Author: Libba Bray
Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: Sept. 18, 2012
Series: The Diviners, book one
Source: ARC from a friend, audiobook from Listening Library
Narrator: January LaVoy
Audiobook Publisher: Listening Library
Length: 18 hours and 14 minutes
About the Book: 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.
My Thoughts: The Diviners is one of those rare books that totally creeped me out yet I loved it. I am such a baby. Usually if a book is creepy I don't enjoy it. For me the creepy factor tends to overshadow the story and the characters and it just isn't worth it. Libba Bray tells such an amazing story that I was sucked in and not even ritual sacrafices could make me stop reading!
The first thing that hooked me was the voice. And I mean this in two senses. There is the narration by January LaVoy. It's so well done! She paces things perfectly and pitches her voice to add to the tension and drama of the story. LaVoy also differentiates voices for the characters in a way that is clear and not cheesy. But I meant more than this literal voice. I am talking about the word choice, the flow, the little things that make up each character like their speech patterns. It was just so incredible.
From page one it is clear that Libba Bray did her research. She employs so much detail in everything that you get a vivid picture of 1920s New York. From slang and "pop"culture to geography and historical facts... the reader is immersed in the time period. I was amazed at how this was all worked in without being dry or having scenes of overwhelming descriptions. It was just so authentic.
Another aspect I loved was the different story lines. The book summary focuses on Evie O'Neill but The Diviners really has an ensemble cast. We get to see what's happening from Memphis, Theta, Sam, Mabel and more. And not just how it relates to the "main" plot. We learn more about their lives, where they're from, and how they see the world. I felt so invested in each of their lives. I was also interested in seeing how all of their own stories were going to intersect with one another.
Finally, I have to mention the delightfully creepy aspect... Naughty John. Oh gosh. Do I really have to mention it?!? I'd like to be able to sleep tonight and thinking about this part of the book is spine chilling. There is this little sing song rhyme that is associated with the dark and dangerous Naughty John. "Naughty John, Naughty John, does his work with his apron on. Cuts your throat and takes your bones. Sell 'em off for a coupla stones." This is creepy enough on its own but remember, I listened to the audiobook. January LaVoy actually sings this little ditty and it has been stuck in my head on repeat. It makes me shiver. Every. Time. Basically Libba knows how to bring the terrifying. I don't want to give more examples because you need to discover them on your own!
I was thrilled with the way The Diviners ended. There is closure with Naughty John's story (Thank goodness... or I really would not be able to sleep!) yet so many bigger questions are asked. All the character's stories begin to intertwine more.I cannot wait to see where we go from here.
The Diviners is a wonderfully authentic and creeptastic read. Libba Bray has crafted an intricate and fascinating paranormal world that parallels our own. I highly recommend reading this book as soon as you can get your hands on it. If you're an audiobok fan this one is pos-i-toot-ly divine!
I was able to attend one of Libba's tour stops for The Diviners. It was so much fun! There was music, costumes, and so much more! Here are a couple pics.
|Me in my 20s garb and the lovely Libba Bray|
|My purse, audiobook, finished copy, and a tattoo|
|Fabulous pins on the tables!|