The Diviners by Libba Bray
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-tute-ly ecstatic. It’s 1926, and New York is filled with speakeasies, Ziegfeld girls, and rakish pickpockets. The only catch is that she has to live with her uncle Will and his unhealthy obsession with the occult.
Evie worries he’ll discover her darkest secret: a supernatural power that has only brought her trouble so far. But when the police find a murdered girl branded with a cryptic symbol and Will is called to the scene, Evie realizes her gift could help catch a serial killer.
As Evie jumps headlong into a dance with a murderer, other stories unfold in the city that never sleeps. A young man named Memphis is caught between two worlds. A chorus girl named Theta is running from her past. A student named Jericho hides a shocking secret. And unknown to all, something dark and evil has awakened.1
When I walk through Chapters, or get e-mails or see books online, I usually take a picture or screen shot of them and add them to my book of all the books I would like to read. Usually when I need a new book and look through the ever growing list, I can never remember exactly what the book is about. I recognized the cover and decided to jump into it, without a single memory of what I could expect.
Evangeline O’Neill (Evie) is a small town girl with big dreams. When she gets into trouble in small town Ohio, she is shipped off to New York city. Her first encounter is with a sweet talking man with quick fingers, but its not her last encounter with him. Evie meets her uncle at the Museum of American Folklore, Superstition, and the Occult or as it is known to most people the “Museum of the Creepy Crawlies”. Her uncle William Fitzgerald is a stoic educated bachelor who is very private and holds many secrets. His assistant, Jericho is a tall handsomely build man who is even more reserved than her uncle. Thankfully Evie has long time friend Mabel, who lives in the same building as her uncle. Mabel and Evie are introduced to Theta, a beautiful and talented young girl who also lives in the building. She is a Zigfield girl and helps show the girls out on the town. When Evie’s uncle Will is requested to help in the investigation of a murder, they are exposed to a dark plot of a serial killer. The killer is following an old book that gives hints at more murders to come, but the group are always one step behind. As the book progresses we are introduced to more characters. They are all connected but have their own circle and storyline. There are lots of hints that the groups are more alike than expected and foreshadowing of more things to come. How well do they really know each other? With dark omens and ghostly threats of a great storm coming, the reader is left with a tingling anticipation and conjectures of all the possibilities.
The Diviners is a spell binding book full of plot and potential. There are so many characters who have their own stories and so many mysteries that are revealed and many more that are still to come. There are very minor characters who almost seem to have no place in the major story, but are more foreshadowing characters because you know they will be introduced as the series continues. It is almost like they are added to the story so they could play a larger role in more novels or stay singular to this first book as mysterious. We also only get a small hint of even the major characters histories leaving it wide open for more surprises and adventures.
The novel ends with a dark cloud hanging above us and a storm on it’s way. While reading the novel I was not aware that it was to be a series and thought it was a stand alone book. As I neared the end I started to worry, and as pleased as I am that the story will continue, I was also hoping to have my loose ends tied up. The Diviners is a great novel full of murder, mystery, occult and fantasy. Libba Bray creates an exciting world during a time that was full of potential and promise. I highly recommend checking out the series, as well as the webpage for the novel which can be accessed below. There are radio feeds with a nostalgic feel as well as a book trailer.
1. Book Summary Courtesy of Libba Bray’s Webpage