Review: The Diviners by Libba Bray

Image from Publisher Website
Image from Publisher Website

Title: The Diviners
Series: The Diviners #1
Author: Libba Bray
Publisher: Atom
Publication Date: 18 Sept 2012
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 5/5

Synopsis from Amazon

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…


I do not know where to start when talking about this novel, it blew me away. At points I found it hard to believe I was reading a YA novel as it felt the same and just as captivating as most adult novels I read. The depth of the story and the intricacies behind the events are fascinating and I was immediately hooked from page one and the odd behaviours of our star character, Evie O’Neill.

The Diviners is a huge roaming novel, there are stories within stories within stories which make it absolutely fantastic to get stuck into and the mixture of genres makes it so engaging. You’ve got the occult mixed in with borderline sci-fi and a murder mystery mixed in with horror – it’s got a bit of everything and doesn’t disappoint in any area.

I am fascinated with anything set in the early 20th century and with all its crazy occult happenings and scary horrific moments, I was completely captivated by Evie and her flapper girl ambitions as much as any other element.

The novel is the first in a series I believe and this is the only area where it falls down, the end of the novel disappoints. This is mainly because it seems to reach a perfectly well-written and fantastic conclusion and then it goes on, solely to introduce a precursor to the next novel. For me it needed to end about fifty pages before it did. The ending became confused, rushed and seemed only to exist to try and encourage readers to definitely make sure they buy the next book. The problem is the novel was so fantastic in the first place I don’t believe anyone needed this additional push and attempted cliff hanger ending.

That being said, the first 500-odd pages of this book were more than worth the time they took to read. Each element of the story is perfectly crafted and the characters are believable, honest and in Evie’s case, great fun in equal measures. I hope Bray manages to achieve the same level of unerring qualify in her next edition – I can’t wait for its release.

Author: Book Angel Emma

Book List Obsessed - Alliteration Addict - Secondary School Librarian - Mother of Girls - Zumba Freak

3 Replies to “Review: The Diviners by Libba Bray”

  1. I think this one sounds really good but I am really put off by the length! Maybe it’s one for a bit later in the year when I’ve read more of what I need to. Great review, shame about your disappointment with the ending

    Cait x

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