We’ve seen The Diviners around in the bookish community and have been wanting to read it forever. It was time to choose a new buddyread, so we decided to give this series a go! What did we think? Did it live up to our expectations? Keep on reading to find out!
Do you believe there are ghosts and demons and Diviners among us?
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, Ziegfield 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....
Printz Award-winning and New York Times bestselling author Libba Bray opens a brand-new historical series with The Diviners, where the glittering surface of the Roaring Twenties hides a mystical horror creeping across the country.
The Diviners (The Diviners, #1) by Libba Bray
Genres: Fantasy, Historical Fiction
Do you believe there are ghosts and demons and Diviners among us?
“People will believe anything if it means they can go on with their lives and not have to think too hard about it.”
Candyce I don’t think I’ve ever seen a series that has as many covers that The Diviners do, haha. Not all of these covers are amazing, but I do like this purple one. And I’m mad, because I can’t find the paperback anywhere (I bought the e-book). Also, the quote on the cover definitely fits this story!
Isabelle I hate that there are so many covers for this series haha. The cover I have for this first book doesn’t have a matching set for the rest of the series so I’m not completely sure what I will do with the next three books haha. This purple cover we used is quite nice and I adore the Australian covers!
“There is no greater power on this earth than story.” Will paced the length of the room. “People think boundaries and borders build nations. Nonsense—words do. Beliefs, declarations, constitutions—words. Stories. Myths. Lies. Promises. History.” Will grabbed the sheaf of newspaper clippings he kept in a stack on his desk. “This, and these”—he gestured to the library’s teeming shelves—“they’re a testament to the country’s rich supernatural history.”
Candyce It’s come to a point that I really want to read more historical fiction books and The Diviners was one that has caught my attention quite a few times. I have to say I was sucked right into this story and loved the author’s writing style. The ’20s is an era I would have loved to experience, so that made this book extra fun. I loved the little historical details and the phrases that were added to this story.
I have to start off by talking about the setting. New York in that time period was really interesting to read about. The parties and clubs were really interesting. Also, the atmosphere in this book really would add to being a perfect Halloween read. It’s dark and the paranormal aspects really make this story complete!
The mystery aspect in The Diviners really had me at the edge of my seat. The murders were pretty intense and it was interesting to see the characters research the murders and trying to link them to something. I kept on guessing along with them and at a certain point, I couldn’t stop reading! My only issue to this part of the book is at the end when the big event was supposed to play out it all went rather fast. I really felt that I missed something with that. Don’t get me wrong, it was interesting, but felt a bit lacking.
The Diviners also has an amazing cast of characters. Our main character, Evie, is an interesting one. She’s far from perfect and makes many mistakes. I have to say this was a breath of fresh air. A lot of the times main characters tend to be perfect or work to be that way. Evie is just herself, mistakes included. In the end she means well and is loyal to those that are loyal to her. Besides Evie there is an amazing cast of side characters that we get glimpses of throughout the book. All of these storylines are really interesting and I’m curious to see how it all plays out in the rest of the series! I don’t want to talk about them too much, because I really think you need to experience this while reading.
In the end, I didn’t give The Diviners a full five stars because of what I stated before, the main event kind of felt lacking to me. Also, the last few chapters are clearly a set up for the next book, but it felt really obvious. It didn’t flow as well for me as the rest of the story. That being said, I still really enjoyed this book and will definitely be continuing with the series very soon.
“How do you invent a religion?” Evie asked.
Will looked over the top of his spectacles. “You say, ‘God told me the following,’ and then wait for people to sign up.”
Isabelle The Diviners has been on my shelf waiting for me to pick it up for about 3 years and I’m so glad I finally read the book! I used to read a lot of historical fiction and it was nice getting back into it with this story. Like Candyce said, Libba added a lot of details and phrases from the area and that made it a great experience.
The story starts off with a very atmospheric scene and it set the tone for the book really well! I think the atmosphere was a very strong part of this story, there are a lot of scenes that are very rooted in history and wouldn’t be the same if the story was set in a contemporary world. My favorite part were definitely the speakeasies!
We get a very compelling mystery in this first book and I wanted to keep on reading every day! Candyce and I had a set couple of chapters we would read every day and it was so hard to stick to that schedule haha. I think that says a lot about this read! It was such an addictive read and I can’t wait to read the next books.
The characters are interesting and well developed. I really enjoyed getting to know all of them. There were quite a lot of characters, I’d say there are at least 8 characters I was interesting in knowing even better. Each had their own little backstory going on and slowly we were getting parts of those stories. Not everything has been laid out yet and I’m excited to discover more about these characters.
While the mystery was very compelling, the ending was a bit quick! It was a pretty good ending to the mystery just a bit rushed, especially for a pretty decently sized book like this. And after the ending to the mystery there were quite some chapters left. It felt like those last chapters were setting us up for the next book instead of them being part of this first book. In my opinion that could’ve been done a bit differently.
Still, this was an incredible read and I definitely want to read the rest of the books in the series. I liked the characters and I loved the setting. There is still a lot of story that will be unfolded in the next book and I’m excited to see where that will lead us!
“When the world moves forward too fast for some people, they try to pull us all back with their fear.”
We’re so happy that we finally decided to start The Diviners! If you’ve read these books, we’d love to know what you thought. Let us know in the comments.