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I Belong

Review: The Diviners by Libba Bray

Title: The Diviners

Author: Libba Bray

Genre: YA Fantasy

Series: The Diviners (Book 1)

Publication Date: September 18, 2012

Format: Hardcover, 578 Pages

ISBN-10: 031612611X (Little, Brown/Hachette)

ISBN-13: 978-0316126113 (Little, Brown/Hachette)

Reviewed by: Michelle


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 the city of speakeasies, shopping, Broadway plays, and movie palaces! Soon enough, Evie is running with glamourous Ziegfeld girls and rakish pickpockets. The only catch is that she has to live with her uncle Will, curator of the Museum of American Folklore, Superstition, and the Occult — also known as the Museum of the Creepy Crawlies.

Will is haunted by the occult, and 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 they will soon discover something dark and evil has awakened….

Quick & Dirty: A paranormal serial killer brings forth a historical mystery set in the Roaring Twenties, filled with a delicious new evil wrecking havoc in New York City.

Opening Sentence: In the town house at a fashionable address on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, every lamp blazes.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

Libba Bray has always been one of my favorite characters. From her very first novel, I have been a fan of her writing, her characters, and the worlds that she creates. Now, with The Diviners, my fangirling continues. What I didn’t expect was to lose sleep over this book. I didn’t realize how realistic Bray can make serial killing be. I mean, it’s close to dawn and I’m wide awake trying to finish the book, but also because I was scared of the things that to go bump in the night. Well played, Bray. Well played.

Set in the 1920s, New York is bustling with life that only the Big Apple can offer. Evie O’Neill has caused enough trouble in her hometown, and has managed to be sent to her uncle in New York City. The Roaring Twenties was about discovery and exploration, bringing forth the glamour of Broadway plays, fabulous music, and yes, even speakeasies. Living with her uncle Will is a small price to pay for reinventing herself. But when the police ask uncle Will for help in a murder scene, the trouble and secrets Evie ran away from will come back. Her secret may help catch the killer, but what else could it bring?

Evie is fancy-free and filled with so much energy. From Ohio to New York, Evie is as fun as ever. She’s very different than many other main characters that I see, and I loved getting to know her. Evie is someone who loves to dream big and love big, but also keep secrets so big that it grounds her. There was so much to find out about Evie, and at the end of the book, I still find myself wondering what else there is to her. Her secret, her gift, and her curse. One in the same, depending on how Evie and the reader looks at it. It plays a big part, and let me tell you, so many great scenes involving her and the gift.

Diviners has a wonderful array of supporting characters. From uncle Will, who I thought I had figured out but found out I didn’t even know a little bit at all, to Jericho, Memphis, Theta, Mabel, and so many more. Bray fills the pages with deep characters, each one adding another layer of awesome to the story. Each individual character has a role to play, and whether or not I saw it all in The Diviners, I felt they all played an integral part. Or, at least will in the books to come.

Bray has always been amazing at world building. I mean, this is the reason why I stayed up all night reading The Diviners! Not only did I want to finish the book, but her imagery was so realistic that I started questioning if I’ll be visited by evil haunted beings. Authors who can do that, put those questions of reality into your head, are amazing, and Bray is one of the top, definitely.

I can’t say enough about The Diviners by Libba Bray. From the wonderful story to the descriptive world, nothing compares to her characters. Expect to be shocked and explore the dark corners of the supernatural world. Bray warns you within the first pages, but don’t worry, you’ll be hooked in and still be looking for more.

Notable Scene:

Something stirs in the deep shadows, something terrible, and the wind, which knows evil well, shrinks from this place. It flees toward the safety of those magnificent tall buildings that promise the blue skies, nothing but blue skies, of the future, of industry and prosperity; the future, which does not believe in the evil of the past. If the wind were a sentinel, it would send up the alarm. It would cry out a warning of terrors to come. But it is only the wind, and it knows well that no one listens to its cries.

Deep in the cellar of the dilapidated house, a furnace comes to life with a death rattle like the last bitter cough of a dying man laughing contemptuously at his fat. A faint glow emanates from that dark, foul-smelling earthen tomb. Yes, something moves again in the shadows. A harbinger of much greater evil to come. Naughty John has come home. And he has work to do.

The Diviners Series:

1. The Diviners (September 18, 2012)

FTC Advisory: Little, Brown/Hachette provided me with a copy of The Diviners. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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Review: The Diviners by Libba Bray, 10.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating
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2 Responses to “Review: The Diviners by Libba Bray

  1. The Loopy LibrarianNo Gravatar

    Great review! I too am a fan of Libba Bray. She’s witty and energetic, traits that her characters often share. I can’t wait to read The Diviners. It’s already on my TBR shelf staring down at me.

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  2. CassieNo Gravatar

    Thanks for this review. I’ve been considering The Diviners for awhile, and now I’m adding it to my (overflowing!) to-read list.

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