I thought it was finally time to post my review of the first book in The Diviners series by Libba Bray since the long awaited follow up will be hitting shelves this August (finally, finally, finally. Anyone who has read and preordered the second books knows how many years we’ve been waiting for this one!). The story is a historical fantasy and it follows the outspoken Evie O’Neill who is kicked out of her hometown and goes to live with her uncle in New York City. The Diviners falls on the spectrum of larger sized YA books but the high page count did not deter me or cause me to read it at a slower pace. I finished reading within two days because 1) I couldn’t put it down, and 2) when I could, I was usually too creeped out to go to sleep so I ended up reading later and later each night.
There are several different narrators throughout the novel, but Evie is clearly the lead and in my opinion, the most intriguing of the bunch. Evie might seem like your average trouble maker, but there is a lot more to her character than you can glimpse on the surface. Beneath her tough exterior, Evie is ripe with the typical insecurities of most teenage girls and on top of that, she is blessed with a unique supernatural ability which she puts to good use when her uncle Will is asked to help solve the mystery surrounding the Pentacle Killer. This may seem unusual, but Will runs an Occult museum and there are interesting circumstances surrounding the murders.
Did I mention that this series takes place in the 1920’s? A major reason why I loved this book so much is because of its historical aspect and with each turn of the page, the Jazz Age seemed to come more alive. Flappers ruled the town and Libba Bray really did her research in painting a complete and accurate picture of the time period. The 20’s slang words that Evie uses to communicate are so catchy and fun (some favorites include pie face and posi-tute-ly)! Libba Bray even tackles the Harlem Renaissance through her character Memphis who wishes to be a poet. Now that I’ve gotten by hands on the second book in the trilogy, I cannot wait to delve back in for more.
Final Thoughts: The Diviners by Libba Bray chronicles the exciting adventures of a progressive female protagonist named Evie living in New York City in the 1920’s. It offers an immersive look into the Jazz Age in New York City and if you’re a fan of supernatural and/or historical novels, you’ll fall just as much in love with The Diviners in the first installment of the trilogy as I did. Warning: the story can be VERY creepy at times and I was up late thinking that every noise in my house was the Pentacle Killer.
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. (via Goodreads)