Publisher: Little, Brown
Release Date: September 18th, 2012
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal
Source: ARC from Mickey at I’m a Book Shark.
Blurb: 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.
Review: Reading that blurb up above doesn’t make this book sound as serious and involved as it really is. It makes it sound like a fun read filled with glitz, glamour, and a little bit of mystery. And it is ALL of those things. But it is also so much more. There’s a serial killer, a very bizarre cult-like religion, and a very in-depth plot. There is much more meat to this book than you would think.
Clearly it’s a big book. There’s a lot of heft to this one when you hold it in your hands. There are a lot of characters, there is a lot of world building, but mostly there are a lot of words for a YA book. And I’ll be honest, this book DID feel kind of long. Not excessively, but enough to make me wish it was a bit shorter. Memphis’ scenes were BORING, and there were a few chapters that felt like filler. I personally feel that you could have knocked about 80-100 pages off of this one and it would have had the same impact and effect. Especially in the first 150 or so pages. Not much happened and there was just SO much set-up that I kind of felt like…
Just saying. But here’s the thing. That’s pretty much the only thing I can criticize about this book. Okay, one more thing. The lingo. If you hadn’t already guessed, this book was set in the 1920s. And I know the slang was different then than it is now, but MAN. Holy phrase overusage. I got really sick of “and how” and the suffix “-ski” being attached to everything. And everything being “jake.”
Really, it was enough. It is OKAY to have characters talk normally from time to time. Now I’m done complaining. On to the good things. The writing was a lot of fun. Libba Bray can write. Her writing is the perfect combination of characters, setting, dialogue, and story. It all melds together really well. She is ace at telling the story through her characters. There is no infodumping to be found anywhere. She is good at what she does. Clearly. I really fell for these characters and there were a LOT of them. There were some I liked more than others though. I really enjoyed Evie and Theta, but Memphis I was just bored by.
As for the story? I thought it was fantastic once it got going. This one takes a while to start moving, but once it does, it’s really one of those books you can get lost in. I cared about the characters and I cared about what happened to them. The murderer had me scared shitless and there were a few chapters where my heart was in my throat. I was terrified and I had to peek ahead to make sure things were going to come out okay. I know. I AM a coward.
He is vile and scary and absolutely horrible. He is all the things that a good villain truly should be. And the thing is…there is so much more to his story than just being a killer. There is so much depth there and layers to uncover and I really think this is a book that most people will enjoy. But he is a very, bad, BAD man. I’m not spoiling anything by telling you this, but part of the fun reading this book is uncovering all the layers and figuring out this mystery and why he is the way he is. It’s brilliant.The Diviners is original and atmospheric and really just so enjoyable to read. I would recommend this one to lovers of YA paranormal, but also readers who enjoy fantastic writing and solid characters. Yeah, there’s a budding romance, but there is NO insta-love. The romance truly takes a backseat as the story and the set-up for future books in this series is much more important than anything else. This is a book for discerning readers and those who don’t mind moderate pacing. If you are tired of the same old cliches and tropes in YA, I think this is a book you will most likely enjoy.
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