Monday, May 19, 2014

Book Review: The Diviners by Libba Bray

Release Date: September 1, 2012
Info about the author: Goodreads - Twitter - Website
Age Group: YA
Pages: 578
Buy the book: Amazon - The Book Depository

Rating: 5/5

Description (from Goodreads):

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.


Honestly, I did not really know what to expect from this book. The Goodreads rating was good, which is also a great sign and when I noticed that I would be able to get a used hardback of it from Amazon for like £2.50, I decided to order it and give it a chance. I cannot express how happy I am of the fact that I decided to do so.

It is the 1920s. Evie moves from Ohio to New York City to live with his uncle Will. The prospect of living in New York is like a dream come through to her - she dreams of the flappers and follies, the gin and the parties and the prospect of falling in love with someone special or several not so special guys. But it does not take long for Evie to realize that New York also has its dark side and that she has a very close connection to it.

I love the 20s, and I love New York City, so the setting of the book was a spot on for me. While reading the book I was able to see all the glamour and the well dressed people in the secret clubs protected with passwords. Evie is an interesting character - at points she is extremely selfish and does not think about the consequences of her actions, but at the same time she can also be very responsible, brave and intelligent. I think the fact that there were also things that I did not like about her made her more realistic and thus a character more easier to relate with.

Even though Evie could be called the "main" character of the novel, there are also several other characters the story follows. Thus, the novel is not only the story of Evie, but also a story of other people similar to her and people who are part of her life. I really liked the fact that the so-called "side characters" were also very well established and really served a purpose in the story and eventually they almost became like protagonists along Evie with their own stories and their own battles. I really liked Mabel, Evie's best friend - she is intelligent and interesting, but also a bit shy and not quite sure of what she wants from her future and what she wants to stand for. The romance in the story was not what I expected, which I loved - there was no instalove and at least I was not able to guess who the main love interest will be until the first clear signs of it were given by Bray.

Bray's writing is phenomenal. I was sucked to the story from the beginning until the end and I felt like I just need to keep reading to know more. The pacing of the story is brilliant and there really weren't any boring moments in the novel, which sometimes happens with a long book like this. The story itself was nothing like I expected - it is so complex it is hard to explain, to be honest and the description does not really do justice for it.

The Diviners was a truly enjoyable and exciting novel with a great ensemble of characters that I could not help but to fall in love with. I want the sequel right now and I really don't know how I will be able to wait. 


  1. I have started this one twice as an audiobook and stopped. I really think I would like it too - I should get the print version!
    Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings

    1. It is super good! You definitely should consider getting the print copy :)


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