Review: The Diviners- Libba Bray

3.5/5 Stars

The Diviners (The Diviners, #1)- Libba Bray

diviners

“There is a hideous invention called the Dewey Decimal System. And you have to look up your topic in books and newspapers. Pages upon pages upon pages…”

Uncle Will frowned. “Didn’t they teach you how to go about research in that school of yours?”

“No. But I can recite ‘The Battle Hymn of the Republic’ while making martinis.”

“I weep for the future.”

“There’s where the martinis come in.”

“There is no greater power on this earth than story.” Will paced the length of the room. “People think boundaries and borders build nations. Nonsense-words do. Beliefs, declarations, constitutions-words. Stories. Myths. Lies. Promises. History.”

“There’s nothing more terrible than absoluteness of one who believes he’s right.”

Plot: Set in a time of prohibition and prejudice, The Diviners is full of mobsters, flappers, illegal substances, glamour, and magic. Evie O’Neill is a spoiled girl who lives for giggle juice, dancing, and living life to its fullest. Evie has a gift, she can see images when she holds on to an item, sometimes they’re just fleeting flashes, others there’s a whirlwind of emotions, images, and secrets. In order to escape a scandal in her Ohio hometown, Evie is shipped off to Manhattan with her estranged uncle Will. Evie thinks that Manhattan is the perfect place for her, a place where everyday is a marvelous party full of fun and excitement. She never expects that in Manhattan she’d be faced with a series of brutal murders or that she’d be forced to help out in her uncle’s museum of Creepy Crawlies. Throughout the serial killings, Evie begins to learn a little more about herself, about a group of people with powers to save the world known as Diviners. Evie is convinced that she can help solve the murder mystery but when the killer gets wind of her involvement things start to spiral out of control. An uprising of religious fanatics known as the Brethren grows as the horrific murders increase. The Brethren worship the second coming of the beast or devil and believe that 11 offerings must be made to the cause. The 11 offerings are the grisly murders themselves and each has an equally sinister line of scripture attached to it. With the upcoming reappearance of Solomon’s comet, Evie and her band of friends must come together and solve the murders before the beast rises from the dead to his full power and hell reigns on earth.

PROS:

  • All of the characters are fully developed and unique with their own back stories.
  • Deliciously creepy. If you enjoy scary movies like Paranormal Activity or Insidioius you will probably love the small elements of just downright bizarre and terrifying details. Like haunting whistling, black crows, and shifting doors.
  • The murders are described in all their gory glory, each as gruesome and bloody as the next.
  • The Russian element is fascinating, how the Bolsheviks and proletariat are included nicely parallels the political changes with the social changes of the early 1900s.
  • Sam, Jericho, and Memphis. If you are looking for a new heart throb to fall in love with search no further. There’s variety galore. Memphis is a starry-eyed poet, who is also compassionate, thoughtful, gorgeous, and goes out of his way to help other. He is also a healer. Sam is a Russian, handsome, mysterious, hilarious, a swindler, and just an all around swoon worthy bad boy. Jericho is a nerdy, tall, strong, attractive man with some startling secrets. He loves to read and is constantly broody and researching. 🙂
  • Theta. Theta’s story is one of the most complex and most heartbreaking in the book. She is a survivor above all else and powerful beyond belief. For someone who is not the protagonist or heroine she is definitely worthy of such a spot on her own.
  • Told from several perspectives.

CONS:

  • This book was so LONG. At nearly 600 pages it could have easily been cut in two. The whole read was daunting, time-consuming, and a little tiresome. This is not because reading lengthy books is problematic for me, War and Peace is one of my favorites as is The Brothers Karamazov. While the story is both engaging and well written, plot-wise, it would have been stronger if it had been cut into two books.
  • If you dislike period pieces and are apprehensive about colloquialisms then this book is not for you. However, once you get the hang of the old catechisms, it has an authentic, fun, flair that draws you in to the 1920s.
  • Evie. As the main protagonist Evie is hard to like, she’s extremely selfish and doesn’t really have a lot of depth or goals but by the end she is definitely redeemable. Give her a chance, she gets better.

If you liked the following books you will like this:

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Tragic news guys, my MAC charged broke! Thankfully it is under warranty so hopefully these reviews will be more regular. Once again, I’m sorry! Things have been so hectic and I am so far behind on reviews.

-BB