The Diviners by Libba Bray

The Diviners

“But what was the point of living so quietly you made no noise at all?”

Unique. Thrilling. Atmospheric. Fun. The Diviners follows Evie O’Neill as she moves to 1926 New York City to live with her eccentric uncle who is the curator of the Museum of American Folklore, Superstition, and the Occult and help him solve the mystery of the Pentacle Killer. But, Evie has a secret gift she’s determined to keep hidden; a gift that just may be the key to solving the murders.

I wasn’t sure what I was expecting when I picked up this book, but I was completely surprised, and I mean that in the best way possible. Bray does a fantastic job of weaving together so many seemingly unrelated storylines and characters and bringing them together seamlessly. This book is perfect for fans of the occult, the supernatural, and the unexplainable who are looking for all these things along with the drama and glamour of 1920s New York City.

“There is no greater power on this earth than story.”

What I love most about this story is the world and the characters. Bray does a fantastic job of researching the culture of 1920s New York City, and there is an authenticity to the world and the characters that is often lacking in time period specific fiction. Her characters speak and think so specifically to the time and place that I never forgot when and where the story occurred and even found myself reaching for my phone at times to look up certain slang and terminology.

“I salute your spunk, but I question your sanity.”

Every character in this book is fully fleshed out and their own person, even those who only have one page told from their perspective. I really appreciate the way our supporting characters—Memphis, Jericho, Sam, Mabel, Theta, and Henry—are all connected to one another in some way and have complex relationships with each other outside of their relationships with Evie.

Speaking of Evie…

Evie O’Neill is a fabulous main character full of spunk, tenacity, charisma, and wit; but who is also a girl full of fears and insecurities and can be selfish. Evie experiences amazing growth throughout the book, and I’m excited to continue to follow her throughout this series.

“People always fear what they don’t understand, Evangeline. History proves that.”

The hidden gem in this book, for me, is how political it is. I’m not going to say much on this because Bray does it much better than I ever could and with a mastery few authors are capable of.

Really, the only reason why this isn’t a 5 star read for me is because I was able to predict certain aspects of the ending and felt as though a lot of the tension and suspense was taken away from Evie, Uncle Will, Jericho, and Sam’s investigation of the murder because the reader knows from the very beginning who the murderer is. But, that didn’t take away from my overall love and enjoyment of the book, and it was entertaining to watch Evie and company piece everything together.

“People will believe anything if it means they can go on with their lives and not have to think too hard about it.”

Highly enjoyable and atmospheric with a lovable cast of characters, The Diviners is a great supernatural and mysterious book that ends with enough closure to leave me satisfied, but with just the right amount of loose ends to have me already itching to get my hands on the sequel, Lair of Dreams.

“Life don’t come to you, Memphis. You gotta take it. We have to take it. Because ain’t nobody handing it to us.”


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