In a short blurb? We talk books.
Title: The Diviners
Author: Libba Bray
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, Hachette Book Group
Pub. Date: September 2012
Synopsis: 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-toot-ly thrilled. New York is the city of speakeasies, shopping, and movie palaces! Soon enough, Evie is running with glamorous Ziegfield girls and rakish pickpockets. The only catch is Evie has to live with her Uncle Will, curator of The Museum of American Folklore, Superstition, and the Occult–also known as “The Museum of the Creepy Crawlies.” When a rash of occult-based murders comes to light, Evie and her uncle are right in the thick of the investigation. And through it all, Evie has a secret: a mysterious power that could help catch the killer–if he doesn’t catch her first. (via Goodreads)
Exterior/Interior? Truth to be told, I wasn’t crazy about the cover the first time I laid my eyes on it from afar. Then I got up close and personal.. and found myself liking it quite a bit! There is so actually quite a lot of detailing in the cover and it totally embodies the spirit of the book. Perfect font for the interior AND I loved the 20’s feel of the chapter headings!
Setting/Plot/Character? We are thrown into New York in the 20’s and Libba Bray really makes the city come alive. In the Diviners, we get a great mystery, a bit of gore, supernatural elements, and a main character that is navigating a new environment and learning about herself and the people around her. I actually have a hard time finding main characters that I like. Most of time the female lead just doesn’t do it for me. This is NOT the case for Evie O’Neill. She is a modern gal and her voice carries off the pages and I can literally hear her speak in my head. She has a vivacious personality– charismatic, strong, and fun! A new beginning, a new city to explore, and in the midst of all that… something sinister is at work. You just want to know what’s going to happen next!
Writing/Pacing? Libba, Libba. You are awesome! The writing was fantastic, descriptive, and full of life. It isn’t one of those “quick, fast” reads that you couldn’t put the book down. This is a book where you can soak up the details of the world that the author creates– it feels like a work of art.
In One Word: Spirit— perhaps it’s a weird keyword, but this book just has a ton of spirit and personality!
My reaction to the ending: It ended on the perfect note. It was nice to finally get a book that can stand alone on its own… but also made me feel connected to the characters enough that I would pick up the next installment of the series! I liked the fact that there wasn’t a crazy cliffhanger at the end. The cliffhanger routine gets a bit pushy… So yay for a great conclusion!
Overall Consensus: A fabulous story from Libba Bray that mixes old school creepiness in. It was everything that I hoped for when it was first announced that Libba Bray would be penning this book. I enjoyed the Gemma Doyle series and was excited to see her come back to her roots in penning this supernatural creepy kind of historical novel. The Diviners is a breath of fresh air from the other books in the YA market– TOO MANY DYSTOPIAN/SCI-FI books!– and it absolutely delivers with an awesome female lead, a creepy mystery, and a world that is richly written. I absolutely recommend this.
Out today! Go grab your copy NOW!