Andrea at Reading Lark's Reviews > The Diviners

The Diviners by Libba Bray
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's review
Mar 12, 2010

it was amazing
Read from October 20 to 24, 2012

Review Posted on Reading Lark 10/25/12:

I have long been a fan of Libba Bray, but this novel is an amazing creation that will enthrall and terrify readers. The Diviners is hands down my favorite Bray book. I am in awe at the amazing ways in which Bray combines historical fiction, murder mystery elements, and a heavy dose of the paranormal to craft a compelling story and such amazing characters. There is so much going on - this is a mammoth read at almost 600 pages - but I enjoyed every single second. This is one of those novels that you don't want to end - I found myself limiting how many pages I read each day so that I could savor this one for a bit longer. I am already mourning its ending and longing for the next edition. If you enjoy the Roaring 20's and paranormal tales, this is a must read.

One of the best things about this novel is the characters. I loved them all! Bray's characters are so complex; I find it fascinating that she can make me love them in spite of their flaws. Evie, the high spirited flapper, will keep you in stitches and on the edge of your seat. That girl has more courage than sense at times. She rushes headlong into danger and a special ability that allows her to know your secrets. I found a new literary kindred spirit in Evie and I can't wait to spend more time with her in the future. I loved the others as well: Theta, Henry, Memphis, Jericho, Sam. I could write multiple paragraphs on their abilities and purpose in the novel, but I think I'll let you experience them for yourself.

The plot of this one is amazing and dark. I loved the blend of 1920's culture with the paranormal. Bray flawlessly weaves together fact and fiction. The result is a novel you won't be able to put down as your adrenaline pumps and your brain frantically tries to piece together the clues. I did have some trouble getting through some of the murder scenes - they were so well written they gave me the chills - but they were essential for moving the plot forward. Prepare yourself for some gruesome and creepy moments as you read. There were moments while reading this at night that I had to stop to turn on all the lights. My imagination coupled with Bray's writing created a potent mixture of fright.

In addition, I also enjoyed that the book focuses on some important social justice issues such as racial discrimination, gender discrimination, and class warfare. Bray does not sugar coat the time period - she tells it like it is. As a historian, I appreciate the authenticity; it makes the fiction even more compelling.

This is a tremendous feat that Bray pulls off beautifully. Every book she writes just gets better and better. It has been quite some time since I have been this immersed and excited about a novel. The moment I finished I immediately began texting people to add this to their "TBR Lists".

One Last Gripe: I wanted to see Evie and Memphis interact more. I have a hunch I'll get my wish in a future book.

My Favorite Thing About The Book: I loved everything - the writing, the characters, the setting, the plot - I can't isolate just one favorite element.

First Sentence: In the town house at a fashionable address on Manhattan's Upper East Side, every lamp blazes.

Favorite Character: Evie

Least Favorite Character: Jacob

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