Month: May 2014

The Diviners by Libba Bray

7728889578 pages
Published September 18th 2012 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Source: Purchased

Synopsis: Evie O’Neill has been exiled from her boring old hometown and shipped off to the bustling streets of New York City—and she is pos-i-tute-ly ecstatic. It’s 1926, and New York is filled with speakeasies, Ziegfeld girls, and rakish pickpockets. The only catch is that she has to live with her uncle Will and his unhealthy obsession with the occult.

Evie worries he’ll discover her darkest secret: a supernatural power that has only brought her trouble so far. But when the police find a murdered girl branded with a cryptic symbol and Will is called to the scene, Evie realizes her gift could help catch a serial killer.

As Evie jumps headlong into a dance with a murderer, other stories unfold in the city that never sleeps. A young man named Memphis is caught between two worlds. A chorus girl named Theta is running from her past. A student named Jericho hides a shocking secret. And unknown to all, something dark and evil has awakened.

Review: I bought this as an e-book a long time ago, but just got around to reading it recently. I don’t know what took me so long, because it has everything I love in a book: the 1920s, history, flappers, a murder mystery, the supernatural and the occult. I am kicking myself for not picking it up sooner, because I LOVED it!

I really can’t think of anything I didn’t like about the book. I liked the characters, especially with the mysterious backgrounds of several of them. Evie is a fun character and while she is the heart of the book, I also enjoyed getting to know Theta and Memphis and other minor characters. I also loved the setting. I felt like I was right in New York City and I especially liked the settings that Memphis and Theta wandered through. I also liked their relationship, which was definitely verboten at the time. I also liked the relationships between all the other characters. I don’t think there was a character that I didn’t like. I loved the villain. He was terrifying and when I am reading a book and I’m afraid the villain will break into my room, then I think the author has done a good job. I also loved the treatment of the occult and the fact that there is a museum for it in the book. I liked the mix of the supernatural with the occult and also with the “modern” world. I really loved most of the book and just couldn’t put it down. There are so many elements to the story, that I was worried that it could be a mess, but I was pleasantly surprised. And Bray definitely did her research in regards to the setting and time. It never felt heavy handed or trying to browbeat history into the reader, but also providing a history of the time. It’s a really unique and magical book. I definitely can not wait for the next one.

The only thing that I found mildly annoying about the book is the language used. I know the author was going for an authentic feel with the 1920s slang, but I found it jarring and while it may have been accurate, it interrupted the flow of the story for me. It almost felt a little heavy handed at times. I’m sure teenager girls of the time peppered their speech with slang, but I doubt it was that much.