Friday, 26 October 2012

Review for The Diviners by Libba Bray

The Diviners by Libba Bray 
Publisher: Atom
Release Date: 18th September 2012
Genre: YA, Historical Fiction, Paranormal, Mystery, Romance
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
Source: Received from the publisher for review

Goodreads Summary:
"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."

The Diviners is one of the most hyped over books of 2012 here in the YA blogosphere and although I was intimidated by its size (this book comes in at just under 600 pages) the promise of a read that was worth every page had me eager to check it out.

The Diviners certainly is an ambitious book that tackles many different themes; religion, the supernatural, the occult, and history itself to name a few. This is a huge accomplishment for Libba Bray and from start to finish I was absorbed. I wondered to myself with it being such a big book if it could have been edited down further, and whilst perhaps a few chapters could have been knocked off, this story wouldn’t be as richly developed as it is without them. Every page adds an extra layer to the story, characters, and mystery, and this book wouldn’t be as magnificent as it is without that added depth. So is it worth the extra reading time? Most definitely.

I can’t decide what I love best about this book; it’s such a solid, well rounded story with no weaknesses that let it down. Libba’s writing is sublime, atmospheric when setting the scene of a 1920’s New York City, majestic and intriguing when we’re following in the footsteps of our villain, and filled with all the splendour and fun of the bright young things that make up our main characters. Libba’s writing was absolutely phenomenal showcasing what a talent she is as a writer.

What I found really unique about this book was how diverse the plot was. Instead of picking one subject to write about Libba blends supernatural powers with ancient magic, religion and rituals with a murder mystery and of course there’s the historical aspect. I can only begin to imagine how much time and effort went into the research behind this book. This author has created something completely new with The Diviners and there was constantly something going on making it a real page turner.

I absolutely fell in love with this cast of characters! Evie is one of the sassiest, funniest, heroines I’ve ever had the pleasure to read about. She’s a true good time girl through and through and she made this book so entertaining to read and lifted the mood with her witty and humorous remarks when needed. Despite being marvellous Evie is by no means perfect and can be a tad selfish and naughty at times but she’s certainly not a bad person. I love my humane and flawed characters and so I fell in love with Evie, warts and all. There’s a wide range of warm and vibrant characters to get to know and love, I loved all of them so much that I will gladly follow them into as many books as Libba Bray wants to write.

Normally I’d recommend a book to a person based on whether its character, plot, or writing, driven and their preferences but this book is just so all around fantastic that I’d recommend it to anyone who simply loves a good story. The Diviners is a wonderfully imagined, captivating book that you pos-i-tute-ly won’t want to miss!


  1. This one sounds different from anything I've read before. Really looking forward to getting to it soon. Great review, Jess!

  2. This is such an amazing review Jess! You've managed to capture everything about this perfectly in this review! I too was a little daunted by the pages, but once I started reading I just couldn't stop! I need book two asap! :)

    1. Agreed. Book two just can't come soon enough!

  3. Amazing review, Jess! I absolutely LOVED this book to pieces, so I'm thrilled you enjoyed this so much! Evie is one of the best protagonists I've come across and I wish she was my best friend SO badly. I love her inherent nature, not to mention her flaws, so she's all-round perfect. Plus, the murder mystery in this was extremely well executed, so I can't wait for the sequel! Libba Bray seriously is a genius! ;)

    1. So glad to hear you loved it too! I'd love Evie for a friend she's so sassy and cool!

  4. I'm so thrilled to see you loved this as well. You're right, the 600 pages did seem scary but it didn't feel long at all. I think I like your UK cover better than ours. Wonderful review Jess. :)

    1. Thanks Rachel! I do love our UK cover, it's beautiful on the inside too :)

  5. I'm waiting for the right time to throw myself into this book. It sounds so good and I love Libba Bray .. but I'm so intimidated by the size of the book :(

    1. Don't be intimidated by it at all! The size is off putting but I whizzed through it, it was so good and worth every page! :)


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