Friday, October 24, 2014

Book Review: The Diviners

Title: The Diviners (The Diviners #1)
Author: Libba Bray
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Genre: Young Adult // Supernatural // Paranormal 
Format: Physical Copy
Source: Library
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 filled with speakeasies, Ziegfeld girls, and rakish pickpockets. The only catch is that she has to live with her uncle Will and his unhealthy obsession with the occult.
 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 unknown to all, something dark and evil has awakened (goodreads).

I don't know why it took me so long to read this, I was FOOLISH. The Diviners was everything I wanted AND needed!

Plot: Oh. Me. Gee. The book had me HOOKED at the first page I swear. The story opens with a bunch of bored kids playing with a Oujia board and it all goes down hill for there. The atmosphere is downright creepy and fun when it needs to be and it kept me glued until the very last page (and then I ran to Goodreads to see when the second book was coming out). It's no surprise who the killer is, he's pretty much introduced to you by the third or fourth chapter, the question is why and how that kept my attention all 578 pages of it. The only reason why I gave this novel 4.5 stars instead of a full 5 stars is because sometimes the 500 pages could feel daunting. While I enjoyed this novel immensely, there were times where I questioned if anything was happening. The novel moved at all times, but some chapters moved slower than others. 

Characters: Our main character Evie is a downright riot and I adored her! She's got sass, talent, and adults just don't understand her flapper ways- and she's okay with that. I loved peeling back Evie's layers, it became clear that her "happy go lucky" persona was just the tip of the iceberg and that she had a lot more to offer as a character.The secondary characters are all well developed and lend themselves marvelously to the story's plot. And for a book set in the 1920s, this book is DIVERSE. We have black characters, we have gay characters, and they're all REAL, not just caricatures. I swear, this book has more diversity than some contemporary novels that are set in present day, but I won't go there. There is a tad bit of a love triangle - sort of. But it plays a very small role in the plot and is only acknowledged in the final chapters. I must say, I am happy with Evie's choice in romantic partner. I'm pleasantly surprised because when we are first introduced to Evie and the mystery guy I thought that this was going to follow a played out trope and I was not interested, but little by little, they both took my breath away and I started cheering for them. 

World Building: The Diviners straight up TRANSPORTED me to 1920s New York, I felt the glitz and glam of  Manhattan, and I felt the poetry and blues echoing from Harlem. Bray impressed me the most by her dedication to learn and appropriately use 1920s slang, not only did I learn some more fun catchphrases, but it really help me understand that this is a completely different time and culture with different values. Each setting was perfectly painted in my imagination, be it the Museum of Creepy Crawlies or the crime site of a recent murder. 

Short N Sweet: The Diviners was a breath of fresh air with unforgettable characters and a mystery that kept me rapt with attention. I can't wait to see how this story is developed further in The Lair of Dreams.


  1. THIS BOOK WAS JUST AMAZING, WASN'T IT?! I'm super duper glad that you enjoyed it, Amber Elise! I just adored the characterisation of Evie. What a refreshing sassy character! And the plot was brilliantly interweaved. To be honest, it's been nearly two years since I read this and I can remember pretty much close to nothing when it comes to details. I've been dying for the next book but when you've been dying for two years, the sensation looses its potency :P NEXT YEAR THOUGH. SO CLOSE. Fantastic review! xx

    Jess @ My Reading Dress

    1. I spent YEARS putting it off because of its size, I can't believe I judged a book by its size, I think it devoured it in about 3 or 4 days!

      SO SOON TIL THE SEQUEL COMES OUT! It's totally going to be way darker than Diviners was (needs more Memphis!)

  2. You described everything I felt about this book. So glad you enjoyed it as much as I did. And that sequel is just taking too long. Great review.

    Aparajita @Le' Grande Codex

    1. Yay I'm so glad that we're on the same page! Next year is going to be FANTASTIC for books!

  3. Wow, sounds great! This one totally escaped my attention, too!

    Great review, Amber! I'm off to order it!

  4. Evie was great, wasn't she? Loved how she wasn't about to be put in a box, she was one feisty character. I haven't read many set in the 20's, so loved this, especially because of her being a flapper, and it did all just seem authentic and I love when books make you feel like you were there. Get you though, it is a chunk of a book, it took me aaaaages to finish it, and damn the wait for the second one is just as long. ;) Glad you enjoyed it so much!

  5. Ahhh! Why haven't I read this yet?!! WHY. I even one a copy and everyone I've heard of says it's brilliant. XD I so need to read it (at least this year, right?!) I'm definitely all up for amazing characters who are have so many layers! And the fact that it's set in the 1920s is just aaaaawesome. xD
    Thanks for stopping by @ Notebook Sisters!

  6. Yes how awesome was this? I recently got the audiobook on my phone and I am thinking of doing a reread before I start Lair of Dreams--whenever that comes out. I agree with pretty much everything you said, so much love for Libba Bray! :D

    Awesome review, Amber <33


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