Book Review: The Diviners by Libba Bray

Written by: Libba Bray
Release Date: September 18, 2012
Pages: 578, Hardback
Series: The Diviners, #1
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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.

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The Diviners is a special kind of book: One part paranormal, one part horror, one part historical, add a liberal dash of prose, and a voice that’s omnipresent ebbing and flowing through the entire city… Well, you’ve really got something in those 600 pages. I should also mention here that this was a reread for me, although I’d not read it since 2013, so many plot twists I’d forgotten, or just hadn’t pieced together.

The Diviners has a lot going on, and I mean a lot. There’s one large plot that touches everyone; and all these smaller mysteries that you scramble to put together all while trying to keep yourself from panicking when you turn the page and that whistling starts. Panic does happen from time to time, but never once does it get so overwhelming that you lose track of what you’re reading, or whose perspective you’re in.

When I first picked this book up years ago I didn’t know I was in for such a creepy ride. Paranormal was always awesome for me, but this book is a little crazier than the average paranormal book. I was truthfully terrified the first time I read it, and even on my reread, knowing how it ends, I still found my heart racing and resisting the urge to shut the book just to stay safe at night. But I really loved that aspect. Usually in books the fear doesn’t feel as real as it does on screen, but Bray is able to really pull you into the world and the fear that those on the page are dealing with.

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