Title: The Diviners
Author: Libba Bray
Series: The Diviners #1
Published: September 18, 2012
Opening Sentence: “In a town house at a fashionable address on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, every lamp blazes.”
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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 Willis 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….
I don’t know that I’ve ever come across a book like The Diviners before. It’s a mix of paranormal, romance, and mystery with all sorts of historical, occult, and religious aspects. Hearing that, it doesn’t seem like the book would be good at all, but everything works together so well and makes an extremely interesting and worthwhile read.
The main character, Evie, was so wonderful to follow around. In a book with a bunch of lovable characters it’s hard to single just one out, but if I had to it would be Evie. She’s fresh, fun, and extremely deep and so easy to like. Evie’s growth throughout the book is difficult not to notice. She went from a party-loving teenager who saw moving to New York as a “coming out”, to an almost-adult dealing with events that the strongest of people would hesitate to face. And she did it with unwavering courage and bravery. In the midst of a fight, Evangeline O’Neill is definitely someone you want on your team.
Evie, of course, is just one of several main characters. We also see the novel through the eyes of Memphis–a boy from Harlem with a special power of his own–and other select people throughout the story. Sometimes the points-of-view are a little sporadic and, if you’re not paying attention, confusing, but the story never suffered because of it. Every point-of-view was relevant and important to the plot.
Libba Bray has written a very thorough, engaging, and historically accurate (based in 1926, whoop whoop!) novel that will keep you reading until the very end. Admittedly it did take me nearly a month to get through the book, but I can’t blame the reading time on Bray’s writing at all. I loved everything about this novel and I’m very anxiously awaiting the arrival of the second book in the series. I definitely, definitely recommend you give The Diviners a try. You won’t regret it.