The Diviners by Libba Bray

GoodReads Summary:
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.
This enormous book took me WAY too long to listen to. I had to request The Diviners three or four times before actually getting through the 12+ hour audiobook. I have a few things to talk about, some good and some bad.
Let’s start with the good. I really enjoyed the narrator. She did an excellent job portraying all the different characters. There were songs she had to sing and various male and female characters. I am super impressed that this book is narrated by one person for the entire thing. I liked the uniqueness of the story. It’s a really interesting concept. I also really liked the writing itself. Bray writes very well, giving the story personality. There were lots of little things that caught my attention that I enjoyed. There were quite a few supporting characters. Each of these characters got their own backstory. Bray did a great job of giving each of them a thorough background.
Now sadly the things I didn’t like we’re all of the important things. I didn’t like the characters. They were okay. I don’t actively dislike them, but I didn’t like them enough to get invested in them. Evie was annoying until over halfway through the book. She’s immature and selfish. She was also clever and determined and resourceful. Uncle Will was secretive and underestimated Evie at every turn, which was also annoying. He has secrets that weren’t revealed by the end of the book. I know this is supposed to make me want to read the next books, but I honestly can’t imagine listening to another 12+ hours of these characters running around. Despite all of the characters having their own stories and their futures intertwining, I just couldn’t get invested. The plot/storyline was interesting but there’s something about it that I just couldn’t get into. I think maybe it was the time period it took place in. During the time of prohibition, I’m supposed to believe there are all these people with magic powers and everyone’s just going to accept that? Meh, I’m not interested.
I really wanted to like this book. So many people love this story but I’m not one of them. I don’t know that I’ll be attempting to finish the series. I likely would have just DNF’d the book, but I by the time I said to myself, “why am I still listening to this?” I had waited a few months (this is all of the time combined) for it to be available at my library and I was 60 something percent of the way through the story. So, I decided to push through and finish it.
I thought this was going to be the perfect book for spooktober, but despite an interesting story idea and an excellent narrator I was not terribly invested in The Diviners even though I tried really hard to be. Don’t let this review deter you from the story though, so so many others loved this book. It just wasn’t for me.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

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5 thoughts on “The Diviners by Libba Bray

  1. I’m about halfway through the audio now. This narrator is phenomenal. I really think if I read this I probably would have hated Evie but the narrator does make her a little more likeable. We’ll see how the rest goes!

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