Monday, 12 November 2012

Review: The Diviners by Libba Bray

  The Diviners
  Author: Libba Bray
  Publisher: Atom
  Publication date: 18th September 2012
  My rating: 4 stars 

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.

Eerie and cryptic are the first words that come to my mind, if someone asked me to describe The Diviners. It’s peculiar how The Diviners left me with fragmented feelings; on the one hand it was the enigmatic, dark and you were left with the sense of foreboding, with a killer on the loose in New York no-one is really safe, but despite this dangerous and haunting vibe throughout The Diviners was a book brought to life by its vivid, energetic and bright characters.

Evie just doesn’t know when to stop, at 17 she’s young carefree, frivolous, and consequently doesn’t realise when she’s gone too far. After landing in trouble again, her parents decide to send her to New York to stay with her uncle Will as punishment. New York is where it’s at, Ohio had become a little dull and boring for Evie, so she’s glad to leave everything behind and make a great impression on New York. What she didn’t expect was to fall smack bang in the middle of a murder investigation. Buy maybe this is her big calling, can Evie unravel the mystery behind the peculiar death or is she just sticking her nose in where it isn’t needed?

Evie was such a vibrant character, she would brighten up a room as soon as she entered with her positive gusto and cheery moody, never one to back down despite not knowing was around the corner, I admired her courage and her charm, she was a swell character.

The Diviners was full of mystery surrounding the murdered lady, mystery in the streets of New York and the characters also had their closets full with skeletons. There was Sam who had a swagger about him, but despite the bravado had his own reasons for taking his current path. Jericho; this hunk of a man became a firm favourite as he immediately reminded me of Jericho Barrons from Moning’s Fever series! He also was a mystery, how had he come to become Uncle Will’s assistant? What was his back story? It certainly wasn’t something I was expecting! And uncle Will too, he wasn’t very inviting when Evie tried to ask questions about his past, he immediately shut down and barked out orders. This mystery certainly kept me on my toes; on the one hand I was trying to keep up with Evie, Jericho uncle Will and Sam uncovering the killer behind the murders, but each character had their own shady back story which as they began to unfold, I didn’t know which path I wanted to follow. I immediately wanted to know everything all at once. But I’m glad that Bray held back, she gave us bits and pieces but left us hanging on for more of this glitzy yet ominous world.

The characters definitely packed a punch in this book; I found myself instantly drawn to some and rooted for them till the end. The characters are not definitely your typical type, they remind me of those matryoshka dolls where you open one then you get another and another. They were characters who had so much to offer, and after a part of them had been unravelled, still had so much they could bring. I am pleased that Libba Bray has planned to make this a four week book series; as I don’t think we have even touched the tip with these characters. Evie, Sam and Jericho have quite easily become characters I couldn’t bear to part with after one book!

The Diviners was another book which took me by surprise this year; it has definitely encouraged me to step outside of my comfort reading zone more often. It was a sinister read which had you constantly worrying about what could be lurking around the corner, and a set of characters which really shone through. Bray has managed to create an enthralling novel; I can’t wait to see how the story will unravel next.


  1. I think I'm the rare reader who could just not get into The Diviners. I'm pretty sure it's b/c I'm not a fan of movies/books set in that era, and not b/c of the writing. I may give it another go at some point. I'm glad you enjoyed the story, Jasprit. Lovely review!

  2. The size of the book scares me LOL. After reading your review, I might give this book a shot. Thanks Jasprit :D


  3. Haha, Lisa would love the matryoshka doll comparison. I did too. :)
    I agree, the characters are what really made this book so amazing and unforgettable. Even if someone dislikes the plot (which I don't), there are still plenty of characters to fall in love with. The best part - it gave us another Jericho to dream about. :)
    Great review, darling!

  4. This largesse of a read has been sitting on my shelves for a while. But if there's one thing that will light a fire on my bum to go and read this, is the JERRICHO BARRONS comparison. So thanks, I'll be all over this like white on rice!

    Great review, as always!

  5. I've seen lots of great reviews for this book but for some reason, I have no inclination to pick it up. Maybe like you, I need to step outside my comfort zone and give it a go. Amazing review Jaspirit.

  6. YEAH JASPRIT! I was originally hesitant to pick this one up, I'm not a huge fan of the time period and I just wasn't sure it was the book for me, but I ended up loving it. Like you, I was pleasantly surprised and felt rewarded for stepping out of my comfort zone:) I agree with you completely on the characters, we definitely haven't even scratched the surface of them and I can't wait to learn more about them as the books continue. Fabulous review!!!

  7. Evie sounds like a great MC, thanks for the review, I am considering reading this now.
    Brandi from Blkosiner’s Book Blog

  8. This has to be the best review I've read on The Diviners. I actually think I'll go pick up a copy now. :) Thanks Jasprit!

  9. I remember reading an excerpt of The Diviners and unexpectedly loving what I'd read. I think it's the mysterious atmosphere with bright characters that did it for me as well :D Great review, Jasprit!

  10. SO MUCH LOVE FOR THIS REVIEW! Totally agree about Evie brightening up a room and about the characters being like matryoshka dolls! Fab review Jasprit! You summed up pretty much everything I loved about this book.

  11. I don't think I could part with the characters after one book too. And after all the questions I have left to be answered, I need a sequel! I can't wait to see what Bray has in store for us next. Wonderful review, Jasprit!

  12. YES! I'm so glad you enjoyed this one, Jasprit! Like you, Jericho totally made me think of Barrons because of his name and I wound up falling for him, albeit for different reasons. I can't wait for the sequel and I'm so curious to see where Bray takes this series. I could live in her world of the Roaring Twenties forever! ;) Incredible review, darling!

  13. This is definitely a big endeavorous read, I liked Evie a lot after awhile, in the beginning she was a bit abrasive. I am glad this is going to be a four part series because there is a lot to be explored.

  14. Ahhh! I've read countless reviews for this book and I'm so glad to have finally read a positive review for this one. Most of the reviews I've read have been kind of negative. I'm so happy to hear that Libba Bray creates fresh, unique characters that are memorable! The plot and murder mystery sounds really cool and interesting as well. Thanks for the wonderful review, Jasprit! <3

  15. Oh my, I really need to start this soon. This books seems to have a lot of mysteries that would make you really curious and intrigued. And this Jericho that reminds you of Barrons, I want to meet him! Haha! Wonderful review, Jasprit. :)

  16. Wow this book sounds amazing. Yeah it's not perfect but sounds different and it's not something I'd probably read. But I'll read it, cause I'm curious. PS. I like this cover better than the original one :)

  17. Ohmygoodness, everyone's been raving about this! Ooohh MYSTERY! I LOVE MYSTERIES! I really can't wait to read this!! Fab review Jasprit!<3

  18. I'm glad to hear you have been encouraged to step outside of your reading zone more, Jasprit because I think that can be a really good thing.

    Mystery and great characters sounds really brilliant.

    Everything I've heard about this book has been hyped and all positive so it makes me all the more eager to hear such a good consenseous for this book.

    Lovely review! :)

  19. 4 stars from me too, Jasprit. I'm glad you enjoyed it!

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden


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