Thursday, May 16, 2013

The Diviners.

Title/Author: The Diviners by Libba Bray

Genre: Supernatural.

Publisher: Little, Brown.

Source: BEA 2012.

Favorite character: Evie.

Synopsis: 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.
My Thoughts:  I can't believe I finished this book!  It took forever because I'm a slow reader and I was reading it in dribs and drabs.  Not because I didn't like it, but because it is just so big that I was daunted.  I had trouble getting into this book at first.  I felt that I had kind of seen the story before.  However, as I delved deeper, the story and the characters became richer and more intriguing. 

I thought the way the book is framed is very cool.  It starts and ends with the wind, which observes the United States as if it's another character.  The wind could be a metaphor for the evil that brews or just a neutral force.  Nostalgic, cynical and lovely at the same time, it is some of the most beautiful prose in the book as American History is summarized.   I also noticed the unique and very clever chapter titles. 

Evie is my favorite character.  At first I didn't like her but still thought her a great character.  She just seemed too selfish, too much about having a good time.  I wouldn't want her as a friend.  I've had friends like this and they've gotten me into lots of trouble.  However, as I got to know her and her past, she either grew on me or she calmed down a bit.  Or maybe she just embraced her responsibility.  She was still Evie though, with her flippant personality and rash behavior, just more...loveable.

I think Libba Bray outdid herself regarding the research that went into this story.  Set in New York City in the 1920s, I felt as if I was peeking through a page in time.  I could hear the thin car horns and listen to the cadence of the speech and watch the Zigfield Follies.  I learned about the Chinese Exclusion Acts of 1882 and experienced the fun and sometimes danger of a speakeasy.  I was amused to find that the prononciation of Long Island Lawn-GUY-land was around even back then.  I admit I had trouble following the language at first, with all the slang. It is like a whole other world and there was so much of it, that it kind of threw me. At an event at Oblong Books I had the opportunity to ask Ms. Bray if the people really talked like that back in the 20s.  She explained that in her research she discovered that the language was indeed very quick, witty and fluent with those sayings. She listened to broadcasts such as radio ads and newscasts. After a while I settled into the language and I also began to think how our language will sound in 100 years, with words like "Awesome," "Dude" and our infamous. "Oh my God." Heck, sometimes I have trouble following the conversation of my nieces and nephews.

I was also told that this was extremely creepy.  Well it is, but where I come from, I would say it's moderately creepy.  Again, I feel that the scares were ones I had come across before.  However, they are still impactful and mysterious.   That being said there are many events that surprised me in this story and I can't wait to see how they play out in the future.

I thought the different romances going on in this book were perfect.  *Spoiler Alert: Memphis and Theta who will have to fight the odds of their races.  Mabel pines over Jericho, Will's assistant yet she might find another interested party.  Jericho watches Evie.  Sam the con flirts with Evie.  :End Spoiler Alert*  There are a lot of characters in this book, but it is not hard to know who is who.  Everyone serves an important purpose and there didn't seem to be any weak characters.  They all served to bring the plot forward, whether you realized it at the time or not.

I look forward to the upcoming danger that these characters have just touched upon and how they will handle them.  I look forward to finding out who ends up with whom and what certain people are up to.  There's one thing I think I can count on though.  How ever many books are in this series, I am positive it will end up with a satisfying conclusion with a lot of fun, thrills and chills along the way.

All in all:  Intriguing.  Epic.

Other Editions:



Smash Attack Ash said...

YESSSSSSSSSSSSS. *fist pump* This book was SO entertaining. I think they way the evil entity was written and presented was just brilliant and creepy. I am so curious about some of the characters!

Andrea @ The Overstuffed Bookcase said...

I love Libba Bray but I've only read one of her books so far. I saw her at a book event last year and it sounded like she did a lot of really cool research for this book (like the slang and just all the stuff that was going on back then). I'm definitely going to be reading this one sometime, but I'm a slow reader, too, so big books are daunting to me as well. Glad you enjoyed it, and great review!

Karen said...

You finished! You finished! I'm so glad you ended up enjoying it Pam. This is a HUGE book.

Midnyte Reader said...

@Smash-You were the one who convinced me to finally pick it up!

@Andrea-I've read her Gemma Doyle trilogy and enjoyed that for the most part.

@Karen-It took a while, but I did it!

fakesteph said...

Man, I love Evie. I love Evie so freaking much. I'm glad you finished this one and enjoyed it! The length was absolutely intimidating. If I hadn't read it right after BEA, then I don't think I would ever have gotten to it.

~Sara @ Just Another Story said...

The size of this book is what's keeping me away. But I do love the twenties. I should give it a go. I am glad you liked this one so much-even after the slow start. You may have convinced me Pam.

Great review,

Sara @ Just Another Story

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