The Diviners by Libba Bray
Series: The Diviners #1
Published by Little on September 18th 2012
Genres: Young Adult, Historical, Paranormal, Mystery
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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.
**Lizzie wrote a review to this book in 2016 so go check out her thoughts as well! I listened to the Audiobook so I will be reviewing the Audiobook as well as the story**
First things first, I’m going to talk about the Audiobook narration. The Audiobook is 18 hours & 14 minutes long and narrated by January Lavoy and I thought January did a marvelous job with telling this story. She gave each character a great narration and you could feel the emotion within her voices. The creepy parts were creepy because of her different voices and the swoony parts were swoony, etc. I will definitely be listening to more audiobooks narrated by January Lavoy for sure! And thank goodness she is the narrator for Lair of Dreams because she was perfect for this first book!
Now on to the actual story at hand… This story creeped me out! I don’t know if it was because of the narration or the story or both. But the “Naughty John” character was super creepy!
Naughty John, Naughty John
does his work with his apron on
Cuts your throat and takes your bones
sells ’em off for a coupla stones.
I mean come on… that is one creepy ass jingle and if you listen to the Audiobook version.. you’ll have that jingle stuck in your head all the time! And you’ll sing it that way every single time you see it written down! haha! Every time Naughty John came into play, I got creeped out by the second!
On to the characters! I really like Evie, for the most part I think that she is the bee’s knees! (thank you Libba Bray for all the 1920s lingo!) Evie definitely has the flapper qualities that her parents disapprove of. But I love her energy and spunk and I also love that she won over her “Unc.” Now, I have to admit that I loved Jericho more than Sam from the very beginning of the story. Even though Mabel basically called dibs on Jericho I was secretly hoping the entire time that Jericho and Evie would hit it off and become an item. Sorry Sam, but you kinda just piss me off and irritate me 90% of the time, even though you did grow on me towards the end of the book. 😀
Speaking of being pissed off…Mabel kind of irritates me, too. I mean I love Evie and Mabel’s friendship when it’s good. But I have to agree with Jericho that Mabel doesn’t produce her own thoughts. All of her thoughts are words strewn out of her parents’ mouths. She doesn’t really think for herself. And the fight that Mabel and Evie had.. ugh, ridiculous on Mabel’s part for sure!
This story had quite a lot of characters whose stories kind of intertwined with one another and I loved it. I also really loved Memphis, Theda, and Henry! They were great secondary characters and I hope to see more of them and their stories in the second one! I love the possible love brewing between Memphis and Theda. And I also loved hearing how Theda and Henry met and their friendship is just the sweetest!
“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.”
The above quote was probably my favorite conversation throughout the whole book, well at least between Evie and her Uncle Will! I love the relationship that grows between Uncle Will and Evie. I love that Will lets Evie work on her gift and that he actually believes in her. I cannot wait to see more of their relationship in the second book as long as Evie doesn’t mess it up.
Speaking of messing things up… that ending! Holy crap, you guys! Yes, the mystery was solved in this book, but that ending just gave more questions than it did answers and I can’t wait for those questions to get answered in book 2! Honestly, you guys, if you haven’t jumped on the bandwagon that is The Diviners… you need to do so now! It has 1920s fashion, talk, prohibition, mystery, the supernatural, and amazing characters. Not to mention the writing is just so well done and so researched!
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: