The Diviners by Libba Bray
Hardcover, 592 pages
Published: Sept. 18th, 2012 by Little, Brown
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.
There are a lot of reviews out there for this book, and I have to say that it was those reviews that convinced me to read this one. Actually, they made it a MUST READ NOW book. I read some negative reviews as well though, so I don’t think my expectations were set too high. But whatever they were set at, this book certainly didn’t disappoint.
There were many things to love about this book but for me it went in this order:
Setting and time period
The setting and time period was exceptional. I really felt like I was in 1920’s NYC. I haven’t read a lot of books set in that time, but I have read a few and for some reason it’s a period that is so easy for me to imagine and take myself to. I love it! There’s just something magical about it.
Evie was a fantastic character for me. She was one of those characters that really jumps off the page. The thing is, she isn’t a perfect character. She’s a bit spoiled and selfish, but you can forgive her because she has such a good heart underneath. She’s never a snob, but she’s not always the best listener either and so many times it was all about her. But this made her more human and so was never a real negative for me even when I cringed at her behavior. She’s bold and sassy and determined to live her life and have fun. And so much of that I loved about her.
The supernatural stuff in this book was pretty great. Sometimes it was very creepy and I couldn’t read those bits at night, but it was spread out so it never got to me too much. But a ghost being a freaky murderer (not a spoiler, we know that right away) was just brilliant. And all the background related to it all was very creative and well done. I wasn’t sure how I would enjoy this aspect because we know who the murderer is, so where’s the mystery? But the other characters don’t know, and they are unraveling everything and honestly, knowing who the murderer was was good in this case, it made the story even more creepy.
And the Diviner’s aspect was really interesting. All these characters that don’t really know each other, but have these connections. I was constantly just pushing for them to run into one another and figure things out. Unfortunately there’s a lot of loose ends with regards to this bit and this is what ties into the next book. It works out okay, but I’m sad to not have all the connections come together. Guess that makes me eager for the next one!
I was a bit disappointed that I didn’t feel more of a connection with the others in the book. I didn’t dislike any of them, but when I think of the characters Evie is the one that sticks with me. And it’s sad because we got a fair bit of Memphis as well. I do think part of it is because we don’t get all our answers with him and I felt things left rather abruptly in regards to him and his life (more so then with Evie). I did really like Sam as well, but he was a bit too minor of a character to feel like I know him real well. I’m hoping that he is more present in the book and we get more insight into him. Theta was also pretty interesting, but I don’t feel like we got a chance to know her very well either.
The romance in the book disappointed me. First of all, the romance is very very minor. It’s almost not there at all. But towards the end we see some feelings coming about between Evie and someone else. The thing is we know someone else likes Evie too but we don’t really know her thoughts regarding him. I thought maybe she liked him but then things took a twist toward someone else and I was disappointed. I didn’t like how it ended. Things could easily take a turn though since things haven’t really gone anywhere just yet, but my fingers are crossed that they do take a turn.
Overall this was a great read for me. Libba Bray is a genius with her writing style and absolutely loved how she did the narration. How we saw so much from so many different angles. Normally that wouldn’t work for me, but it worked well with this book, very well. I’m definitely looking forward to the next book to see where all these loose ends come together.
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