Sunday, May 4, 2014

Review: The Diviners (The Diviners #1)

Title: The Diviners (The Diviners #1)
Author: Libba Bray
Page Count:  578
My Rating: 4.5 TURTLES: A really great read, I highly recommend!

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.

It’s been taking me a while, but I am finally working my way through my stack of books that have been on the shelf for over a year. I had read the Gemma Doyle trilogy by Libba Bray before and had really enjoyed her style of writing even if I did have a really big issue with the ending. Ms. Bray came through Portland a while ago and I went with some blogger friends to see her. I know I’m digressing from the review, but if you ever have a chance to hear her speak, go! She had us laughing one minute and sniffling the next. She is one of the most memorable speakers I’ve ever seen, book tour or no.

Back to The Diviners. I loved this book more than any of the Gemma Doyle books! Her writing is exquisitely beautiful while staying within the YA feel. I suppose there must have been a reason it took me so long to read it, because I started The Diviners right after my history class finished a unit on the Roaring Twenties, so I can attest to the fact that she did a boatload of research on this book. It was impressive, even the little things about the culture that she was able to capture! Sometimes you read a historical fiction and there are the obligatory descriptions of what the streets would have looked like, generalized customs, etc., but there are a lot of details missing.  I suppose historical fiction is like reverse world building because instead of a new world the author recreates the old one, anyway, Ms. Bray does a fantastic job of it!

Libba Bray is just an all around amazing writer. The characters were diverse and complex, and I loved how their differences played off each other. How she unfolded the narrative was brilliant, giving us little clues here and there, but not enough to ever fully answer anything until the end, and as it was there are many mysteries left for the sequel to address.

I realize that I’ve been gushing a bit, but the bottom line is that if you are looking for a superb new YA series to sink your teeth into, look no further. It was close to 600 pages and I could have kept reading. Hands down the best YA Fantasy book I’ve read this year. One of the best books I’ve read so far this year at all, actually.

Check out The Diviners on Amazon

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