolf – since Daniel bit him – and he’s the one who has been committing all the terrible acts which are scaring the town (although he’s not the Markum St Monster).

Daniel – Grace’s love interest.  He comes back after disappearing a few years ago because he wants to get into an art school and he needs to attend this high school to have a chance.  At least that’s what everyone thinks.  Turns out he returned because he wants that, but because Pastor Devine orchestrated it too.  He’s a werewolf, but he’s trying not to let the wolf take over and turn him evil.

April – Grace’s best friend.  She starts to date Jude.  She’s there at the end to witness all the chaos, Pete’s attack, Jude bitting Grace and all the super feats that Daniel manages before Grace stabs him.  She’s present but sort of ancillary for this book.

Pete – Star hockey player.  Jude’s good friend.  He is trying to date Grace and keep Grace away from Daniel at Jude’s request.  He flips out at the end and attacks Grace.

Pastor Devine – Head of the Devine family.  Pastor at the local church.  He knows all about Daniel and being a werewolf.  He is even trying to help save Daniel.  He knows about Jude too, but doesn’t know Jude is carrying out the attacks.  He has a book, with letters from an ancient werewolf that discuss a possible cure.  He gives the book to Grace and tells her that she has a decision to make.

Charity Devine – Younger sister to Jude and Grace.  Ancillary, but always helping to take care of the youngest Devine (James).

Mrs. Devine (can’t remember if we ever got her first name) – Mom.

James Devine – Youngest Devine.  Gets taken out of the house on Thanksgiving by Jude (although that isn’t revealed until later) and he adores Daniel for saving him.

Mr. Barlow – the stern art teacher.

Dan Mooney – a man who is challenged (mentally) but not very seriously.  He turns out to be related to the original werewolf family (the St. Moons).  He attacked Pastor Devine some time ago but the Pastor helped him, forgave him, and became like a savior to him.  Grace is at first uncomfortable around him, but she comes around and sees his good heart later.

Main Premise:  A mysterious boy comes back into town.  Turns out Grace and Daniel knew each other.  We don’t know why, at first, he disappeared or where he went.  He tries to stay away from Grace but he can’t.  And Grace knows she should stay away from him, although Jude’s insistence in not telling Grace why made it harder for her to stay away.  She can’t.  Grace loves him.  But, he’s a werewolf.  Turns out, years ago he bit Jude.  Now, Jude can’t control the wolf inside him/that he’s turning into and he is acting out and he doesn’t even remember it.  Jude firmly believes that Daniel is the bad guy.  He convinces April of the same.  We end with Grace stabbing Daniel in the heart in an attempt to save him – she thinks killing him out of pure love will end the curse.  It turns out that it kills the wolf, but Daniel survives.  Jude takes off and leaves home, but only after biting Grace.  Grace knows she’s been bitten and yet she stabs Daniel anyway because she thinks he is worth the sacrifice.

Location(s): Rose Crest, Oak Park

Other important things to remember:  Moonstone seems to help control the wolf.  Jude has run off, still convinced that Daniel is evil and everything is all Daniel’s fault.  He firmly believes his family has chosen Daniel instead of him.  April hates Grace.  Dan Mooney was related to someone who originally knew how to kill the wolf.  There is a book with an ancient set of letters which described how to kill the wolf, only certain details seem to have been inferred.  Gabriel is mentioned – he’s someone Daniel went to for help and may or may not be related to the Angel depicted in the garden Daniel took Grace to.  And Daniel’s father left him because he hated Daniel – and he was the Markum Street Monster.  James loves Daniel ever since Daniel rescued him.  And Grace believes that promises are always broken so she doesn’t like to make them.  Most importantly…  something seems to easy about Daniel’s “cure”…

Note about the title:  I was a little bummed that the title gave it all away.  I prefer when the title is harder to figure out or at least is more veiled in its reference.  I hope the next installment “The Lost Saint” isn’t as transparent…

Review:  Boy, this reminded me of Linger and Shiver.  He’s a werewolf, it’s a sort of unique take on the mythology of it, she saves him but is turned herself.  Sound familiar?  Although, Despain’s writing isn’t as elegant as Stiefvater’s.  It’s an interesting story with a lot of potential.  The writing is decent although not excellent.  I look forward to reading the next installment and seeing if Daniel is in fact cured, what happens to Grace, if Jude can be saved, and what becomes of everyone else.

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