Thank you to Spencer Hill Press for providing me with a galley of the book to review.
I abandoned this book at 41% for a very simple reason: I found this book to be boring and my patience to be too thin to struggle through this one.
With a beautiful cover and a summary that promises action and adventure, I expected to love “Divinity”, especially after seeing high reviews appear one after the other. But I was mislead completely.
The biggest problem this book faces, I think, is that it felt like a compilation of clichés and a check list of things that appear in some of the most popular books/series in the literary market today. Let’s go through it one by one:
You have Julia, the main character who is beautiful and beloved and has finally stabilized after going through a terrible childhood and experiencing some scarring things. Her mother was put in an asylum, she hasn’t had a good experience in her adoptive family, but everything gets better when she meets the love of her life, Alex, and buys out a restaurant which, once redone, becomes a booming business for her. Nothing out of what I mentioned is new and I get that it’s hard for an author to always “make something new” when there are so many books out there today and even more being written right this second. But when there isn’t any kind of new personality to the characters or anything, not even a little unique detail or trait, then it becomes a big put-off and reading the book instantly turns into a chore, which is what this one was. Julia and Alex are your typical cookie-cutter characters that didn’t feel fleshed out at all, and as Julia was going through the Emotional Checklist – being mad at Gabriel, moping and mourning, etc. – I didn’t feel any sympathy for her, forget even about empathy. At times her blandness was even annoying.
The whole plot quickly went downhill for me. There wasn’t much of the suspense and intrigue and adventure that the book summary promised. Instead it was a whole lot of denial and anger from Julia’s part, a (not original and rather repetitive) info-dump when Julia and Michael go to Heaven and he tells her about her past and her mission, and the introduction of the enemy and the sacrifice which occurs from that encounter. Everything I foresaw, yet again, even though I expected the enemy to appear and for there to be victims, the pace was glacial at best and was followed by a lot more novel “stereotypes” and Julia going through another Emotional Checklist, stereotypical young-adult style.
Putting all these things together I honestly saw no point in continuing reading, which is a true shame because this book was nothing like what I hoped it would be. Maybe it got better after the part where I dropped it. Maybe Julia’s character grew stronger and there was SOMETHING in the plot that made it stand out from all the hundreds of angel stories already written. The 41% that I read wasn’t enough to keep my interest or convince me of those things. Overall it’s your common, standard angel story with a lovey-dovey couple, a girl that discovers she’s got amazing powers, and a whole lot of repetition of existing concept, ideas, and details. For someone who loves those kinds of things and writing that adheres to an existing formula, this book will be appealing. But for me, who wants something that’ll grab my attention and have some sort of life to it beyond the writing, this was bland and unoriginal.