The Lost Saint by Bree Despain continues the story of Grace Divine. If the first book was about Daniel’s redemption from evil, then this book is about Grace’s fall. By now the secret of Daniel’s mystery is out: Daniel is an Urbat—a werewolf—a Hound of Heaven.
Originally angels blessed with power to fight evil, they succumbed to that power and became cursed. The Lost Saint digs deeper into the history of the Urbat and how it relates to Grace and her family, as well as Daniel’s, especially now that she, too, feels the seductive call of the beast to give into the power and revel in it.
In The Dark Divine, Grace sacrificed herself to cure Daniel’s curse. This selfless act of love had the unfortunate result of transferring Daniel’s curse to her. This book is all about Grace’s training as Daniel coaches her from the side. Daniel is constantly urging Grace to hold back, however, and the beast inside craves to be set free.
Eventually, Grace meets Talbot, a hottie Urbat who embraces his darker side and eggs Grace on to do the same. Meanwhile, Jude has taken up with a wild bunch of Urbats who feel the quickest path to dominating mankind is by knocking over convenient stores. Can Daniel save Grace from herself and the influences of evil before it’s too late, or is he too busy with a new girl, now that he’s human?
Most of the characters of the first book return for this one, some in diminished roles and some enhanced. Each minor character affects Grace during their turn on stage, so none were superfluous. Talbot is the character that has the greatest influence, both as a romantic lead and as a teacher, but not always for the best. Gabriel, the ancient Urbat, has his influence as well.
Then Daniel’s father shows up as the ring leader of the wild bunch, which complicates things. Mostly, however, Grace searches to know herself and the role her powers play in her life. Her struggles to balance her old self with her new self while also trying to maintain the relationships around her is poignant. Also interesting is the history of the Urbats as Grace uncovers secret after secret.
If there was one minor flaw in the book, it would be the lack of communication as a plot device. Daniel and Grace drift apart because of secrets. Daniel’s big secret causes him to distance himself just when Grace is most vulnerable, while Grace’s actions in defiance of Daniel push him away as well. Breakdowns in communication are the irreconcilable differences that divorce papers are filled with world wide, but sometimes this story felt as if the breakdown was convenient to give the story more pages.
Regardless, it was a minor point and could be testimony to how impatient I was for them to reconcile those differences—evidence that Despain writes believable characters. There were still plenty of questions left unanswered to give the reader an incentive to read book three, but I didn’t feel those questions were artificially unanswered for padding purposes.
I felt this book did a good job of showing the consequences of Grace’s actions while still keeping her a likable character. Despain has done a great job on world building. This isn’t a simple paranormal romance knock-off. There is depth to the story here that is missing from most books in this genre. The language can be gritty at times, the actions a bit violent, and the characters don’t always choose the right path, but that is what made the characters feel real to me. The Lost Saint was an enjoyable tale with strong characters and a deep storyline. I recommend it.
Release Date: December 28, 2010 (USA)
ISBNs: 1606840584 (9781606840580)
Publisher: Egmont USA
Alcohol/Drugs: 3 (drug abuse, drug dealing, underaged drinking)
Language: 3 (s-words, d-words, and h-words)
Sexuality: 1 (sexual tension and flirting)
Violence: 3 (people get bloody, people die, not gory but definitely violent)