Monday, January 28, 2013

Book Review: The Diviners by Libba Bray

Pages: 578
Genre: YA Fantasy/Historical Fiction
Pub. Date: September 18, 2012
Source: Personal copy
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Goodreads says, "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-toot-ly thrilled. New York is the city of speakeasies, shopping, and movie palaces! Soon enough, Evie is running with glamorous Ziegfield girls and rakish pickpockets. The only catch is Evie 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." When a rash of occult-based murders comes to light, Evie and her uncle are right in the thick of the investigation. And through it all, Evie has a secret: a mysterious power that could help catch the killer--if he doesn't catch her first."

Evie O'Neill likes to have fun and there's not much fun in her hometown of Ohio.  She gets into some trouble at home by using her "gift."  She can read objects and learn people's secrets and while at a party, she announces a  shocking secret about the resident popular guy.  There's some scandal and to make matters worse, she's been drinking and getting a bit rambunctious.  Her parents have had it with her, so they send her to New York City to spend time with her scholarly Uncle Will.  He runs the Museum of Creepy Crawlies, officially known as the Museum of American Folklore, Superstition and the Occult.  Evie thinks things will be oh-so-much fun in the big city; she imagines she will going to speakeasies every night, but things start to get serious.  There's a serial killer on the loose in Manhattan and the police force elicits Uncle Will's help as the murders seem to point to the occult, which is his speciality. Evie finds herself actively involved in helping figure out who or what is committing these heinous crimes.  The Diviners by Libba Bray is a whirlwind ride through the 1920s in New York City and there's no denying that readers will be glued to this paranormal thriller.

Evie is such a fun protagonist. She's the epitome of a spunky outgoing girl and I really enjoyed her.   She isn't just an aspiring flapper, she's got a "gift" which allows her to read objects and in turn, this makes her a valuable commodity when it comes to figuring out who the killer is.  There were times that Evie frustrated me as she is super selfish and never follows rules, but that's how I like my heroines.  

Evie isn't the only focus in The Diviners.  There are many points of view in this large tome, but I'd have to say Evie's is my favorite.  There's also a numbers runner and aspiring poet of the Harlem Renaissance, Memphis.  Admittedly, I found his chapters to be a little dull though.  There's also Theta, a Ziegfield girl, and Sam Llyod, a charismatic pick-pocket.  We can't forget Jericho, her uncle's assistant.  He has a few secrets himself.  And these are just a few of the characters!  Obviously there are a ton of characters in The Diviners and Bray does a good job weaving this tale and interlacing all of the subplots and backstories. 

The time period is one of my favorite aspects of The Diviners and Bray brilliantly brings it to life.  She makes it feel as if readers are living in the Jazz Age of New York City and it's obvious that she put a lot of research into this book.  Everything down to the newspaper headlines and the 1920s slang made the time period jump off the page and come to life.  

I must admit that The Diviners is an extremely creepy book and I know I've said that I don't make it a habit of reading scary books; however, I was completely engrossed in The Diviners due to Bray's writing. There's no doubt in my mind that she is a fantastic author and an expert at creating such bone-chilling atmosphere.  If you get easily scared, The Diviners is not a book you should read, at least late at night.  It reminded me of a terrifying episode of Dexter except with a paranormal twist. Let's just say, parts were frightening and I made it a personal rule to not read The Diviners at night.

The ending of The Diviners sets readers up for book two as Evie's adventures in New York City continue.  I, for one, can't wait to see where Bray is going with this new addictive series, but I definitely will be reading it in the daytime...that's for sure!

16 comments:

  1. I gave this one a 4 too. Definitely a good start to a new series and I thought Evie was a great protag. I'm glad it wasn't too scary for you! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Leanna! There were some moments where I thought it might be too creepy, but I am glad I stuck with it. Thanks for visiting!

      Delete
  2. I don't make a habit of reading creepy books either Christina, but I really enjoyed this one! Luckily the chapters from the victim's POV were few because those absolutely terrified me and I couldn't turn the pages fast enough to get back to one of the other characters, though I of course did so with a sense of dread knowing the body would soon be found. I can't wait to see how things with all the Diviners progress in the next book, I feel like we barely scratched the surface in this one:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me too! I was completely dreading the parts where they find the body. I am looking forward to book two as well. Thanks for visiting, Jenny!

      Delete
  3. There were so many characters to follow, and I was nervous that it would be too much, but you are right Bray was able to weave these stories together really well. I really loved how creepy the story was and I can't wait for more of the characters. Evie was my favourite but I will say Theta was definitely a close second.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There were a ton of characters, but Evie was definitely my favorite and you are right- Theta was super entertaining, too. Thanks for stopping by, Andrea!

      Delete
  4. I didn't know there were multiple POVs! That makes me even more excited to read this. I've heard so many great things I'm sure I'm going to love it

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope you do enjoy it! In this case, the multiple POVs added to the suspense. Thanks for visiting, Christa!

      Delete
  5. The Diviners is a creepy read? I've heard that for the first time now and it makes me want to read that book even more than before! I'm in search for a creepy read right now! Thanks for your fab review:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. OMG- It's sooo creepy. It gave me nightmares. ha. I hope you enjoy it and thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  6. I'm scared for the pages of this book. There are way too many of them, lol. I never thought that this book would be creepy! That's good to know. I do like creepy reads. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Then you would definitely like this book, Nina! Thanks for dropping by!

      Delete
  7. This was definitely an eerie book! I had a hard time connecting with all of the characters, but still enjoyed the eerie mystery. And I agree, Bray definitely brought the setting to life!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me too! Loved the setting! Thanks for visiting, Lea!

      Delete
  8. I didn't realise this was a creepy novel. I kept thinking I might like it and now I know that I wouldn't. Even the 1920s can't convince me to read it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, it was REALLY creepy and if that isn't your thing, I would skip this one! Thanks for visiting, Becky!

      Delete

I really appreciate your comments. Thank you!

Related Posts with Thumbnails
 
Design by: Designer Blogs