Friday, 24 August 2012

The Diviners by Libba Bray

The Diviners
Libba Bray
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers 
[September 18, 2012]

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.

You know, I don't scare easily. But when it's 4 am and you're reading about a serial killer who's also a ghost and you come back to your room and find your laptop shut itself off then restarted...and managed to open Word and Chrome without you? You get really effing scared.

This book was nothing that I expected but everything I hoped for.

I'm a long time fan of Libba Bray. I can go on and on about her talent and genius. I even wrote one of the essays that got me into the college I'll be attending in the fall about the Gemma Doyle trilogy's impact on my life. 

But let's just sum it up: Libba is one of the most masterful writers out there. The Diviners has quite a few narrators, many of them only telling a chapter before moving on. Sometimes the narrator wasn't even a person. Every single narrator had their own distinct voice, their own style. Everything they tell us is crucial to the story. Despite being one of the longest YA books out there (I'm pretty sure Libba's going for a record), I was hooked for most of the book.

While I was attached to some level to each character introduced, I never really FELT for a character. I wanted them to be okay, but I never got the attachment I want. Each one was a fun narrator, but either they weren't in it enough or they just weren't likable enough. But this is one of those few books where I was okay with that. The story was enough for me.

Though I didn't like the characters as people, I still kind of liked them? It's hard to explain but I wanted to like them. I can see their potential for growth and who they might be. I loved seeing them use their skills and each obviously had some redeeming qualities that touched me enough to give me some attachment. Libba clearly doesn't want character development to just happen, she wants her characters to work for it over the course of the series.

This was such a rich, well built story. It was obvious Libba put in a lot of time and dedication. So much research was done for the time period. There was a lot of elements, a lot of little things, that all tied together in the story to make it work. A lot of twists and turns and close calls that scared the crap out of me.

The ending was rapped up all well and good...and then the last chapter. While not a cliffhanger, it makes you anticipate what will happen. Where can the story go from here? What are these two talking about? HOW MUCH MORE SCARED WILL I BE?

Basically, this is an incredible book with something for everyone. Amazing world building, complex characters, romance, action, murder, horror, incredible writing...everything. Pick. Up. This. Book.

--Julie

3 comments:

  1. I'm really excited to read this!

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  2. I've been out of the book loop for so long that I can't believe I haven't heard about this book yet. As you said Libba Bray has an awesome writing talent that captivates you into her books. Thanks for the review now I'm totally dying to read this book!!

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  3. Even though you said you were that attached to the characters, I can see it's a good book because you were connected to the story itself, and that's AWESOME! I love Libba Bray, and I can't wait to read this!

    Great review!

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