Review: The Diviners by Libba Bray

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.


If you’re looking for a completely original young adult book, look no further- The Diviners delivers.  At first, I was reluctant to pick up the book because of its intimidating length (578 pages!), but I’m glad I did. Despite sore wrists, I thoroughly enjoyed the mix of mystery, suspense and horror! The 20’s setting and inclusion of real events in history (eugenics movement, Chinese exclusion act, etc.) were a welcome bonus as well.

Over the course of the novel, tons of characters were introduced. I don’t have the best memory, so I found it sometimes hard to keep track of who was who.  One shining individual that proved impossible to forget was the main character, Evie. When trying to describe her, so many words come to mind: young, witty, humorous, sassy, brave and at times, self-centred.  You can bet-ski her actions and dialogue are always entertaining to read.  However, I think that Bray came on really strong with the 20’s lingo in the beginning (cat’s pajamas, bee’s knees) yet it kind of sauntered off in the end. Or maybe I just became accustomed to it?

In the end, it became clear that the well-researched, creepy, yet intriguing story of The Diviners would be continued. There were plenty of unanswered questions left for Evie and readers alike.  I would really like to have Evie’s (and others) diviner powers further explored. Although I’m not a fan of series, I will likely pick the next instalment up.  By the time the next one is released, I’m hoping I’ll have the gruesome ritual killings and Naughty John song out of my head. Pos-i-toot-ly terrifying!


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