The Diviners by Libba Bray

Pages: 578

Genre: young adult, historical, fantasy-ish

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Evie O’Neill’s powers and personality gets her in trouble in her hometown and she’s sent to live with her uncle in 1926′s New York City. She’s excited for the big city, but finds a rather eccentric uncle who runs a museum of strange occult things. Evie’s good at getting what she wants and she sneaks along when her uncle is called out to help with a murder investigation. Occult symbols have been found at the gruesome crime scene and they need an expert. But it’s Evie’s abilities that’s most helpful.

My thoughts

This book sounded so interesting, but I never found myself liking it. The plot is meh, the setting more exciting, but nothing special there either. The writing might be my biggest problem with this book, it slows down where it doesn’t need to and skips most details that would’ve made the setting feel more real. The year is 1926, but flappers, newspaper boys and less women rights are the only real difference. It feels like a cheap way to make the main character Evie more interesting, to make her a “modern girl” living in another time, but with the mind, views and knowledge of this time.

The grand finale was going to redeem this book and after nearly 400 pages I was ready for it. There has to be one with crime, where they solve the mystery and shit goes down. BUT it was perhaps the worst part of the book. Until then it had at least been some mystery, not who the murderer was, but how to stop him. When it came down to it, the murderer was ridiculous and so was the writing at the end.


I mean come on… “Above her, the whistling stopped and the song began: ‘Naughty John, Naughty John, does his work with his apron on. Cuts your throat and takes your bones. Sells ’em off for a coupla stones.…’ This is in the main end scene where Evie hides and I was just sighing throughout.

Also some many of the ideas in this book is bullshit. I get that it’s magical realism and technically the author can create everything, but nothing makes sense; “There is a dualism inherent in democracy—opposing forces pushing against each other, always. Culture clashes. Different belief systems. All coming together to create this country. But this balance takes a great deal of energy—and, as I’ve said, spirits are attracted to energy.” 

I regret finishing this book. It’s like “A Madness so Discreet” by Mindy McGinnis, just without the good parts or as much going on.


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