Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Book Review: The Diviners by Libba Bray

The Diviners
By:  Libba Bray
Publication Date: September 18, 2012
Publisher:  Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 578 pages

Description from GoodReads:

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-toot-ly thrilled. New York is the city of speakeasies, shopping, and movie palaces! Soon enough, Evie is running with glamorous Ziegfield girls and rakish pickpockets. The only catch is Evie has to live with her Uncle Will, curator of The Museum of American Folklore, Superstition, and the Occult--also known as "The Museum of the Creepy Crawlies."

When a rash of occult-based murders comes to light, Evie and her uncle are right in the thick of the investigation. And through it all, Evie has a secret: a mysterious power that could help catch the killer--if he doesn't catch her first.


This book has an amazing cast of characters.  Although the plot is interesting (a serial killer on the loose, occult elements, teenagers with special powers), the characters are really the stars of this book.  The main character, Evie, starts off seeming sort of shallow (a flapper wannabe), but she becomes stronger and stronger throughout the book.  She’s intelligent and independent and gets into a lot of trouble.   All of the supporting characters are fascinating and have interesting back stories, such as Theta, Memphis, Jericho, and Sam. The author writes from the POV of many of the characters, which is a daunting task, but the author manages to pull it off nicely and you definitely feel like you know the characters better. However, there are so many characters, you’re still only getting a glimpse into their lives.  But the set-up is there, so I think future books will flesh out the characters even more.  I enjoyed the setting being the 1920’s, but there is a lot of slang used in the book (mostly by Evie), so be prepared for that.  However, the author uses Evie’s Uncle Will to help explain what she is saying (he’ll be confused and someone else will explain what Evie is saying).  The one complaint I have is that there is just a hint of romance in the book and I wanted more.  I mean, come on,  give us some more romance!  It doesn’t have to take over the book, but more would have been better.  At least for me.

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