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.
The Diviners was one of those books that I had a difficult time putting down after I started reading. The premise of it immediately hooked me- a young girl with unexplainable secret powers being sent to live in Manhattan with her Uncle, while terrifying murders are being committed. It made me want to skip work and stay awake until I finished reading
The setting is what first struck me. I haven’t read many contemporary YA books that are set during the Roaring Twenties. But Libba Bray pulled it off and wrote an intriguing book that shows just how good she is at doing her research. Even the 1920s lingo is sprinkled throughout the novel.
I found both the plot and the characters to be fascinating. While Evie O’Neill and her “lingo” annoyed me at times, I realize that to have a believable story set in the 1920s the language needs to be consistent. I loved how independent, smart, and sassy Evie was (even if it did get her into trouble at times). She could also be a stubborn and selfish character, but Bray has created a multi-dimensional and believable character that overall is very likeable. I enjoyed reading the backstories of all of the main characters and learning about their motivations and pasts throughout the novel, especially that of Theta who remains a bit of a mystery to me. I hope to learn more about her and am excited to see how each of these characters will grow as The Diviners Series progresses.
Not only did The Diviners have excellent protagonists, but the antagonist was absolutely terrifying. Without giving anything away, he was enough to give me some pretty creepy dreams. However, he was original, unique, and interesting. I haven’t read another novel that had an antagonist quite like him.
I didn’t have many complaints about this novel. There were points that dragged a bit but they didn’t last long. I made myself look past all of the pos-i-toot-lies and allowed myself to get dragged into the story and into the horror. This might not have been the light summer read that I was looking for but it was fabulous.
The Diviners was a thrilling blend of the paranormal and historical fiction. It was a page-turning adventure that made me race to the end to find out what happened to Evie and her friends. I highly recommend it to both young adult and adult readers, especially those who like getting the creepy-crawlies while reading.