11 December 2013

The Diviners by Libba Bray

The Diviners by Libba Bray
The Diviners #1
Release Date: September 18, 2012
Publisher: Atom
Source: Gift
Star Rating: ★★★
Rating: Enjoyable

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.
In a town house at a fashionable address on Manhattan's Upper East Side, every lamp blazes.
I was very hesitant to read anything by Libba Bray after the shitfest that was Beauty Queens, which is one of the worst books I have ever read. I wasn't a fan of the weird satire, or the overwhelming amount of annoying characters. But while The Diviners had some trace of the same writing style, which is expected since it's by the same author, I ended up really enjoying it, and now I really want to read the Gemma Doyle series as well.

My favourite thing about The Diviners is the setting and the way Bray describes it. She puts a lot of work into it, and really makes you feel as though you're really there in the Roaring Twenties. You get a great feel for all the glitz and glam, and you can tell everything is well researched.

I was also a fan of the villain, Naughty John, and his parts of the story. Basically, this guy is going around murdering people and you get to see the murders happen, and you watch as he lures his victims in. I don't know about you, but I love this kind of stuff. It's intriguing and spine-tingling and everything awesome.

Evie was a great protagonist, although I don't think she's going to stick out with the likes of Rose Hathaway to me. She's very amusing though, and I loved her character growth, as well as her relationship with her uncle, although that too was frustrating at times because her uncle needed a slap.

There were a couple of characters who I found boring, and really didn't want to read about at all. They were Memphis and Jericho, and those of you who have read the book might know what I mean when I say that they added very little to the plot. Jericho made me fall asleep whenever he appeared on the page, and I didn't get Evie's fascination with him at all. Memphis' chapters were only slightly more interesting, and that's only because of his creepy little brother, who I took a liking to. Kind of. He was really fucking scary, you know.

As for the romance(s), I think you have the potential to go crazy with shipping in The Diviners! I was shipping Evie with three different people to start off with, and I did manage to eventually slow down, but it was so much fun. Sam/Evie, though. Yes. I'm looking forward to that build up. Sam really pissed me off at first because he's such an arse, but he has this weird way of growing on you. Like a scab.

I did think that the pacing was a bit slow, and that's one of the reasons I knocked a star off of my rating. The writing style was enticing, but there wasn't enough happening with the plot at times to make me love it. I think one of the problems here is that I, as the all-knowing reader, knew who the murderer was, and how he was doing things, but the characters who were investigating - Evie and her uncle - did not. It didn't get frustrating, but I felt like I was waiting ages for them to figure things out or pick up on clues.

I'm looking forward to the next book in this series because a) I love books about people with powers and THE DIVINERS ARE COMING, PEOPLE, and b) I want to see if Sam and Evie continue to amuse me, or if I continue to yo-yo with the shipping. But mostly, I just want more of the Roaring Twenties, and I want it now.

Also, Tatum pretty much thought that this book was flawless, which is why she gave it to me. You should go and check out her raving review of The Diviners!


  1. I'm reading this one right now, and I'm finding the pacing a bit slow too. Which is why I keep taking breaks to read a couple other books in between :D

    I'm shipping Evie with two people, actually, and I'm hoping there'll be some action soon (ANY action, not necessarily in the romantic department)!

    1. I probably should have done the same thing, although I worry that if I do that then I won't go back to the original book, haha.

      WHICH TWO?! Give me all your shipping feels!

  2. I'm glad you enjoyed it! My favourite things about this book were the setting/Naughty John/Evie. So I'm glad to see you loved all of those! There were certainly too many characters and a lot of the book felt like set up for the next one, which could be frustrating. But yeah, overall I loved it and cannot wait for me.

    I'm curious though...who was the third person that Evie was shippable with? I assume Sam, Jericho and...? I can't remember anyone else!

    1. Evie was fantastic, and Naughty John is going to give people nightmares. It already happened with Tatum. I'm hoping that the sequel will be more fast paced. This was a good introduction to the world, but way too slow for me. Still a great book, though!

      The third person was Theta! I loved them together, and could totally get behind a romance. Or a love triangle between Evie, Theta, and Sam. As long as Jericho goes away.

  3. I totally agree: Sam/Evie!! This book was a surprise love for me too! Jericho bored me as well and I felt like his "secret" was weird and didn't fit in with the others and what their powers were. I really liked Memphis though. And his brother was freaking scary saying all that stuff in his sleep!!! I was like DEMON CHILD!!! Evie was annoying at times, but mostly she was just fun. I can't wait to see what's in store for book 2... BUT it's so far away :(

    Michelle @ Pink Polka Dot Book Blog

    1. His secret was so weird! And I honestly didn't care enough about his backstory to get invested in it, so when it was revealed I was just like... okay, that's great. Memphis' brother has scarred me for life! I was tweeting Tatum and shouting at her. *throws holy water at him*

  4. I loved the Gemma Doyle series but haven't had any interest in any of her other books until The Diviners came up. It's been sitting on my shelf for awhile now so I need to get to it.

    1. I really want to read the Gemma Doyle series after trying this one out! Beauty Queens was horrific, but I've heard Gemma Doyle is AMAZING.

  5. Haha I love your review. It's super honest and you don't hold back, which is so awesome! I've never heard of this book but I'm going to be adding it to my TBR list.
    Hope you have a great weekend :)
    Caroline @ Bon Bons and Reveries

    1. Haha, thank you! I try, I try. I hope you enjoy it if and when you get to it!


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