Book review: 'The Savage Grace' brings the werewolves to battle

Published: Saturday, March 10 2012 4:00 p.m. MST

"THE SAVAGE GRACE: A Dark Divine Novel," by Bree Despain, Egmont USA, $17.99, 416 pages (f)

Be prepared for a lot of battle as the third book in Utah author Bree Despain's Dark Divine trilogy unfolds — and not only physical battle with spears and silver bullets, but inner battles against the voices of inner beasts as various characters struggle with their destinies.

In "The Savage Grace," as Grace Divine forges on to bring back the love of her life, it quickly becomes apparent there's more to do than to save Daniel who is currently a white wolf howling in the woods.

It's also clear that Grace's powers are greater than she knows — powers she's finally starting to accept as a gift rather than something she should rage against.

She learns, through an 800-year-old mentor, to work with pure intent rather than anger, and from that point, things go better — if one can consider finally bringing all the werewolves in the region together for a mighty battle progress.

She has to trust when she'd not sure who to trust and make wrenching decisions when either choice will bring pain and loss.

She sometimes has to admit she was wrong.

Along her journey, she finally turns to prayer, which is healing and good, but it's only once. As a result, it feels random and a little forced with all the blood, evil and killing.

At times it feels like this book is mimicking "Twilight," especially with a couple of statements, like when Grace declares to Talbot, "I'll ALWAYS choose Edward — er, Daniel!"

The story is certainly a wild one and maybe a little too ambitious.

But for those ready for another werewolf-vampire-human triangle love story, this is almost it except that it's a white alpha werewolf with a tan, bad werewolf with a burgeoning female alpha werewolf going around.

It's an action-packed story — so packed, in fact, that it's hard to imagine the characters get to take a breath.

There is a new bunch of werewolf rules to consider as well, including things that involve the eclipse and the age and longevity of werewolves.

And Grace is dealing with saving Daniel in human form, bringing her brother Jude back from the depths of evil and keeping her father alive, her mother sane and her baby brother safe while she looks for her moonstone and shuts out the mean wolf inside her head.

It's also time for the passing of the crown for the werewolf pack, so Sirhan and his followers must be convinced to follow the new alpha.

Before that, Sirhan has to die by the hand of someone who loves him.

And that has to happen just right.

It gets a little complicated and albeit farfetched, but we're talking complete fiction, here, right?

Just go with it, and it's a lot more fun.

IF YOU GO ...

What: "The Savage Grace" launch party

When: Tuesday, March 13, 7 p.m.

Where: The King's English, 1511 S. 1500 East, Salt Lake City

Web: kingsenglish.com

Sharon Haddock is a professional writer with 35 years experience, 17 at the Deseret News. Her personal blog is at sharonhaddock.blogspot.com.

Email: haddoc@desnews.com

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