Recollections: Reviews by a Book Lover

Review: The Diviners

The Diviners by Libba BrayDiviners

I’m going to start off this post by professing my love for Libba Bray.  Her Gemma Doyle trilogy was amazing.  If you haven’t read Beauty Queens then you need to go do that (right now!) and then come back and we will discuss the genius that is Libba Bray and her awesome humor.

But I digress…let’s get back on topic and discuss her latest book The Diviners, which is the first in a new series.

What it’s about:  Evie O’Neill has been shipped off to New York City to live with her uncle.  While her parents mean it to be a punishment for Evie’s behavior in Ohio, for Evie it means freedom and a chance at a new life.  Evie gets to NYC just as her uncle Will is helping the police with a murder investigation which seems to involve the occult.  Evie’s Uncle Will specializes in the occult, and runs the Museum of Creepy Crawlies (Museum of American Folklore, Superstition, and the Occult).  Evie’s trouble in Ohio was caused by her supernatural ability to gain insight into a person simply by touching an object they own, but will her powers be enough to stop a murderer?

What I liked: 1. It’s New York City in the 1920s, and you can tell Libba Bray did a lot of research to make this time period come alive. I have a soft spot for historical fiction which takes place in the ‘20s (probably because I wish I got to live in the 1920s).  2. The murderer in this book is creeeeepy (“Naughty John, Naughty John, does his work with his apron on…” (creepy, right?)).  3. Supernatural.  The supernatural abounds in this book.  And Evie isn’t the only one with powers.  There are several other characters with abilities, whose stories we learn throughout the book (which leads to reason #4 the great characters).

The Diviners is a long book (570+ pages).  It did take me a few chapters to get into the book, but it soon became a page turner for me right up to the end.  I also didn’t mind the length because Bray sets up a lot of the story line/background for the future books in the series.  While I have been eh on series lately because I feel the individual books lack their own ending, this is not the case in The Diviners.  This murder mystery has a conclusion, but the overall the series has an even bigger mystery.  We are also left with questions like: who are the Diviners?  What does Evie’s uncle know?  Is Naughty John the only evil lurking?  In the end you won’t be able to wait for the next book (I know I’m going to grab a copy as soon as it is out).

For bringing the 1920s to life, creating a villain who gave me the creeps, and for reminding me of the awesomeness of the word ‘copacetic’, The Diviners was one of the best books I read this year.


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