The Diviners by Libba Bray: Book Review

The Diviners by Libba BrayTHE DIVINERS by Libba Bray Book Review
Series: Diviners, #1
Publication Date: September 18th 2012 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Rating: – Acceptable |

Book Summary: 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.

Book Review Overview:

  • Colorful and diverse cast of characters
  • Transports you to the 1930’s New York City
  • Just too long that the story started to drag

As engrossed as I was into the mystery, The Diviners by Libba Bray just isn’t a book that you can read in one sitting. At 600 whopping pages, The Diviners has a lot of heavy material in it. Bray does justice in exploring the world of 1930’s New York – it’s just a lot to handle in one book.

When it comes to reading a great book, length shouldn’t matter at all. But unfortunately, I was hit with Restless Reader Syndrome about 2/3 of the way into THE DIVINERS by Libba Bray. I was just itching for the mystery’s resolution at that point, even if I had a long way to go. I would have liked the pacing to be a little more fast-paced, but I can understand why Bray would want to take her time to develop the characters and the setting as this is the first book in a new series.

I love the way Bray effortlessly transports readers back in time during the 1930’s and New York City. The city was such a fascinating period throughout the Prohibition Era. I loved the fact that Bray did not focus on just one neighborhood. I loved the similarities and contrasts between the different neighborhoods such as Harlem, the Upper East Side, and the Theatre District in Midtown. I could easily picture 1930’s New York in my head. Bray is probably one of my favorite historical authors because of this reason.

Other than the masterful crafting of the 1930’s, the strongest point of THE DIVINERS by Libba Bray is the vast array of colorful characters. Each character was well-developed and interesting. I wanted to know more about every single one of them and it’s hard to pinpoint a favorite. I think that most of the fun was uncovering each character’s backstory and learning more as to what made them a Diviner. I enjoyed the fact that Bray included a diverse set of characters that further showcased what it was like to live as a teen in the 1930’s.

I think that part of the reason that I started to get restless was the fact that THE DIVINERS by Libba Bray started to reflect what I was learning in school. The Book of Revelation plays a big role in the murder mystery. There have been lots of interpretations of the Book of Revelation in pop culture, but I really enjoyed the way that Bray took this idea and incorporated it into a murder.

THE DIVINERS by Libba Bray is a start to a promising series, but I do hope that Bray caps off her books at around 600 pages. I don’t know if I can take any longer than that. However, THE DIVINERS by Libba Bray is still a highly enjoyable read. Crossing multiple genres, THE DIVINERS by Libba Bray has a bit of everything to please a wide audience.


About the Author

Libba BrayLibba Bray is the New York Times bestselling author of The Gemma Doyle trilogy (A Great and Terrible Beauty, Rebel Angels, The Sweet Far Thing); the Michael L. Printz Award-winning Going Bovine; Beauty Queens, an L.A. Times Book Prize finalist; and The Diviners series. She is originally from Texas but makes her home in Brooklyn, NY, with her husband, son, and two sociopathic cats.

Find the Author

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4 Comments

  1. I agree with everything you’ve said — the length resulted in a pace that was just this side of slow. The 1930s were really quite vivid, but the mystery just needed to be resolved sooner, you know?

  2. I was worried about this being 600 pages, but I’ve seen a few reviews where it wasn’t really a problem for them. Hopefully that’ll be the case for me too.
    Great review! ^__^

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