Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Review: The Diviners by Libba Bray

Title: The Diviners
Author: Libba Bray
Publish Date: September 1st 2012

"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."

StoryLine: This is not the type of book you fly through, and with almost 600 pages it's a far cry from a quick read. But Libba Bray's writing just sucks you in and keeps engrossed in the story. The roaring 20's are a fascinating time, with the glitzy and glam and flapper culture, it's always been an interesting era for a story to take place in. I don't usually read historical fiction, not for any particular reason, I just haven't. It seems fitting that the first historical fiction that I read in a don't know how long should be one taking place in such a captivating era.

Like I was saying, this a book you take your time with and savor. Bray put countless details in this book, the time and research she put in is evident through the slang, references to current events at the time, even to ads, brands, and slogans mentioned. There's so much depth here, I really felt like I was living the life of this flapper from the 20's. Even though Bray does an amazing job of giving context clues, when I first started The Diviners, I looked up a list of slang used in the 20's (can you believe how many variations of *animal*'s *unlikely physical attribute* there were back then: cat's pajamas, bee's knees, monkey's eyebrows). I really loved all the slang, the way the characters spoke just sounded so authentic and charming.

This book was chock full of mystery and intrigue and heebie jeebies. The spook factor in this book is cranked up pretty high, and there's plenty of scenes that will make the hair on the back of your neck stand up a bit. This is the type of books were the questions lead to even more questions, and you're left guessing the whole way: who's Naughty John? What's going one? What's that character's story? What does this have to do with that? And naturally, you approach the ending, and everything starts to look like it's going to be tied altogether with a nice little bow, then BAM! More unexplained things, more questions.

Characters: We have an amazing cast of characters here, all with intricate and mysterious backgrounds. I loved seeing how they all sort of started to connect together, and I have a feeling we are only seeing the beginning of how they are all involved in the happens of the story. I don't think there was a single character I didn't like, some surprised me, some I figured out from the start, some only had a fleeting role, but all of them felt real and unique to me. With so much going on, and so many characters, the individuality of the characters really kept this book from becoming confusing and overwhelming.

Parting Thoughts: I've never read a Libba Bray book before, and now I'm trying to figure out why the heck not. Although, I'm sort of glad that I waited so long to pick this one up, because I can't imagine having the wait 3 years for the next installment.

5/5 Stars

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