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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A thrilling new series set in the Roaring Twenties!
The Diviners is my first book by Libba Bray, but I can tell you right now that it won't be my last. I'm thrilled to have discovered another YA author of such talent and prominence. I would have given her a chance even before now, especially considering all the raving reviews written by my most trusted friends, but I simply never got around to it. Fortunately, she left me...
Published 22 months ago by Maja (The Nocturnal Library)

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3.0 out of 5 stars Good fun
I was extremely impressed with how well this book invoked it's setting - 1920s New York has never seemed more vivid and Bray does a wonderful job sucking you into the past.

There's a lot to like here. Bray's style has fluency, the book keeps up the creep factor and the characters are well drawn (though Evie's not especially likable). The problem I found was...
Published 16 months ago by H


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A thrilling new series set in the Roaring Twenties!, 5 Oct 2012
This review is from: The Diviners: Number 1 in series (Hardcover)
The Diviners is my first book by Libba Bray, but I can tell you right now that it won't be my last. I'm thrilled to have discovered another YA author of such talent and prominence. I would have given her a chance even before now, especially considering all the raving reviews written by my most trusted friends, but I simply never got around to it. Fortunately, she left me no choice with The Diviners. New York in the 1920s was impossible to resist.

I'll start with my favorite part - the setting. Libba Bray did an extraordinary job in taking her readers to New York during the Prohibition era. I could hear the music and the laughter, smell the forbidden alcohol, and it made me want to put on a flapper hat and dance my feet right off. I could spend an eternity reading about the Roaring Twenties, and the ghost of a serial killer only made it that much more interesting.

Yup, you read that right: there's a ghost of a vicious serial killer on the loose, and the only ones with any chance of stopping him are an 18-year-old psychic girl and a group of people that share the same dream. Even Evie's uncle Will, who runs The Museum of American Folklore, Superstition and the Occult, also known as The Museum of the Creepy Crawlies, is powerless against this murderous ghost. And if that isn't enough to freak you out, there are religious fanatics involved as well, and seriously, nothing is creepier than that.

To be quite honest, there were parts of this book that were a bit hard to get through. I'm not a fan of 3rd person, multiple points of view narrative to begin with, and The Diviners offered far too many perspectives for my taste. It's so hard to connect with the characters that way, and Evie was the only one I really felt close too.

To top that off, Evie was a hard character to like. She was occasionally self-centered and a little too care-free. (I'm very organized and responsible and people who just breeze through life tend to annoy me.) But there were times when I felt I truly understood why she behaved in such a way, and I could connect with her regardless of her frustrating actions. The loss of a family hero, Evie's older brother, damaged her family irreparably, and acting out was her way to cope.

But don't let my ranting or those 600 pages scare you off. The Diviners is a book worth reading, although it will force you to read slowly and carefully - something I'm not quite used to. Bray's talent for creating an eerie atmosphere is matched only by her intelligent humor. At times, I had to fight the urge to hide under my bed, only to burst out laughing five minutes later at something witty Evie said.

Make no mistake, The Diviners is a demanding book. It requires your full attention, but whatever it takes, it gives back tenfold. If I were you I wouldn't hesitate to pick it up. As for me, I'll just sit right here, very patiently and without making a sound, and wait for Libba Bray to finish the sequel. Some things were left unsaid and I need to know, need to know, needtoknowneedtoknowneedtoknow... Oh, shut up, brain!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent but definitely not a childrens book, 7 July 2013
By 
Beanie Luck Spud (Cotswolds) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: The Diviners: Number 1 in series (Hardcover)
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To clarify a few things, this is labelled as a childrens book, im sorry but not on your life, i wouldn't give this book to a child.

1stly because the context is just too scary and well just damn right creepy and evil and secondly i personally don't feel that it should be read by anyone unless they have the mature capacity of deciphering that books are just fiction.

My personal recommendation is that it is for 14 and over.

Also this is running at 592 pages, no easy feat for an adult let alone a kid to get through.

Anyway the story is extremely interesting anc captures your attention thoroughly.

16 year old Evie has a secret, she has magic, when she touches an object she can read the history of that object and the person who wears it.

This gets her into terrible trouble in her home state of Ohio and as a punishment her parents ship her off to New York to live with her Uncle Will - Punishment, really ??

