In our fifth set of Atomics reader reviews of THE DIVINERS by Libba Bray, two readers fall pos-i-toot-ly head over heels for the epic plot, amazing characters and incredible writing.
Did we mention there's a book 2 coming in 2013? For these readers, it can't come soon enough . . .
I absolutely, posi-tute-ly adored this book, and I know that some people won't like this book, or might find it slow or difficult to get into, but I feel like this book was basically written for me or something. I mean, I love the 1920's, I love books about crazy horrible murders, and I love books with a kind of supernatural vibe! And even though the length initially put me off, I knew from the moment I started I would be finished with it soon.
I really liked all of the characters (of which there were quite a few) and seeing how each of their stories intertwined, and I was really glad that the main romantic subplots took a while to take before and become one of the focuses of the book. Regardless, though, I was so sucked into the plot that I almost didn't want a romance because that would get in the way of finding out what was going to happen next! Seriously, I was completely gripped. I really just didn't want to put it down. Which, for a 600 page book, is quite an achievement!
I liked Evie a lot, and I'm not sure whether it was because her storyline was the one most entwined with the main plot, or just because I really liked her character and her personal development, but I found myself as I got further through the book that I was only really interested in the Evie parts. Not to say that I didn't enjoy the other characters and their side-plots, because that simply isn't true! And I'm definitely really excited to get to learn more about Sam, Jericho, Theta, Memphis and Will in the next book. Almost as excited as I am as finally finding out what the 'Storm' is and how it's going to relate to the Diviners! I also cannot wait for all of the characters stories to properly intertwine, because in this book some of the main characters only met each other once or twice, and I just want them all to meet each other and, like, sit in a trust circle and talk about their powers and be psychic best friends or something.
I must talk about Naughty John. As much as I love creepy books, I don't read nearly enough of them, which is why I was so pleasantly surprised by the kind of Supernatural Murder-Mystery plot in this book. I'd been told by other people who'd read it that it was creepy, but I hadn't really believed them. Well, they were right. This book is CREEPY. The fact that it's written in 3rd person and changes its focus character quite a lot (think Cassie Clare) means that every now and again we get a chapter where one of the murders happens, and these were some of my favourites in the book. Especially because we never really find out what happened to the bodies until Evie sees them, or Memphis sees them in the next chapter. And for the first few murder chapters, I was a bit like What the Hell is Happening, Who Are These People, Why Are They Dying, but as we learn more about Naughty John and why he does these things, I found myself really looking forward to these chapters. That sounds kind of sick, I know, but they were really good! And as the book goes on, the stakes just get higher and higher as the people getting killed start to be people that we know in the book, and it's just so good!
I loved learning about all of the main characters powers, and getting to see some of their backstory that we wouldn't have gotten if the whole book had been written from Evie's point of view. And I actually really liked Evie's power! I was so glad that she wasn't given the Most Special-ist Power In All The Universe, because that is something that kind of annoys me, and I was really glad that she put her power to such good use. At the beginning of the book, I was worried I wouldn't like Evie all that much because she could seem a bit selfish and I felt quite disconnected from her, but she turned out to be a really brave and determined girl, even if she did make some foolish decisions. She always (or usually) tried to do what was right, despite how she maybe wanted to be perceived, and she still was a bit selfish, but I was really glad to see her friendships so important to her.
If you couldn't already tell by the kind of ruched, nonsensical, rambly review, and the repeated use of exclamation marks at fairly inappropriate places, I completely loved this book. And I want to make everyone read it, even if they don't love it (though they so SHOULD.) I really need to read more of Libba Bray's books now, don't I? Because I have no idea how long I'm going to have to wait for the mysterious Second Book.
Cicely Wynne, Aged 16
‘The time is now. They are coming… Diviners.’
Evie O'Neill loves to party and have fun. Her parents aren't so keen on her life-is-for-living attitude and decide to send her to New York to live with her uncle as a means of avoiding further scandal.
Evie, though, is just overjoyed at heading to Manhattan, the city of parties.
The only downside is living with her dull, occult-obsessed Uncle Will. And that she lives in fear of Will discovering her secret gift…
But with a murderer on the loose and Will being called in to offer occult-based insight, Evie realises that maybe – just maybe – her gift could be used to catch the killer…
But Evie's struggle isn’t the only one going on in New York: Memphis, Sam, Theta, Jericho and Henry each have a fight of their own…
As they all attempt to deal with their problems, what none of them know is that in the shadows, evil stirs and lurks, ready to strike…
Will the prophesied Diviners be enough to stop it…?
I jumped at the chance to read The Diviners. I've never read anything by Bray, but I've heard so many good things about her and The Diviners just sounded so good! And she lived up to all my expectations! It was an amazing book, as funny as it was spooky, and I found myself hooked from the very beginning. And while the book was really rather long, I found myself zooming through it, loving every second. When you mix crime drama with the historical and paranormal, it's safe to say you have one overjoyed Meg on your hands! Ergo: I cannot wait for the next in this series! It just can't come quick enough!
The characters were all brilliant and so 3D. I loved how even the in-it-for-a-chapter characters felt totally real and believable. And while I loved them all (well, not Naughty John), Evie just totally took the biscuit. She just really made me laugh – her snark, wit and one-liners constantly had me cracking up! I also loved how she wasn't perfect and though she was a bit selfish, I loved her. Plus: evil genius alert! Memphis was really charming and sweet and I just loved Theta and Henry, their relationship especially – plus Theta had a great sense of humour! Jericho was a broody type and super mysterious and rather funny, but I just loved Sam: he was charming and funny and yummy! As for the killer, well, he was scary as hell!
The writing was so beautiful – I could see everything in my head, like a movie or a time machine! And I just loved the humour and how it jumped between all the characters, letting us get to know them all – and their secrets too. Now, with so many various storylines, the plot could have been so confusing so easily. But it just wasn't – it was rich and complex and addictive – an elaborate web of stories, winding together to create one masterpiece tapestry of a book. But the ending? Evil, evil, evil! I am certain it's gonna drive me insane – I need the next book! Needless to say, I'll be first in line for Book Two.
And I loved the supernatural side of everything, especially Will and Jericho’s talks about various mythologies. Even more, though, I loved the '20s setting – especially the phrase "pos-i-tute-ly"! I must admit, I know very, very little about '20s America, but you could tell Bray really, really did her research. And I so want to read more '20s book – this time rocks! Pos-i-tute-ly rocks!
With one kickass setting, a cast of brilliant characters, a host of amazing supernatural powers and one creepy-as-hell killer in the loose, The Diviners was one incredible book. It ticked all the right boxes, had me hooked from the very start to the very last word, and I just can't wait for a sequel. Plus, it was just so epic it's untrue! So please give it a go! You so won't regret it!
Megan Quibel, Aged 16