If there’s one thing I love, it’s a good old historical fiction novel. So, when I heard of The Diviners, a book not only set in 1920’s New York City, but with a paranormal mystery twist, I was sold. It sounded perfect (and honestly it still does). The Diviners follows Evie O’Neill as she leaves her boring hometown for the Big Apple, moving in with her studious Uncle who runs a museum of the occult. I don’t want to spoil anything (the story being a mystery and all), so I’ll leave the synopsis at that, but if it sounds interesting read on, then read the book! I will warn though that this book may be triggering due to its graphic descriptions of blood and death, and it eludes to a sexual assault of one of the characters.
I feel like I always say “*insert latest read here* is one of my favorites”, but I really mean it this time! The Diviners was absolutely phenomenal, and it’s execution was inspiring to say the least. I loved every second of this book. It was wonderful. Libba Bray is amazing.
My Rating: 5/5 Stars
Okay, let’s get into the details (a.k.a. me just gushing about this book):
First off, the plot: this book somehow combined everything that I’ve ever wanted in a book into one flawless package, and I have no idea how. Seriously. It’s wonderful. I love the mystery and its clever execution. Not to mention, the paranormal aspect is so wonderful! Usually when I think of paranormal YA, I think of cheesy books that are all about cheap scares and are basically the written equivalent to a bad horror film. Have you ever seen those? I was so pleased with the way every complex interaction panned out (even though most of them were left to be solved in the following books). I loved the left over questions and concerns that I had for the characters, too. This plot was driven by it’s own personal goal, but I could feel the threads being pulled to connect it to future works. It was wonderful, wonderful, wonderful!
Next, the characters. One of the best things about this diverse cast of characters, was their rawness. None of the characters were perfect, and they all had flaws and worries that were nothing short of real. While I don’t have the powers that some of our characters do, I felt an odd connection to them. I was so inspired during this read. I can only dream of making my own characters as fleshed out as Bray’s. Evie was a firecracker of a girl, unapologetic and always chasing the stars. She’s surrounded by friends who complement her personality in a way that underscores their own unique traits. It never felt like one character was upstaging another.
Finally, the writing. Libba Bray had this way of setting up a perfect atmosphere, turning New York into a playground for all sorts of otherworldly affairs. Her word choice was perfect, considering it was laden with 20’s speak that was sprinkled in at perfect amounts. Everything about her writing made me fall in love with the book as I grew more engaged in the plot and mystery itself.
I fell so deeply in love with this book and all of the characters. I have already started the second one, and I can promise more reviews as I continue on with the series! If this book sounds like one that you would enjoy, please pick it up! This book deserves way more hype than it gets and I can not recommend it enough.