The Diviners – Libba Bray

“In a town house at a fashionable address on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, every lamp blazes. There’s a party going on – the last of the summer. Out on the terrace overlooking Manhattan’s incandescent skyline, the orchestra takes amuck-needed break. It’s ten thirty. The party has been on since eight o’clock, and already the guests are bored. Fashionable debutantes in pastel chiffon party dresses wilt into leather chairs like frosted petite fours melting under the July sun.”

The story beginnings at a party in danger of being likened to a church social, sprucing things up a bit the hostess helps herself to an ancient Ouija Board. This tantalises the guests for a while but their interests soon turn elsewhere. But not soon enough. 
Evie O’Neill has come to New York from Ohio, exiled for telling the truth she’s determined to make a name for herself in her new surroundings. She’s ecstatic at the prospect of Ziegfeld Girls and speakeasies, however not so at the fact she has to live with her Uncle Will and his obsession with the Occult. 
When Will is called to a murder scene that the police believe has something to do with the occult, Evie can’t wait to see some action. Tagging along she realises that the power she has, that by few people know about, might just be able to help with their investigation.

*** 
Wow, so yeah, I have no words, which is a tough thing for me to admit, being a reviewer and all. The Diviners has had gushing reviews across the board and to be honest, I completely understand why…
From the very first page you are sucked in, the upper class party, the strange supernatural elements, it’s all the grab your attention but when you start reading about powers, the occult and the murders, of bodies that have strange symbols etched onto them, it’s enough to make you never want to stop reading.
There’s too much going on in The Diviners to discuss in one measly review. There’s the main plot but there are also subplots, minor themes and topics which could take you all night to discuss. The Diviners is a great book for a book club discussion but you would need all night to talk about it. The serial killings are the main part of the story but then you have the supernatural powers of Evie and some of the other characters. There’s something going on with Jericho that I picked up on straight away but that isn’t revealed until quite late on in the story and something with another character that isn’t even fully revealed I this book. Then there’s the backgrounds of the character, who come across as many main characters rather than sub-characters…they all have a depth to them that I haven’t really come across in that many books. Usually everything is focused on one character however in The Diviners this isn’t the case, but it works so well. I developed more feeling for all the characters in this book than for any in previous books I’ve read I think and this is a book that is going to stick with me for a long time.

The supernatural elements of the book are fantastic and the ghostly parts are guaranteed to make you shiver, I’m not one for being scared whilst reading but theres one particular chapter which nearly had me whimpering. The atmosphere built up throughout the book is just amazing and will have you wondering about what could happen next because really, anything could! 
In amongst the supernatural and the crime elements of the book you have a very real, true to life story. The historical side of the story was brilliant and made me want to know more about everything that was going on, especially the bookie running that Memphis does that the flapper fashion. You also had the struggles from the economy which were obviously huge at the time and the struggles that women and black people suffered because of their lower social standing. I think one of the reasons I am. So intrigued with this period in history is because it was a time when people were becoming more aware of equality, it was a far cry from today’s life and let’s face it we’re still not completely there now, but it was something that people were working towards – slowly. The Diviners covered that really well and very realistically and it’s just another reason why I loved it. 
I’m sorry for the incredibly gushy review but this book deserves gush, it was addictive and although its long and perhaps a bit more time consuming than other books, it’s most definitely worth it. 
The Diviners was published in September by Atom. My copy was purchased online. 
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  • Eeeeeee! Great review! I am massively looking forward to reading this.

  • I haven’t been that eager to read this up until now, thanks for sharing your thoughts! I have read some mixed reviews and the length put me off a bit, but now I think I’ll give it a try:) Glad you enjoyed it!

  • I hadn’t heard of this before you posted the picture to Twitter but from your review it sounds amazing – buying a copy is going to have to be done 🙂