Title: The Diviners
Author: Libba Bray
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
It’s 1926 and seventeen year old Evie O’Neill is sent to live with her uncle Will in New York after a parlor trick in Ohio goes wrong. Evie is used to hiding her supernatural talent (until she gets to drunk on illegal booze, hence the trouble in Ohio). But after a girl is murdered and branded with a cryptic symbol, the police involve Will, and Evie finds that her talent might be the only way to solve the evil that has awakened with each new murder.
I love Libba Bray. Her stories always have the craziest twists, and she does a great job of blending genres together. The Diviners was a mix between historical fiction, the supernatural, and steampunk.
Sometimes it felt as if the book was doing too much to involve all these elements though. There were so many storylines and characters to keep track of with secondary characters all hiding weird secrets and secret talents like Evie’s. The book almost seemed a prequel or just a set-up to another book, which should have been called The Diviners, because the reader learns little about what the Diviners actually are in this book. I loved the detail, but the book is so long, and way too much to reread to remember all the detail before a sequel comes out. So my main complaint is that perhaps the editor should have been a little more heavy handed to make it an easier read (and then reread, because I’m definitely interested in the sequel).
However much wading through the storylines I had to do, I loved the scenes painted of the Roaring Twenties. The language and the setting in this book were amazing, and Bray clearly did her research to paint an accurate (but also supernatural) picture of New York in the 1920s. Who knew being a flapper could be so dangerous! Worth a read if you’ve got a little time on your hands!