Aug 18, 2015

Review--The Diviners by Libba Bray

Do you believe there are ghosts and demons and Diviners among us?

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 unfurl in the city that never sleeps. And unknown to all, something dark and evil has awakened....

I finally cracked open Libba Bray's The Diviners, which all in all, is a good thing! Had I read this back in 2012, I would've been in tears waiting for the sequel! And now I only have to wait a week! The Diviners was pretty intimidating with its near 600 pages, but after reading Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, a whopping 800+, this was like a walk in the park! Or like Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, but shorter. Yes, page lengths are always drawn back to Harry Potter in this day and age! LOL.

Anyway, The Diviners is told in third person, with many points of view. I honestly lost count, because some points of view chapters were only told by a person once, where as Evie had multiple ones. It was a little confusing at times, because one character, Memphis, he had multiple chapters and for the longest time, I couldn't see how he was going to fit into the story. It almost felt like his story was an entirely different book. But somewhere down the line, I can't even remember what page number or guess, he meets a friend of Evie's and thus a connection is finally formed. Though there are still too many puzzles and mysteries surrounding him and his younger brother, that I can't really figure out. But something tells me the title will play a large role in this in future books. Hopefully in the next one, because wow, the questions I had! And still a bit of confusion!

Evie has a gift, she's able to read a person's secrets when she touches a personal item of theirs. She's never really thought much of her gift, just something to entertain her friends with at parties. But when she tells an elite boy's secrets out loud...well, they weren't good things and it basically ended with Evie on a train to New York to live with her uncle for awhile until things cooled down in Ohio.

Which was another thing. I get that the time period is set in the past of flapper girls and what not. But I guess seeing Evie being the ultimate party girl and drinking felt a little off kilter. Granted, it's been years since I've take a US History class where we might have talked about this time period, but I can't really garner much from it. Perhaps, it was easy for teens to get a hold of alcohol and party it up. They certainly do nowadays anyway. I might have needed a refresher course on this time period before reading this one. Just so I could figure out what little happenstances were likely to happen and what was just the imagination and creations of the author.

That being said, it was hard for me to relate to Evie for a bit. She comes off kind of selfish and full of herself. She does grow throughout the book though. And by the end, I wasn't hating on her. So that's always something!

There were so many characters in this one. It was hard to know who would be important for the future books to come. Though, you get a pretty good guess. It was just some of those other side side (yes, I meant to say that twice) characters that made a strong and powerful impact for one or two scenes, that left me befuddled. Who are they?! We don't get any strong idea as to that. I get that Libba is likely leaving us clues as to what might be focused on in the future, but it left me totally bewildered for the moment! Such as the second to last chapter which was nearly all description of the country and nature...and then suddenly you're thrown a whopper of a revelation and I'm on pins and needles waiting to see what it means!

Other characters that I enjoyed were definitely Sam, Jericho, and Mabel. Naturally, I expected to see a love triangle develop between Sam and Jericho just because they were two guys around Evie's age. It was bound to happen. But, Mabel, Evie's best friend has a crush on Jericho. So basically, you know what's going to happen next, right? Yup. A total and complete love complication. Though, romance hardly plays a role in this at all. You can see things happening though. Lingering looks. A kind word here or there. And more lingering looks. I was actually surprised when we see a kiss in the very last chapter. And the one who kisses Evie was even more startling. Once more, both guys, Sam and Jericho have their secrets and it nagged me to no end trying to figure them out. We get some details about them eventually, but I do wonder if that was the whole of it!

Back to the storyline, basically Evie, her friends, and her Uncle are trying to solve a slew of murders happening around town. They are deadly and dark ones, basically leading to no good. The mystery really lingers until the near end. I was almost afraid we wouldn't see resolution until the next book, but thankfully we do get one. That and more puzzling questions!

All in all The Diviners was an intriguing read filled with mystery, enchantment, and quite a few laughs. Evie is quite the comedian at times, though she can be a little selfish and hotheaded at times, she does grow on you (hopefully). I am definitely looking forward to The Lair of Dreams, as there were so many unanswered questions and unsolved puzzles in this one! But there's just enough answers to keep you hooked. I see what you did there, Libba! I approve! Thankfully, I already preordered the next book! Now is the perfect time to dive into The Diviners because the next book is just a week away from release day, and believe me, you'll want that next book asap!

Overall Rating 3.75/5--yes it has to be an awkward rating! There were a handful of those confusing moments that came from trying to figure out what was happening with this particular character who was somewhat the main focus of the chapter. Like Memphis, I couldn't figure him out for a good 200 pages or so. It was just a tad difficult, but these chapters were sparse for the most part. So it's almost a 4...but just not quite there! 


  1. This sounds like a great read but also a bit confusing but I might just give it try. I've always loved a good old murder mystery and Libby's power sounds pretty cool too. Fantastic review! I hope you love the sequel when it comes out.

  2. HAH! Evie definitely grew on me later on ;D I do agree that she has selfish tendencies and whatnot but it came to the point where I didn't care anymore because it was consistent with her character's personality (and she was full of life all the time!) I really love this series so much, and I'm glad to see that you liked it, too! I can't wait to see your thoughts of the second book - that one will be exploring the backstories of other characters more and not just Evie's. And the mystery continues to be so unsettling too! The wait for book 3 begins for me :(

    Faye at The Social Potato

  3. Great review! The amount of point of views is overwhelming but it being third person and most of them overlapping made it a little less annoying for me. I did live Evie despite her being a self-centered party girl and I'm definitely intrigued by so many of the other characters. I just started Lair of Dreams and I'm so excited to continue with this series.
    Cassi @ My Thoughts Literally

  4. I don't know if it's just about my preference for genre but I don't normally read in the historical fiction genre. I found this book to be so confusing and I ended up DNFing it but there were some parts I liked. I liked the main character who was very quirky to me. Overall though, I don't think I would put myself back into this series.

    Alex @ The Book's Buzz

  5. YAY you read it! I devoured this one last and so I can't wait for Lair of Dreams!

    I couldn't relate to Evie either but I found her character to be remarkable! And that love triangle started to irk me, but I really like the turn it took. I approved.

    And I can't wait to see what happens with Memphis and his brother!


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