Greg's Reviews > The Diviners

The Diviners by Libba Bray
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Jul 30, 12

bookshelves: books-for-kids, girls-girls-girls, sf-fantasy-and-other-dorky-shit
Read in July, 2012

This book was sort of like the TV show Heroes but set in 1920's New York City and instead of super-powers per se the characters have paranormal powers, like clairvoyance and healing.

It's also the first book in a series, which I think I knew when I started to read the book, but about two thirds of the way through it dawned on me that this really is the first book in a series and most of the book is like the first season of Heroes, there is an over arching villainous story-line but most of the narrative is taken up with getting all of the good guys to recognize their own powers, that there are others with these powers and coming together to help put things right. This realization disappointed me a little bit, I like the scenes in the heist movie where they get the crew together, but I like to see a developed story once the crew is together. That really good story I was afraid wasn't going to happen till at least book two though. And I'm impatient.

I was slightly wrong though. The build-up / climax turned out to feel a little rushed to me, but it was fairly satisfying and I was very annoyed when my train-ride to work came to an end right in the middle of the big confrontation and I was left not quite knowing where Bray was going to go with the story. She'd already shown a tendency to George R.R. Martin characters in the book(please don't comment on this at all, I don't want to bring any spoilers to this book or to the Song of Ice and Fire series), so there was an element of almost anything could happen going on.

I found this to be a lot of fun. Most of the time I wasn't actually sure if this was originally written as a YA book, or if it just happened to be published that way because of the author's reputation and popularity as a YA author. The cynical side of me thinks that parts of the book were hastily edited to make it a YA book, there is a disturbing uniformity in almost all the main characters being seventeen years old, even though some of them have jobs and life experiences that would seem to be more appropriate for someone older than seventeen. There are also a few scenes where someone will ask if some adult character will say something like, is that a reporter, and another character will tell him, no, that's just so and so. So and so being a seventeen year old who does something that isn't say being a reporter. Maybe in the 1920's there were a lot younger professionals running around New York City making names for themselves though. Or this was written originally with characters of various ages and someone decided this would appeal to more kids, they'd be able to relate to them more if the characters were mostly high school age.

That is my only major criticism of the book, and it's fairly easy to overlook it, especially since the characters are generally more interesting than any real seventeen year old is, sort of in the same way that John Green characters are smarter and more interesting than most of us will ever be.

This is quite the page-turner and I'm looking forward to hopefully not having to wait too long to read book two.
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Comments (showing 1-16 of 16) (16 new)

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message 1: by karen (new)

karen girl.


Greg But I forgot to mention it's fairly gory.


message 3: by karen (new)

karen girrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrl.


message 4: by Eh?Eh! (new)

Eh?Eh! Hahah! If you're going to be a girl, you could a lot worse than Libba Bray.


Greg I try to be a good male and read more female authors and this is the abuse I have to put up with. I can't win!


message 6: by karen (new)

karen there is just something that raises a red flag when a 40-year-old man is reading arcs of ya girl-fiction.

"hey, little squee-ers... jealous? come closer, maybe i will let you read over my... shoulder..."


Greg Brissette, can you at least give me a year and 10 months before you start calling me forty???


message 8: by karen (new)

karen i am bad at math. this will help me not lose track.


Joel is this YA? i thought it was UF like the rook... anyway i just ordered it on audible so it better be good greggo.


message 10: by Joel (new) - rated it 3 stars

Joel hmm, little brown books for young readers, yup seems to be YA.


message 11: by Joel (new) - rated it 3 stars

Joel and... i liked it for the most part! even if it was way too long on the setup. it is like an extended pilot episode for a tv show you expect will eventually get better.

karen, you going to read this?


message 12: by karen (new)

karen i am... i have it, i just don't know when my schedule will clear up enough...


message 13: by Greg (new) - rated it 4 stars

Greg An extended pilot episode does sum up this book pretty well.


message 14: by Joel (new) - rated it 3 stars

Joel i thought that was very clever until i read your review and saw you also made basically the same comparison.

oh well. i am going to use it in my review anyway!


message 15: by Greg (new) - rated it 4 stars

Greg I thought it was clever enough that I had forgotten that I might have said something similar.


message 16: by Em (new) - rated it 5 stars

Em It's like Heroes? Maybe telling my bf that will convince him to read it >:)


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