The Diviners – Libba Bray

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Author: Libba Bray

Rating: 5/5

Synopsis

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.

READ AT YOUR OWN RISK. IN THE IMMORTAL WORDS OF RIVER SONG, “SPOILERS!”

Evie O’Neill is an essentric flapper living in Dullsville, Ohio, where she’s harboring a secret gift. Said gift gets her expelled to New York City, more treat than punishment for our heroine. But don’t tell her mum that. Her Uncle, obsessed with the supernatural, curates a museum of the occult, un-affectionally noted as “The Museum of the Creepy Crawlies,” by the rest of Manhattan.

First off, I love Evie. She’s crazy and silly and to me, a very likeable person. She’s that type that seems so full of life that their presence is infectious. Unlike most other protag’s I’ve read in stories, she is not a bookish, shy little girl and insists on wearing baggy clothes. Nope, it’s painted stockings and rouge for this gal. She is a “Diviner” who can sense and see things about a person if she holds an object of theirs in her hands. Not all Diviners have this nifty superpower, some have others, of course.

What’s next, I really loved Henry and Theta’s friendship. Theta is a Ziegfeld girl, and Henry’s a pianist for Ziegfeld. Henry, although gay, took a starving Theta (then called Betty) in, fed her, and gave her a place to stay. The two of them hit it off. Theta’s past is a dark, she had just escaped from her rapist husband, Roy, and ran away to New York when she came upon Henry who fed her the second half of his sandwich, rice pudding, and a cool glass of milk. She was initially suspicious – who wouldn’t be – of his kindness, but he never once made a move toward her. Later she finds out she’s pregnant with Roy’s baby, and Henry offers to marry her. Marry her! What a great lad. He even sells his priced piano to pay for her abortion. I really love these two, always leaning on each other.

The book is filled with cast who all hold their own secrets. Memphis, a boy in Harlem who used to heal people. His brother, Isiah, suffers from dreams of prophecy. Jericho, who is half man, half machine. The insufferable Sam Lloyd, who can will people to not see him, basically rendering himself invisible in plain sight.

Ah, and the villainous spirit of Naughty John. Gosh, what a creeper. There is nothing more terrifying than a man committing a series of gruesome murders because of his religion believing 12 corpses to raise the Beast, who will bring Armageddon. As quoted in the book, “There is nothing more terrifying than the absoluteness of one who believes he’s right.” He’s definitely the type of creeper that makes you want to look under your bed and sleep with your lights on!

Aside from the amazing characters, I also found I was completely in love with the setting of this book, 1926 New York. It is the prime of the modern era – flappers, jazz, speakeasies, Ziegfeld girls. Even the dialogue is fresh with quirky slang people used in the 20s.

Honesty, I can’t wait for the next one. This book was pos-it-tute-ly the cat’s meow! If you love supernatural fiction set in 1920s New York, definitely give it a read!

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1 Comment

  1. I did good on a book recommendation! So glad you liked it! 🙂

    Reply

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