04. October 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: Courtney, Historical Fiction, Mystery, Paranormal, Teen Books, Thriller/Suspense

The Diviners by Libba Bray, 578 pages, read by Courtney, on 09/28/2012

Wow. Just…wow. I really enjoyed this book. First, there’s the characters: Evie, a young woman from Ohio who is sent to live with her uncle in Manhattan after she “divines” a bit too much information at a party. Her uncle runs the Museum of American Folklore, Superstition and the Occult (aka The Museum of Creepy Crawlies) and has been tapped to aid in the investigation of ritual murders taking place in New York. Other characters of note: a young black poet named Memphis, a girl from the Ziegfeld Follies named Theta, a gay pianist who lives with Theta named Henry, a young con man named Sam and the daughter of Jewish anarchists (and Evie’s best friend), Mabel. Every character is distinct and multidimensional. While it may seem as though these characters have little in common, there is one very specific thing that they all have in common and it may be that very thing that will be needed to save New York from the darkness that is rising.
Second, there’s the setting: 1926 New York. You’ll visit speakeasies, jazz clubs, political rallies, murder investigations, not to mention the divinely arcane Museum of Creepy Crawlies. One of my favorite eras in American history, mixed with the supernatural? Happy days!
The plot is intricate and sinister, but there’s a sense of humor too. The dialogue is spot-on with ’20’s vernacular, which adds to the overall ambiance of the book. While the page total is close to the 600 mark, the book never feels slow or boring. The pacing is brilliant. The villain is appropriately evil and it’s quite clear that this is only the beginning. I simply can’t wait for the rest of this trilogy!

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