Review: The Diviners by Libba Bray


Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Paranormal
Pages: 578
Series: The Diviners #1
Release Date: September 12, 2012


3 Stars


Finally! I did it! It took me a month, but I finally finished the book! It will take a lot to get me to pick up the second book, if it pick it up at all (big chance that I won’t). But we can talk book 2 later.

This book is set in New York in the 1920s and revolves around a bunch of characters. The protagonist is Evie, who is a Diviner with the power to see memories of a person by touching one of their personal objects, like a ring or handkerchief, etc. After an incident at a party, her parents send her to live with her uncle in New York City for a while, where she gets involved in solving the case of a serial killer.

Now before I say anything bad, I just want to get it out there that Libba Bray is a great writer. Her prose is very good, and if I was interested in the America of the 1920s or Historical Fiction in general, I would’ve enjoyed this book a lot more.

And, if Evie wasn’t such a pain.

As I said before, the novel has a bunch of characters and I liked, or was okay with, every single one of them except Evie. Which sucked before the major focus is on her. I didn’t hate her; simply found her to be an unbearably annoying presence that I would rather not deal with. She had a tendency to be arrogant, vain, selfish and stupid, and wanted to be famous without actually doing anything worth the fame. The author, on many accounts, told us that there’s more depth to Evie but that’s the thing. She told us. We never saw it.

Evie is the main reason for me not reading the second book. I can’t bear the though of putting up with her for another 600 pages.

The other characters were good. I really liked Memphis, Theta and Henry. Sam, I wish, had more of a role outside of Evie. He’s an interesting character and I don’t want him to simply be the ‘love interest’. Speaking of love interests, Evie has two—as if she wasn’t annoying enough—and the other guy would also do better solo.

The best character though, the villain. Well, the entire thing surrounding the villain with the orthodox beliefs and the rituals. I love plots with religious cults. It shows us how crazy people can get with the right amounts of fear, persuasion and self-righteousness. If you’re wondering, they can go absolutely fucking wacko.

Anyway, while Evie is the main reason for not reading Lair of Dreams, she’s not the only reason. The other is the pace. Because I had to drag myself though a lot of this book. To put it simply, it took 400 pages for me to reach a point where I actually wanted to flip to the next page instead of having to force myself to do it. Again, it I were more interested in 1920s New York, things might not have been so bad. But since that’s not the case and the sequel is supposed to be slower… The likelihood of me reading it is lowering by the sentence.

Overall, I’ve already explained what would make you like the book and why I didn’t like it much. It’s not a bad read. Just not my ideal one. Maybe you’ll have better luck.


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