Anyway Evie meets her bestie Mabel, her uncles assistant Jericho who Mabel has a huge crush on and a pickpocket thief called Sam.

A bunch of murders start happening and her uncle will is called in to try and help solve them, he isnt a cop, no he is a professor and runs the museum of the occult.

All of the murders are a bit well magical and the cops cant figure out what is going on.

At a crime scene Evie accidentally touches an object on the dead person and so has to confess to her uncle what she can do, this leads her to helping him on the cases.

The story is well written, well played out and the character of Dirty John seriously gave me the creeps, he reminded me in a lot of ways of Freddy Krueger, not sure why, or that clown from Stephen Kings It. Just wrong and chilling to the bone.

Anyway as a 40 year old adult i loved it, and im sure many others will as well.

Fantastic book..
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5.0 out of 5 stars Flapper Buffy!, 14 April 2014
It's the cat's pajamas! I love the authentic feel of the twenties slang. It's like Flapper Buffy with Unc as Giles and Theta, Mabel and the boys as the Scooby Gang. More please, Libba.
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2.0 out of 5 stars I had such high hopes..., 17 Jan 2014
By 
R. O'donnell "thewaffle" (Glasgow) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Now, two things made this an autobuy when Diviners was released: Libba Bray and supernatural 20s mystery.

Unfortunately, this book was so...well, not awful, per se, but it took me THREE tries to finish it. And I hate not finishing books.

Anyway, the main issues are the characters: Evie's awful, completely unrelatable and unsympathetic. I LIKE mind flawed, "unlikeable" heroines, but there has to be SOMETHING about them that readers can sympathise/empathise with (eg with Courtney Summers' books). With Evie, there is NOTHING. And as she's the main-main character, and it's a long-ass book, we spent FAR too much time with her for my liking.

And the requisite other corners of the love triangle were boring and that's all I can really say.

Theta, Mabel and Memphis all seemed very cool, but we did not spend enough time with them, and also, tbqh, Memphis and Theta were pretty much completely unnecessary to the plot of this book.

That's another thing: so much of this book was completely unnecessary. It could've been half the size it was. It needed serious editing. It was clear that this was just a set up for the rest of the series, and when that set up's *600* pages...

But, I will say, as always, beautiful writing, Libba Bray.

Tl;dr: it's too much of a slog to recommend to anyone. Will give you one more chance with Lair of Dreams but after that...
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, 4 Oct 2013
By 
Vanessa F "Vanessa" (Somerset, England) - See all my reviews
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Why did I take so long to read this?

Oh, Vanessa, you foolish girl. I remember reading this book on and off on my commute to university, and then for whatever reason, putting it down and picking it back up again at odd intervals. It's not that it wasn't holding my interest - simply put it down to me being very easily distracted.

Then I got back into reading it over my holidays and could not put it down. At all. Then after I got home, I put it down again and picked it back up only a few days ago.

The Diviners is an extremely well-researched historical fantasy novel, steeped in the supernatural and with a wonderful cast of characters. It's immensely enjoyable, well-written, and suspenseful.

The book begins in the roaring '20s, with Evangeline `Evie' O'Neill, being sent away from her boring hometown in Ohio to her uncle in New York, who curates the Museum of American Folklore, otherwise known as the Museum of the Creepy Crawlies, along with his assistant Jericho Jones. To Evie, this is her ticket to freedom, an excuse to party hard, and drink as much `giggle water' as possible.

It seems to me from reading reviews that Evie is either loved or loathed. She can't go half a sentence without flinging in some 1920s slang, and she can be rather ditzy and self-centred. However, she is also courageous, adorable, and hilarious to read. I mean, she sealed the deal for my favourite character spot the moment she kneed an overzealous admirer in the nuts with this exchange towards the beginning:

`"You can't blame a fella for kissing the prettiest girl in New York, can you, sister?" Sam's grin was anything but apologetic.

Evie brought her knee up quickly and decisively, and he dropped to the floor like a grain sack. "You can't blame a girl for her quick reflexes now, can you, pal?"'

