Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Book Review: The Diviners, by Libba Bray @libbabray

The Diviners is an epic tale with complex characters and an intricate plot that will keep you riveted.

Evie has been sent to New York to live with her eccentric Uncle Will who owns The Museum of American Folklore, Superstition and the Occult, otherwise know as The Museum of the Creepy Crawlies. Evie has been in trouble in Ohio, and to avoid scandal, her parents have made these arrangements. Evie is delighted. New York and it's speak-easys, flappers, and nightlife are just what she needs.

Evie has a special gift. She can hold an object and tell things about it's owner. This can get Evie into trouble, and she keeps it a secret. We meet many other characters that may or may not cross Evie's path, but eventually they all come together.

Sam, who can make himself "unseen" starts out as Evie's enemy, but eventually wins her over -- sort of.

Jerome, who works for Will, is just strange. He obviously has secrets, but he also becomes someone very important to Evie.

Theta and Henry are Evie's friends who allow her a taste of the New York nightlife, but may have some strange abilities of their own.

Memphis doesn't have anything to do with Evie, but he used to be able to heal people. And his brother seems to have powers too.

There's  a serial killer, which has been named the Pentacle Killer, because the murders seems to involve the occult. Will has been consulted by the police to help solve these murders, and of course Evie can't stay away. 

So, it is an intricate plot, and the point of view changes often. But The Diviners is easy to follow. I never got confused about the characters because they are each distinct. The killer's POV is indeed spine-tingling. This is a scary monster that for most of the book seemed impossible to contain. Love that.

I also loved the 1920s setting. It seemed the perfect backdrop for The Diviners because Bray is a master storyteller. I'm sure she could have set it in any time period and made it believable, but the 20s happens to be one of my favorites.

This is a story of the occult, so if you can't suspend your disbelief, if you can't believe in ghosts, you might not like this one. That's really the only reason I can imagine anyone not liking The Diviners.

The tension builds very slowly, as the killer strikes again and again, and Will and Evie and the others get closer and closer to figuring it out. The resolution is exciting and satisfying. The Diviners is a long book, but it never felt long. It reads easily, and the pages turn so quickly once your are invested. And you will be invested....

Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, September 18, 2012
ARC won from Bewitched Bookworms!
608 pages (qualifies for my Serial Killers Reading Challenge!)

Rating: 4.5/5

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  1. I've been waiting on this review! So glad to hear that you enjoyed the Diviners so much and it lives up to its promise. The Serial Killers reading challenge? Haven't heard of that one until now, but it sounds like something else to check out. Did you read In The Woods for the challenge, too?... that one's on my tbr right now. Anyway, great review!

    1. I read In the Woods a while back (not this year) but you can see the 3(not very many, I know)books I've read by clicking on my "Book Challenges 2012" tab at the top of my blog. I Hunt Killers was awesome! You can see my review of In The Woods here

  2. This sounds really interesting. I'm not a fan of ghost, but I think I could suspend reality for a little bit. Plus I'm a huge fan of Libba Bray so I'm sure the writing is phenomenal.

  3. This is the first review I have seen on this one. I am glad to see it. I have this one my fall TBR list and wasn't sure of it quite yet. I am more excited to it now. Great review!

  4. Sounds intriguing, I might have to give this one a try. Nice review.

  5. Libba Bray has been hit or miss with me. I've got this one on hold at the library. I'm hoping I like it!

    1. I really liked her Gemma Doyle series - although I haven't read them all. I think this book is more like those. I didn't care very much for Going Bovine - too weird for me.

  6. OMG so happy you liked it!! while I do not think it#s a book for me since I do not truly like a 1920 setting and ... ghosts I know my friend pushy will LOVE this book. She's a big big fan of Libba Bray :)

  7. I read another review about this book on another blog and it wasn't overly fact, it made it sound dull.

    So glad I waited to read your review instead! :) You sold me..I'm totally looking up the book at the Barnes & Noble that I work at. :) I think you had me the moment you said it was in the 20s...I love vintage stories, so that pretty much convinced me.

    Thanks for the great review!


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