(15/02/2017) Book review: The Diviners by Libba Bray

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.

OH MY GOSH, I LOVED THIS BOOK SO MUCH.

Right, now that my excitement is out the way, here’s why.

I wasn’t convinced at first. It took a while to get into. The pacing was slow, but there was also some chopping and changed of chapters in terms of points of view, and I found the language jarring. Bray is obviously setting the theme of the time, using phrases and slang which has been well researched. But as someone who doesn’t understand why you’d put ‘ski’ on any seemingly random word in a sentence, it doesn’t flow. It’s not something you can pick up straight away in the book and it just felt out of place.

But, once this was out of the way, I adored the rest of the book. I’ve been a fan of Libba Bray ever since I read the Gemma Doyle trilogy what seems like years ago now. She’s so good at delving into different time periods and writing them authentically while lacing them with touches of the supernatural and an otherworldly magic. She creates a mesmerising world to delve into, and I am pleased to say this The Diviners definitely makes up in diversity what a LOT of other young adult books lack, especially those which are set in what is quite often deemed a less diverse, much ‘whiter’ period of time.

It follows an initially unrelated set of teenagers across New York as strange and terrible murders occur, and somehow they all become connected as they try to unravel this mystery and stop the murderer before they strike again.

This book finished on such a high for me, and I’m so excited to read the next one. I definitely recommend this – go and check it out! (Link to Goodreads)

Katie

 

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