Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Diviners by Libba Bray

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. (from GoodReads)

I can't help but compare The Diviners to The Gemma Doyle Trilogy; obviously it's the same author, and both book series are historical fiction fantasy. Granted, they're both set in two very different time periods, and even the fantastical elements are different. While I really enjoyed The Diviners, I still think The Gemma Doyle Trilogy is better.

I think the 1920s is such an interesting and fun time period, so I'm really glad Libba Bray tackled this era in The Diviners. She was able to capture the feelings and atmosphere very accurately - I felt like I was living in New York right alongside Evie and her friends. There is some even '20s slang thrown in, which made the reading experience authentic.

Aside from the setting, The Diviners takes on a lot of different subplots and character points-of view. Mainly the book is told from the perspective of Evie, our main heroine, and Memphis, a boy living in Harlem who is marginally part of the story. I enjoyed Memphis's sections, but it was obvious his side was set-up for the rest of the series. He never interacts with Evie and his story has nothing to do with the main conflict of The Diviners. 

What is different about The Diviners vs The Gemma Doyle Trilogy is that The Diviners is written in third person while the latter is first person. Normally, this doesn't bother me, but I noticed that I could not connect with Evie as well as I could with Gemma. I think the change in writing style affected this, making Evie seem shallow. I hope the future novels will allow the reader to see more sides of Evie.

The plot of The Diviners was interesting and actually pretty creepy. I don't get scared easily, but the parts with Naughty John really spooked me! So if that's your type of book, The Diviners will definitely make it hard for you to sleep at night.

Overall I enjoyed The Diviners. It was super long but a lot happens. If you're interesting in historical fiction fantasy, I would definitely recommend The Gemma Doyle Trilogy first, but after you read that I think The Diviners should be your next choice.

Rating: 8 out of 10.
FTC: borrowed from library.

2012/Little, Brown/578 pages.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have not read the Gemma Dyle Trilogy, but love the setting for this one. One of my favorite reads is set in historical NYC, The Luxe Series by Anna Godsbersen.
I like to get a little spooked when reading a book, so I may have to give this a try. Thanks for your wonderful review.