Wednesday, 28 November 2012

The Diviners

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 secrets: a supernatural power that has only brought he 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.

I had seen The Diviners being review on many other blogs and had read relatively good things about this supernatural tale set in the 1920's.  Even though I have a self-imposed ordering from the library ban on at the moment in order to get all my reading done by the holidays, I had to make an exception for this intriguing book.
Firstly, this is definitely not a quick read.  My edition was a hardback and at 500+ pages long and my poor arms were aching after about 10mins of reading but I had to persevere.  The Diviners page count is not the only reason it will never be a quick read; Bray's attention to detail - both about the setting and her character backgrounds - is awe worthy and her extensive research translates well into the text without dragging the story to a halt.  While it may put some off, I think the story benefits from Bray's inclusion of many small details, giving the story the air of needing to be savoured and re-read.  Yes, certain things could be cut, but would I have had the same understanding of the characters or enjoyment of the book as a whole? 
My main reason for wanting to read this book so desperately was that it was set in Manhattan in the 1920's.  I've had a streak of reading paranormal books set in either alternative our time or far flung in the future that I found talks of flappers and prohibition refreshing, making me imagine the city in a  completely different way. 
The Diviners has a huge cast of characters, and this is normally the downfall for a lot of books.  Amazingly they each get their allotted page space, even if they are to become victims of Naughty John, and have rich, detailed histories that transform them from stereotypes and into real people. Speaking of which, the Naughty John segments (especially the early ones) were adeptly pulled off, and read like they had come from the pages of an adult crime/thriller novel. 
My only disappointment with The Diviners was that I felt towards the end the last few pages were too occupied with setting up plot threads for the next book.  However, I am intrigued to see where Libba Bray will take her cast next. 
I also have to mention the great website for The Diviners!  Click here for character profiles, etc..


  1. I LOVE this book so far! I'm down to the last 100 pages. It is so hard to set down! This was the book that gave me the kick I needed to buy an ereader! Well worth it! I just went to the website and watched the trailer. Sooooo creepy! I got goosebumps!

    1. It's great isn't it? I loved the character profiles, the pictures depict them exactly as I imagined them!

  2. Bahaha, this one took me forever, as well, even though I really enjoyed it. Some long books are quick, but this one sets a steady, moderate pace.

    Here's one that doesn't have too much romance. I kept expecting Evie to hook up with someone, and was really impressed when she didn't!

    1. Me too! When they introduced Sam I was all like 'here we go...' and then with the descriptions of some of Jericho's actions when he's around Evie I thought here comes the 'triangle/square of doom' but I was glad that it never got to that stage...however, with book two on the horizon who knows if this will change?

    2. Very true. I imagine romance will appear at some point. I'm glad she's leaning towards Jericho. I HATE Sam. He's awful and deserves no kisses.

    3. Ha! That last sentence! I wasn't as adverse to Sam, I thought he was a good foil for Evie, but I don't want them to get together either. No kisses for them!