“The Diviners” (The Diviners #1) by: Libba Bray

This was a random find during a perusal at my local library. Hubby and I just got our new library cards and so I went to check out the audio book section since I wanted to cross that component off of my Sunshine Rising 2017 Book Challenge.

I was familiar with Libba Bray as an author from her Gemma Doyle series. I had listened to those on audio a few years back and enjoyed them. I figured I would enjoy this as well. It did not disappoint!

The length of this was quite a lot clocking in at 18 hours and 14 minutes. I wondered how many pages were actually in the book version and found that to be 578 pages. That made sense then!

The narrator, January LaVoy, does an excellent job of doing various intonations for the characters and she even does a little bit of singing(!) It was an entertaining listen. I had sort of forgot how much I enjoyed audio books. Now that there is such a massive variety available to me, I think I will seek out more!

Jumping into the story here, there are many threads of characters lives/storylines that weave together. I enjoy  books that do this.

The book starts off in the late 1920s, 1926 I think, and in a small town in Ohio.

Evie, the main protagonist, has a supernatural ability to be able to hold an object and divine secrets, feelings, and experiences that the owner felt/had. It is an interesting ability that gets her into trouble and sent off to live with her uncle in New York City.

We see Memphis, someone who used to have a supernatural healing power that since the death of his mother left him, running numbers and gambling while his younger brother has futuristic visions and the gift of diving the future.

Thetta, a New York woman who reinvented herself after leaving her abusive husband, is trying to break into showbiz with her “brother” Henry.

Thetta and Evie quickly become friends, Thetta and Memphis meet and realize they share some of the same creepy dreams, and a killer is on the loose.

Tons of smaller characters play key roles, Mable, Sam, Jericho, and Will to name a few.

This book wove together the supernatural and the feel of the 1920s PERFECTLY! (Not only in the lingo, but even going so far as to include a toss off line about a character having an empty bottle of Radithor lying around!)

While this one is not by any means a light read, it is a highly engaging and entertaining one.

I adored that while Evie slept, she wasn’t described as being beautiful while she slept, rather that she slept with her mouth open and snored. That felt much more realistic than how many females are portrayed while sleeping in novels.

This read had some teeth. The “scary” elements are there and I am not actually sure that I would have classified this as a YA. Maybe that happened simply because the main character Evie is 17? I’m not sure, but the book could have dove a little farther into the darker aspects without that YA restriction. As it was, even talking about abortion, it felt like a very adult novel.

I really loved that Libba Bray did a lot of research on the 1920s and integrated those facts into her fictional world.

Recommended to not only the YA lovers out there, but also to adults looking to get wrapped up in a supernatural thriller taking place in the 1920s era that includes religious extremism, mystery, and a lot of sass.

Don’t have kittens, you can find this one pretty easily. So, it’s Jake. If you know your onions you’ll check this one out! It is the cat’s pajamas, the bees knees, and a roaring good time.


Bonus Note:

I checked and the library had book two as well, also narrated by January LaVoy, so I am moving onto that one next. I was stoked to get to find it along with some other exciting new reads for me that I will jump into soon too. Check back for my review on the Diviners sequel, “Lair of Dreams”, probably within the next few weeks. This one is even longer clocking in at a listening time of 20 hours and 12 minutes. (613 pages.)

There is a third book in the series, “Before the Devil Breaks You”, releasing on October 3, 2017. Slated to be 560 pages, a smidgen shorter than its predecessors, I will definitely be seeking this third installment out.



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