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Review: The Diviners by Libba Bray

Saturday, July 19, 2014
Goodreads summary:
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.
This book sure is the berries!

The Diviners had a 1920s setting which was confusing and overwhelming at the start when the author describes speakeasies, the theatre, parties and clothing items back in the day (culture shock!), but I adapted into the world eventually and I loved it!

The scene is set at a rooftop party where the hostess takes out an Ouija board and the guests gather and summon a spirit. They reach 'Naughty John' who delivers some creepy messages. The guests are frightened and leave the board without spelling goodbye (a big no-no!), releasing Naughty John into their world. He hides in a basement and prepares to cook up something evil.

In New York city, there dwells The Diviners, people with magical powers, one of them being our main character Evie. Evie was sent from a small town to live with her uncle at a museum in the city as punishment after her 'special power' caused a scandal back home (not much of a punishment if you ask me!). Evie was po-si-tute-ly spunky! Her antics were funny and she was such a colorful character. One day Evie's uncle Will is called on by police (due to his knowledge of Folklore, Superstition, and the Occult) to help investigations in a mysterious series of murders and Evie gets caught up in helping. I really liked the contrast of Evie's personality with the horror brought on by the gruesome murders committed. She was just a big ball of sunshine lighting up the otherwise dark tone of the book.

I also liked the other characters introduced; Sam, Jericho, Will, Mabel, Theta, Memphis! They all had such interesting pasts and lead interesting lives. The character building in this book was the cat's meow!

The Diviners was a lengthy book and I was worried I'd be bored by a good chuck of it but that didn't happen at all. It was unlike anything I'd ever read before and I had a swell time reading it!