In our fourth set of reviews of THE DIVINERS, we convert a reader who isn't a fan of the supernatural, or anything scary, but totally falls in love with this book . . .
Firstly, I must admit I'm not a huge fan of the supernatural genre… ghosts, spirits, the idea of things being there although you can't see them freaks me out. So I surprised myself when I asked to review this. However, I can tell you that delving into the 'dark' side was worth it this time. While it wasn't perfect, the thrill and suspense gripped me and compelled me to turn the pages.
When the book landed on my doorstep, I was horrified to learn that it was about 600 pages long. Being a slow reader, I sincerely hoped it would be interesting enough for me to get through the many, many pages without feeling utterly bored or wanting to give up on it.
Libba Bray takes no haste in immediately launching the reader into 1920s New York and she throws you into a vibrant world where underneath, an evil force is stirring. The beginning was a little confusing for me: leaving me unsure of what to expect and I thought the first 100 pages could have been cut down.
Unfortunately, the third person narrative didn't work well for me. I did come to appreciate each character but it lacked the depth I needed to connect with them further. There was also too much happening for my liking. Each chapter would switch and tell you about a different character and since it's so long, it became quite overwhelming. I understand Libba Bray may have done this to make it more intriguing and mysterious but it just wasn't to my tastes.
I actually found myself really enjoying the supernatural element. Yes, I refused to read it in darkness but I loved how it would sometimes make my heart skip a beat and my hands grip the book tightly. The entertainment factor is similar to that of an eerie, ghost film so just don't read this before going to bed!
I cannot write this review without praising its originality. I've never read anything like it and the way Libba Bray weaves so many different people and their stories together is truly amazing. Her writing is so eerie and evocative it almost seems as if every page is alive, mirroring Manhattan's colour and vibrancy. You will have to read it for yourself to gain an appreciation of her writing and I'm glad to have been on thrown on to this 'journey.'
Overall, The Diviners is a gorgeously written book full of mystery and suspense that will leave you breathless by the last page. Despite its flaws, it is an enjoyable book that will make you laugh and gasp and look around you warily at the same time.
Beverley, Aged 16
The Diviners is centred around two different teenagers, Evie and Memphis, both with supernatural abilities that they haven't told anyone about. This novel contains a constant flow of tension and mystery however there is plenty of humour to make it even more interesting.
The book is written in two different perspectives that are continuously changing throughout the novel which allows the reader to see a different view and a change of scenery throughout the novel.
The Diviners is set in 1926 so it uses language which is appropriate for that time period which, again, makes the book more interesting and different from previous book in the genre. This compelling and truly entertaining novel will definitely not disappoint and leaves readers guess throughout the novel. This is certainly an evocative and addicting novel.
By Jamie-Leigh, Aged 17
Firstly I would like to say that I simply adore and admire the language used in narrating this story. It’s old-fashioned, which is easy for the inexperienced writer to get wrong, making it sound pompous and inconsistent, but Libba Bray did an excellent job; making it fluent, suave and compelling.
I just wish I liked the story as much as I liked the writing!
Don’t get me wrong, the plot itself is good. I liked the atmosphere Libba Bray did so well in creating on every page, the underlying feeling of danger and suspense. But the characters, particularly main girl Evie O’Neill, did nothing for me. They were the real problem. I found them all to be unlikeable, unrelateable or just people that I couldn’t work up any emotions or opinions for.
Unfortunately, when I don’t agree with the characters in a book, I find it very difficult in turn to enjoy it. That’s where things went downhill for me.
That being said, The Diviners really is wonderfully written – a welcome surprise for teen fiction – and I will be keeping my eyes open for other Libba Bray novels, as I think she is a noteworthy author.
As for the story; I would recommend it to girls who like chick-lit, fantasy and dash of horror, because it’s all of those things rolled in one. I should mention that this book is perhaps for the older reader, 14+ I would say, because there is some strong language and, how d’you say… fruity bits.
Kalilah, Aged 18