Monday, April 8, 2013

Review: The Diviners by Libba Bray

The Diviners (The Diviners #1)
my favorite of the cover variations!
The Diviners by Libba Bray has style.

This read is chock-full of cool NYC facts and lingo and places. I get the sense that Bray did her research and really nails the feeling of the period. It is also SO CREEPY. The short interlude chapters that give us an omniscient narrator and let us into the world of the serial killer are well done and so spooky I had to put the book down more than once because I was freaked.

It's 1920s New York City. It's flappers and Follies, jazz and gin. It's after the war but before the depression. And for certain group of bright young things it's the opportunity to party like never before.

For Evie O'Neill, it's escape. She's never fit in in small town Ohio and when she causes yet another scandal, she's shipped off to stay with an uncle in the big city. But far from being exile, this is exactly what she's always wanted: the chance to show how thoroughly modern and incredibly daring she can be.

But New York City isn't about just jazz babies and follies girls. It has a darker side. Young women are being murdered across the city. And these aren't crimes of passion. They're gruesome. They're planned. They bear a strange resemblance to an obscure group of tarot cards. And the New York City police can't solve them alone. 
Evie wasn't just escaping the stifling life of Ohio, she was running from the knowledge of what she could do. She has a secret. A mysterious power that could help catch the killer - if he doesn't catch her first (GoodReads).
  • Originality: 7. I loved the roaring twenties PLUS magic. Most of the points, however, are for including working-girl, immigrant life, and Harlem experiences in the mix. Yahoo for an author embracing the diversity of New York City.
  • Absurdity:6. This score reflects the 1.5 million times I said EVIE, COME ON. Evie is supposed to be using her sass and flapper aspirations to cover up her insecurities, but I found her a bit grating. Being flippant  is not the same thing as being confident or grown up (but I guess she is a teenager, and supposed to learn the hard way) by page 200 I had started to really notice this.
  • Level of Paranormal Romance: 3. Its just a story of two teens with paranormal powers falling in (forbidden) love. NBD. And its a back story to boot.
  • Level of Harry-Potterness: 4. I should have loved this book. The language, the setting, my love of history. But I always felt like I was slogging through, not along for the ride. (Maybe because of its epic length?)  Overall I was disappointed.  I hope someone else has a better experience.


  1. I'm sorry to hear you didn't have the same great experiece with this book as I did. Evie is the type of gal you wanna party with and though I liked her, I really felt more for the other characters (like Memphis & Sam & Theta). The tragedy behind the other characters made it connect more for me. Either way the combination of paranormal and the Roaring 20's was pretty fantastic!

  2. This one is definitely on the hefty side. I loved Evie though--totally related to her.

    Unrelated, but are you guys going to BEA?


Comments? Heck ya!