No, no, don't worry - I don't base my judgements on whether or not a character is awesome because she can roundhouse kick a man into submission, but Evie's conduct just before is quite amusing, saying she's coming to New York to be a nun, getting more and more irritated with Sam's advances. She's also confident and charismatic, able to charm the socks off anyone she sees, like T.S. Woodhouse, the young journalist investigating the Pentacle Killings and receiving tips on the sly from her as she smirks and basks in the attention. What's this? A three-dimensional female character in a YA novel who doesn't turn to putty in the hands of love interest #1 or #2, who knows she's anything but plain and has her head seriously screwed on despite her public appearance as a featherbrained flapper? YES.

The main plot of The Diviners revolves around.... well, the Diviners. These are people with special psychic powers, who seem to have all gathered in New York. In fact, towards the end of the book, the main murder mystery takes a backseat, as clues are divulged more and more, leading to a rather satisfying ending with the promise of a brilliant sequel.

While it is satisfying in that regard, I had been following the Pentacle Killings. You know, Naughty John, the ghost who is ritually murdering people in exceedingly gruesome and terrifying ways? Who whistles and sings whilst he's hacking people to bits? (The multiple viewpoints angle this novel has is really quite good - I really loved getting to know certain characters, and the heightened sense of fear and panic that follows when you read them hearing that peculiar whistling or that singing. No! Not poor Ruta! Not poor little Tommy!)

It seems as if Bray became a little more interested in X (the storyline building up to the Diviners in the sequel) as opposed to Y (the Pentacle Killings, which I mention we have been following for the past 400 pages) towards the end of the novel.

The aforementioned scenario is very hastily resolved, with Evie and Jericho taking off for Naughty John's haunted house in New York and being split up, with Evie having to keep her wits about her despite her utter terror at the prospect of potentially being another one of Naughty John's victims. While I really did like the sense of fear seeping through the page, and was completely and utterly hooked... it kind of lost its steam when Evie was able to defeat him with - well, I don't wish to spoil it, but it didn't live up to expectation.

1920s New York is stunningly realised in The Diviners. Everything about New York here is written in the most immersive way possible - the sights, the sounds, the smells, the people walking around. It's not just some bland background the characters plod down as they go from one point to another, which I am extremely grateful for. That's true escapism there. If a book can provide such great entertainment by pulling me out of reality, then sign me up.

5/5.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Diviners, 3 Sep 2013
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This is an amazing book with a brilliant plot line that threw me at every twist and turn! I loved it :)
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4.0 out of 5 stars Nice, 31 Aug 2013
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I liked this book even if it took me a while to read it, which is something that normally doesn't happen! The story was interesting and very intriguing! I'm looking forward for book two!
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4.0 out of 5 stars A different read, 12 July 2013
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Mmm the Diviners, what to say? It was a bit of a slow burner, but as it went on the growth in the characters made the story itself more intriguing and I couldn't put it down. If you do choose to read it, stick with it gets better as I goes along - can't wait for the next book in the series.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Courtesy of A Trillian Books, 28 Jun 2013
By 
Tasha (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Diviners: Number 1 in series (Hardcover)
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As a fan of Libba Bray's previous books, I was really excited about this one and it didn't disappoint. Bray does a brilliant job of taking the reader back to 1920's New York with some great characters and scenes. The supernatural twist adds another dimension to the action packed plot. I'm glad that this is a second book to follow and can't wait to read that as well.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Haunting imagery of evil, 23 Jun 2013
By 
Sandford "Sandy" (Kent, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Diviners: Number 1 in series (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Immediately thrust into the vibe of 1920's New York, the author sets the scene dramatically quickly and stamps the theme and fast pace of the novel. The positive idea of the American Dream, with everyone seeking a way out of desperation seems only to result in catastrophe, and in the novel expressed by unbelievable evil.

The mischievous Evie is a delightful counterbalance to this evil, and makes the novel highly readable. Linda Bray's capacity to allow much to the imagination of the reader is quite brilliant. The images that she created in my head of Naughty John seeing off his victims in various modes, still haunt me. This is very clever of her, as the awfulness of the scenes that we are not ultimately witness to, will only be as bad as our experience allows us to, so a teenager will have different images to an adult reader.

I am very impressed with this author's style, highly recommend it.
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The Diviners: Number 1 in series
The Diviners: Number 1 in series by Libba Bray (Hardcover - 18 Sep 2012)
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